Research by the Nielsen Norman Group suggests that the average Internet user will leave a web page within 10 to 20 seconds of arriving.
Typically, the user will quickly scan the content of the page, get a rough idea of its intrinsic value, then decide whether to leave or stay. The challenge is encouraging the user to spend more time on your site.
One of the key factors that determine how long a user stays on a site is how they perceive the website’s trustworthiness. If a user believes a website is credible, they are more likely to spend time thoroughly reading the site’s content and possibly browsing multiple pages.
Of course, the longer they stay on the site, the more likely they are to make a purchase, click on an ad, sign-up to a newsletter, share an article or engage with your organisation in one way or another.
This article will share five simple ways to make your website more trustworthy, helping you to retain more of your website’s visitors. These techniques are easy to implement and can significantly improve the effectiveness of your online presence!
The design and organisation of your website have a massive impact on its perceived trustworthiness. It is important to have a professional-looking design that uses an appropriate color scheme, layout, and imagery.
Your website’s design should be well structured and coherent, allowing users to easily navigate around and find the information they require. It should have navigation labels that are meaningful and easy for users to understand. If a user cannot locate the page they are looking for in 2-3 clicks or gain an understanding of the website within that first 10 to 20 seconds, they will think your website is unprofessional and lose trust in your business.
The visual design must be up to date and in line with the expectations for the type of business you are running. For example, an accountancy firm should have a modern design that is clean, professional-looking and uses images related to the topic. A “zany” design with unusual pictures might differentiate your website from the competition – but it may also be seen as an odd and irrelevant attempt to be unique.
Even the color scheme of the site can affect its perceived trustworthiness. Choosing a wildly inappropriate color scheme may also lead a user to believe that the business is unprofessional and unreliable. Stick with 3-4 colors that have been proven to work for other businesses in your industry.
It is important to ensure the functionality of your website works correctly. Look for broken links, browser compatibility issues, typos, and missing files. A mistake on your website can tarnish its perceived trustworthiness.
The presence of useful, original and valuable content gives your website credibility and enhances its trustworthiness. Your content should have the following attributes:
Worthy content encourages users to stay on the website and learn more about the business. As they spend time on the site, they become more familiar with it and find it more reliable.
Websites appear more trustworthy if they highlight the relationships they have with other businesses, industry organisations, media, government and customers. Users see these relationships as a proof that your website is legitimate. Some of these include:
Internet users are becoming increasingly concerned about their online privacy and security. When they visit a website, they will often check that they have a secure connection – particularly if they are considering a purchase through the website. Build trust on technical aspects in the following ways:
The Internet is still a relatively anonymous space. That is why users are hesitant to trust websites that they are visiting for the first time – they don’t “really” know who is running the website and how they can be contacted.
You can make your website more reliable by adding photos of you and your staff to remove that level of uncertainty. Give the user plenty of ways to contact your business – contact forms, phone numbers, emails, social accounts, help desks, live chats and so on.
If you can make the user feel as if they are dealing with a real person, your website’s trustworthiness will skyrocket!