How to Build Website Trust: 15 Must-Have Features to Boost Credibility

A lot of site owners fail to convert prospects because they didn’t do what’s necessary to build website trust.

They convey the wrong message.

The ‘wrong message’ means fewer sales… uh-oh.

Many of these trust issues can be cured with a few tweaks.

Others require a little more work.

Read through this post and check off what you could be doing better to build website trust and credibility with your audience and industry.

  1. Make the Site Attractive and Engaging

Although people say beauty isn’t everything, it is a large factor for a website.

An attractive website displays professionalism, it’s something that someone took time to craft and not just create a template. Or, thrown together in an afternoon with a publishing program.

Landing on an attractive website will ‘wow’ your visitors and immediately peak their interest to investigate what else is available on the site.

  1. Navigation Should Be Flawless

Navigation is how your visitors move around on your website, having a navigation that is clunky and troublesome will discourage visitors from browsing and result in them bouncing away.

There are many different styles of navigation:

  • Drop down lists
  • Horizontal and vertical
  • Scrolling

…and so on.

Choosing the right one for your website is key to creating a memorable experience.

Navigation also should be simplistic without too many links or else the user will feel overwhelmed and not sure where to start. A smart navigation system will help your users understand your website easier which in turn will help add confidence and trust.

  1. Add Your Personality

Adding a bit of personal flair to your website adds a human element to an otherwise robotic appearance.

As humans, we identify with common characteristics and facial structures which is why you often see websites using pictures of people.

Adding your own pictures, writing styles, and opinions help shape your website into something with a personal touch allowing your readers to get to know you and build a personal relationship and trust.

  1. Regularly Add New (Good) Content

You should always be adding new content to your website whenever you have the chance.

Adding new content doesn’t mean scraping together a quick post or adding one that is the cliché “sorry for not posting in a while”.

Your content needs to be relevant, timely and full of up to date information the visitor is seeking.

It may be hard to keep up with such a high demand for content from internet users.

But:

This is what you’ve gotten yourself into.

Without adding new content to a website regularly, your readers are likely to find their sources elsewhere.

  1. Build a Community

Your community is the heart and core of your website.

Even though you may be more than happy to receive hundreds of new visitors from a popular post you’ve made, many of these visitors will not come back after they’ve viewed your content.

These visitors who bounce are important, but nothing is more important than your core community.

Building a community contributes to what you’re doing to build website trust, credibility, and authority in your subject.

Your community will stick with you through the thick and thin while the others will bail on you, keep your friends close.

  1. Create an About Us Page

People want to get to know you more, either by the content you write or by viewing an About Us page.

An About Us page tells who you are, your goals and what sort of philosophy you have.

The About Us page doesn’t have to be specifically intimate details, you could include a funny story to help identify with your visitors and add a nice human element to your website.

  1. Add a Contact Us Page

At some point, someone will want to contact you personally, therefore you should always include a contact page.

A contact page is very simple to set up especially using free tools and scripts available online.

Being able to be contacted directly lets your visitors have conversations that may not need to be displayed in the comments. The contact page will allow you to receive feedback, promotional ideas and direct contacts with people.

People will also network with you to help improve it.

  1. Never, Ever Lie

Lying is perhaps one of the most important things never to do, it will kill your blog strategies almost immediately.

Internet users aren’t some sheep ready to trust every word you spout, they research into claims you’ve made, complaints against products you’ve reviewed and asked other users what they think of you.

By lying, you’re only digging your own hole to an inevitable death.

There’s no reason to lie to your visitors so just don’t do it.

  1. Add Certificates and Trust Signals

If you own an eCommerce website, adding creditable certificates such as the BBB, McAfee Hacker Safe, and retail badges will help add trust. Because these websites and institutions are already trusted well, having the ‘thumbs up’ by them only helps you out even more.

A website with certificates will experience increased click through.

  1. Be Transparent with Your Goal

As with lying, being transparent about what your goals are is equally important.

Don’t present yourself as someone you are not and equally so for your goals of the website.

Let your readers learn more about you with the About Us and Contact Us pages, add your own opinions and objections and stick to them, don’t just try to get a rise out of people to gain more visitors.

  1. Add Your Social Networking Profiles

Having social networking profiles is much like having an about us page, it lets your visitors learn more about you which may not come through with your content. There is an amount you should reserve if you plan to set yourself as a public image.

If you present yourself as a very highly motivated, business person yet your Facebook is only pictures of you out drinking, this isn’t going to help your credibility or trust.

You want people to know you for who you are, so you can build your own personal brand.

  1. Comment Your Reader’s Comments

If people are taking to using their free time to make comments and talk to you, don’t ignore this or else these people will feel jaded and unappreciated.

A website/blog owner who regularly talks to their audience helps build a great relationship along with the community. The more you respond to their questions and comments, the more they are willing to voice their opinion.

  1. Make Your Site Secure

You should never, and I mean never, release personal information of your visitors to a 3rd party source.

I’m not talking about the general analytics program and websites.

What I’m talking about is the email addresses and personal information that is stored in your database.

If you give away or sell your contact lists, you’ve taken a giant leap toward losing all trust with your users. People don’t want to be spammed and they don’t appreciate you making money off them by selling their emails to other companies. It’s bad practice so never do it.

  1. Include Testimonials, Case Studies, or Reviews

People want to know what other people are saying about you, your brand, and your products.

Internet users rarely take a company’s word for granted today which is why there are so many review sites and review videos on YouTube.

Have you ever wanted to buy a product but first checked what other people were saying about it on YouTube, Facebook, and all the other social media websites? If you have, you know how much more convincing a personal testimonial is in comparison to one created by the website or company.

Testimonials, case studies, and reviews help add an element of trust because people can see what others are saying.

  1. Use Real Pictures (Or Better Stock)

If you’re going to use pictures, avoid the typical stock photography.

Stock photography was acceptable when only a few people used the image, but now that everyone and their mother’s website has the same images it conveys all kinds of trust issues with your website.

People want to see your actual team, the real human beings behind the website or company they are ready to do business with.

Adding actual pictures, you’ve taken may look amateur in comparison to stock photography, but the human element goes a long way these days. There are some good stock sites like Unsplash and Pexels — use those if you go for stock.

Will You Build Website Trust?

Really, this shouldn’t be a question at all.

This is required.

You want to be successful online, right? If so, then you need to boost your site’s trust factors and your credibility. Do these, right now.

Your turn: What would you do to build website trust and online credibility?