What makes a site trustworthy?
For websites to improve site trust, there are several technical and UX considerations that site owners should consider as a baseline:
- SSL certificates – Installing an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate offers increased security when transferring user data and prevents different types of spoofing attacks.
- Page speed and responsiveness – There’s a reason that Google values page speed so highly. Slow-loading pages, besides being frustrating for users, can also damage a brand’s credibility.
- UX design and accessibility – Good UX is designed to support and nurture users throughout their journey. If the user experience doesn’t feel transparent or comprehensive, users may doubt how legitimate the brand is.
Building trust on your site with content
When it comes to how to get customers to trust your website, content is one of the best (if not the best) ways to do this organically. There are numerous ways brands can ensure their copy and on-page elements are contributing to building trust:
Avoid industry jargon
While jargon is expected in certain industries, brands should use accessible language wherever possible to avoid alienating customers. Pay particular attention to instances where brands have their own terminology for products which may require explaining. This is something we see most commonly in B2B industries.
Consistent brand messaging (and brand voice)
Maintaining tone of voice consistency across different marketing channels is important for affirming your brand’s trustworthiness. Consumers will come to know and recognise your brand’s voice across different touchpoints, forming a deeper connection.
Testimonials and reviews
Testimonials endorsing your products indicate that you’ve delivered a good experience to others who are now happy to recommend your products or services. Third-party reviews from platforms like Trustpilot also allow you to embed widgets to your website, which can hold more gravitas as reviews can be verified.
Certifications and awards
Irrespective of the industry your brand operates in, we’d urge you to call out any awards or certifications you’ve received. It flags to new users that you’re experts with the approval of others in your industry, and therefore they should trust you too.
Avoid aggressive sells
As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to provide customers with a clear and complete user experience. When it comes to attracting users at the top of the funnel, it’s best to focus on educational and inspiring content rather than overly promotional pages.
If you push your brand and products too aggressively at this stage, it may turn people off and cause them to drop off. Instead, providing helpful resources or assistance is often a better approach. This will help build trust with users and make them more likely to engage with your brand in the future.
Remove broken links
Broken links and 404s can cause users to exit your site prematurely. And even if they do return to the homepage and try again, they will already be questioning the reliability of the site. If a competitor site with the same (or similar) products has a smoother customer journey, it’s a no-brainer that they’d choose to convert with them instead.
Identifying and redirecting broken links to relevant pages will improve site trust and keep users on their journey down the funnel.
Keep key information updated
We’ve all seen websites that look like they haven’t been touched in 10 years for businesses that may or may not exist anymore. A crucial aspect to consider for how to build trust on your website is to prioritise updating key pages regularly to ensure users can find the correct information.
This might include your contact page, opening times or current product offering. A quick look at your most popular pages can help you identify which URLs are most important to users and future-proof your content.
Include trust badges
Trust badges are icons you can put on your website to inform users that a third party has confirmed your site is legitimate. Common examples include security protection, secure checkout and accepted payment method badges. They’re designed to offer confidence to users at the ‘riskiest’ parts of their journey, such as when they’re sharing their personal information and/or payment details. This study outlines the impactful effects trust badges can have.
Showcase reputable clients
Shouting out about well-known current or past clients that prospective customers are likely to recognise is one of the most effective ways to instil trust in prospective customers. Putting trust in a company is a risk, so if they can see a similar or aspirational brand listed in your client roster, they’ll feel reassured.
No matter how good the written content is on a page, poor-quality images (or a total lack thereof) appear spammy, making it difficult for users to trust you. Whether it’s ensuring a product page shows an item from every angle or illustrating an editorial page, clear, high-quality images will positively impact how users perceive you.
Showcase in-house experts
Particularly for B2B sites where clients are paying for services or consulting, spotlighting your in-house specialists is a great way to personalise your product offering. People buy people first, so spotlighting key members of product teams can humanise the process. Even better, if these team members can have author bylines on blogs or thought leadership pieces, it can also improve your E-E-A-T.
Using data gathered from community management or customer service teams, brands can identify common feedback and use this information to address trending queries. Miro’s Help Center (see below) is a great example of this in action. This proactive approach demonstrates to customers that the brand understands their needs and is receptive to their feedback.
Of course, brand trust extends beyond content alone, but the signals we’ve discussed here can greatly improve site trust and brand perception. It’s important to view all ongoing content creation through the lens of trust, which is a standard practice we follow at Builtvisible in all our content strategy work. Like the sound of this? Get in touch with our content strategy team to find out how we can help your brand build trust with your customers.