Do You Have a Trustworthy Website?

Published on September 23, 2016

What makes Facebook less “trustworthy” than LinkedIn in the eyes of small business owners? What makes Squarespace top Weebly or Wix?

Asking why consumers prefer one thing over another can sometimes feel like asking why someone prefers red to blue, or finds clowns scarier than spiders. It’s just a “feeling,” a “vibe,” or an “impression,” they’ll say. It just seems more trustworthy, and that can’t be quantified!

And while the whims of an audience might be impossible to ever fully understand, we know that there are all sorts of web design and content marketing best practices your brand can put into place to make a positive first impression on your visitors. And establishing trust is hugely important to establishing a relationship and turning searchers into customers – you might have the best Call-to-Action on the web, but nobody’s going to click it if they find your site untrustworthy.

Want to increase your leads and conversions by making your site more trustworthy? Here are four website ideas sure to boost your brand in the eyes of your audience:

1.) Build Confidence With “Social Proof”

There are all sorts of ways to help put users at ease along every step of your site’s conversion funnel. One of the most effective ways? Remind users that they’re not alone! Including user-generated content, like testimonials, is a great way to instill trust and confidence in your brand. Highlighting that you have plenty of other satisfied, paying customers who are willing to put in a good word for your business will add a lot of value, reassuring new customers that you’re experienced and reputable.

And there are other ways to highlight your brand’s reach and experience with “social proof.” If your content gets lots of shares and play on social channels, for instance, a social counter on your blog pages can be a great way to share your popularity with new users. Remember too that audiences love recognition; if you’re accredited by consumer groups, for example, or do business with recognizable brands, include their logos and information prominently on your site, perhaps in a “featured in” or “our clients” section.

2.) Ditch the Stock Photos

Having quality images on your site pays huge dividends – including engagement boosts up to 50%. On the other hand, having low res, boring, or obvious stock photography cluttering your site can have the opposite effect, driving visitors away in droves.

While high quality stock photos have their place – as backgrounds, buttons, or input for Photoshopping – nothing compares to real, authentic images of you and your team at work, solving problems as only you can. And there are plenty of ways to highlight your authenticity without calling in a pricey pro photographer; try curating an Instagram gallery on your site, or embedding helpful, idea-driven videos on your landing page.

3.) Create Helpful Content…

The bloggers over at Hubspot put it well:

“Instead of content that screams, Buy these products now, because they’re the most awesome things ever!, aim to publish resources that show the benefit of your product or service, without overtly selling.”

When you consider that only 3% of people consider marketers trustworthy, it becomes clear that there are a ton of benefits to supplying content that doesn’t give the hard sell, but rather helps provide your audience with valuable, evergreen information that solves their problems. Not only does this targeted, quality information help bring in leads as the backbone of a solid SEO strategy, but it creates loyalty, inspiring trust in your visitors and encouraging them to return to your content – and your product – time and time again.

4.) …That Speaks Directly to Your Readers

There are all sorts of insider tips and tricks for writing content that converts curious leads into repeat customers. The biggest one? Make your copy trustworthy. Besides avoiding the explicit sales pitch, as we mentioned above, crafting trustworthy blog content means talking to your readers, not above them – which means no jargon or inside baseball, lots of definitions and explanations, and an accessible, readable voice. Another secret to keep in your pocket? Drawing your reader in – by including questions and making them a part of the narrative with lots of imagery and “you” statements – is a great way to make them feel included and eager to read more.

Ready to craft credibility-boosting content of your own? Looking to upgrade your website in the months ahead? Drop us a line with any more questions! Our knowledgeable team would love to help.

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