With constant news of hackers and phishing, consumers have become savvier and more suspicious when it comes to website credibility. This makes it more important than ever that you can convince a customer that your website is legitimate and secure. Poor credibility will lead to both higher bounce rates, which will impact SEO, and lower conversion rates. In this article, I cover the best practice when it comes to website credibility.
A Stanford University study into web credibility found that website design is the number one way that users judge the credibility of a company. So, you need a well-designed website.
What does good design look like? Well, good design is tough to quantify. After all, it is pretty subjective. It goes without saying that everything should load fairly quickly and should work, people will definitely not trust a site that is slow and unresponsive. Your site also needs to be easy to navigate, and not too text heavy.
Beyond this, you need the site to look professional. This means modern design choices, with clear fonts, good color choices and rich media like pictures and video. When selecting photos, it is much more effective to use professional photos that you have taken of your own products and real people. Stock photos, especially free ones, just will not cut it.
Trust seals can be a great way of showing your audience that your website is safe and secure. In fact, it has been shown that trust seals can have a positive impact on conversion rate, provided that you use the right company. The reason that this works is that consumers see a brand they know they can trust and this trust carries over to the site with the seal. However, it is important to realize that seals alone won’t work – seals will not paper over the cracks of shoddy web design.
Up To Date Blog
If you have a blog on your site, it is important that articles are posted fairly regularly. If a user comes onto a site and sees that the newest blog post is over a year old, this suggests that no-one is updating or checking the site. It suggests that perhaps no-one is looking after the site anymore, which is a surefire way to lose credibility.
An up to date blog, with an active comments section will do wonders for your site’s credibility as it will demonstrate that you and other users are regularly interacting with it.
This might sound a little pedantic, but it is so important that you get the grammar right. Typos, poorly laid out text and incorrect punctuation all indicate a lack of care and attention. In a user’s mind, this lack of care and attention will undermine both your credibility and the perceived security of your site.
It can be easy to overlook grammar, after all, it does not really add value to your site. However, get it wrong and it can really hurt you.
Explain the policies you have in place that ensure customer satisfaction. This means if you have returns policies or warranties, make them nice and obvious. These fill users with confidence because it lets them know that you have something in place to protect them.
It’s also really important that you spell out in a clear, simple way how you protect user data. Have your data policy available for user’s to check if they want. Not only is this important for GDPR compliance, but it also engenders trust and confidence in your site.
There are plenty of websites offering a terms and conditions template that you can use to get started.
Website credibility can make or break your brand, especially if you are a relative unknown in your market. Modern users will not hesitate to navigate away from your site if it doesn’t meet their high standards, damaging your search engine rankings and ultimately your conversion rates. However, if you follow the steps I have outlined here, you will be well on your way to improving your website’s credibility.
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