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Web Design > Why trust matters on your website
July 28, 2011

Anyone who has built a website knows how much time and money can be spent on web design, custom website development, online marketing, SEO and even website copywriters. An area that we find is often overlooked is what people will do when they start using the actual website.

As a website owner you probably have a pretty clear idea about what it is you want people to do when they are on your website. Possibly you want them to buy your products online or give you their contact details so you can speak to them later about your products or services.

Often it will not matter how well your website has been built, or how clever the website technology behind the scenes is. If your site visitors do not trust your website then they will almost certainly not do what you want them to do.

There is often a high level of paranoia out there about website security and general online threats. If the users of your website are feeling concerned about these issues then you have a problem.

So, how do you go about making sure that people trust your website online? Well, you start with the basics. If you are a real business with a physical presence then promote this. Include your street address and possibly photos of your premises. You might want to consider including images of yourself or your staff on your website. You should certainly include a phone number in a prominent place on every page of your website.

If you are selling items online using an ecommerce website then we always recommend including a graphic indicating the level of SSL security that protects each and every transaction on your website.

It is also well established that website visitors tend to feel more comfortable about taking actions that other people have taken before them. For this reason many websites feature client testimonials, product ratings and reviews and other mechanisms for demonstrating that the website is promoting products or services that are highly thought of in the wider community.

Website visitors also trust websites that look professional. Often, it will not matter how serious and successful your business is. If your website falls below a certain level of professionalism (which can be different for different industries) then your site users will have trouble accepting you as a serious provider of the products and services you are offering.

So what should you do to determine the level of trust your site visitors have for your website? There are a number of options.

You can install Google Analytics onto your website and pay close attention to what site visitors are doing once they reach your website. Do they view many pages? Do they stay online for an acceptable amount of time? What is your bounce rate on key website pages?

We would also recommend a website audit. This is best undertaken by someone knowledgeable in building effective websites. They will look over your website and possibly make suggestions about how it could or should be improved. You might find that the money you need to invest to improve your website is repaid many times over by getting the most out of each and every site visitor you work so hard to attract.

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