Appearance is everything
Depending on the study you look at, 75-94% of people will make a snap decision on website credibility based solely on design.
You can slice it up a hundred different ways, but the bottom line is the majority of impressions will be made in a matter of seconds based on how your homepage looks.
Despite the fact that many retail transaction now take place online, having clearly visible contact information including:
- Physical Address
- Phone Number
- Email Address
Helps customers feel more confident that a legitimate company exists behind the website. People want the convenience of online transactions, but they want to know they can contact a business in the event of any problems.
Bonus: Google also looks for this information to verify your business as legitimate. Making your contact info easily accessible on your website helps with your customers AND your search engine rankings.
Similarly, if your website features photos of your team, it instills confidence that there are real people in the company. Extra credit if there is a way to contact individual team members through the website (phone, email, or social media).
Portfolio and/or Client List
Potential clients will have a lot more confidence in hiring you if you can showcase examples of your work. Very few people want to be your first client or use an unproven service.
If you are in a creative field boost your website credibility with a portfolio that showcases a variety of styles and projects.
If you are in a service industry but don’t have a portfolio, showing off a client list can enhance your credibility, especially if you have worked with some recognizable names.
Testimonials & Reviews
Put your testimonials front and center. I’ve had a client tell me that testimonials are the only thing he looks for when evaluating a new business partner.
We know social proof is valuable and one of the most important aspects of selling. So display product reviews or client testimonials with pride.
Bonus points if you allow web visitors to create their own product reviews.
Trust marks and security seals can verify that your site is authentic and trustworthy. One study found that badges from McAfee, VeriSign and PayPal achieved the highest recognition, and thus went the farthest on website credibility. Yet the best trust seals are those that are important to your audience.
For example, if you have an ecommerce site or membership platform, security is going to be a big deal. But let’s says you aren’t selling online, rather you need to show off your creds such as a women-owned business or green certified. Those badges may not have the same recognition, but can be important to your business.
Simple and Relevant Messaging
People don’t trust what they don’t understand. Make your website copy clear and easy to understand.
Relevance is also key. Your text should be focused and to the point. Match your copy with your visuals to create a solid impression.
Nobody’s perfect, but a website filled with typos or broken links is a good way to send your credibility down the toilet.
It should go without saying, but run spell check and have some else read over your copy before you go live to avoid any major faux pas.
You could further flush out your credibility by showing off awards, professional certifications or even adding privacy policies. But the bottom line is that your website MUST be visually-pleasing. If your site is a jumbled mess, nothing else matters as your web visitors won’t last more than a few seconds.
Need to make some improvements? Learn more about what a web redesign can do for you.