Unless your website is polished and professional, you will scare off a significant portion of visitors who are your potential customers. You can’t just tweak aspects of your site and hope that it looks credible. Authenticity and trustworthiness require a complete package and an overall feel to the website.
There are many ways to create a web page that encourages visitors to trust you and your marketing. Credibility as a marketing term refers to how likely people are to trust your brand and persona. So many factors determine the credibility of a site. It mainly depends on who your target customers are and the way you present your product and services.
Some things that can make your website untrustworthy: Giant colored text, flashing neon arrows, videos set to autoplay and highlighted words are all indicators of internet marketing that sends people running the opposite direction.
While certain traits correlate well with a site that is trustworthy, some elements are sure to turn people off. As a good place to start, it is essential for you to learn and understand the most common six design features that destroy credibility.
Table of Contents
1. Poor Design
The saying is, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But, let’s be honest, almost everyone does. The same goes for websites: If it doesn’t look good when people first click over to it, they will not stay long. In fact, it is interesting to note that they do this pretty quickly. It only takes them about milliseconds, not seconds, for visitors to decide what they think of a business based on design.
Eventually, this will determine if they like or hate your website. Customers staying or leaving the site largely depends on this main factor. As per Dr Brent Coker, people love things that are aesthetically beautiful. This is why people trust people who look beautiful.
Similarly, people believe websites that look attractive. Stanford has made a list of factors that can make your site look professional. You may need to carefully consider factors like text, pictures, voice, and overall layout.
Things that you should for sure avoid on your website are as follows:
Hype Without supporting evidence
Neon color palette
Autoplay videos and gifs
Blinking design features
In a nutshell, if you feel that your website more or less looks like something designed in the 1980s, it might be time to change it by hiring a professional company.
2. No followers or reviews
It’s a well-known technique: when you have social proof, it can fetch great results. Social proof occurs when people see others doing something and are more likely to do the same. You might use social proof like recommendations from online personalities or reviews by verified customers.
You can damage your brand when you do one of the following things:
- Your blog hasn’t had a new post in several years.
- Your social media pages are almost never up-to-date.
- The numbers are showing how many shares are not impressive.
- Customer reviews sound made up or unspecific.
Some things that you need to do to get positive social proof:
- If you have a ton of high profile customers, you may wish to showcase them to the world to increase your credibility. An impressive list is likely to convince people to give your product a try.
- Testimonials are great because you have real people share their experience. It is good if you can include their names, occupation, and employer they are working with, etc. If you’re able to include experiences from people, others will recognize, this is marketing gold.
- Don’t forget to include customer reviews on your website, online store, and basically anywhere else you can squeeze them in. Reviews are a huge factor in online shoppers’ decision making.
- It is not wrong to indicate the number of customers that you have but make sure the number is significant.
- If you have connections with other businesses or organizations people know and love. If you work with organizations and can publicly disclose this information, it is a huge boon to your credibility.
3. Missing Photos and Contact Details
It is essential for people to know that you are a real company. If you do not include actual pictures of people and contact information, it is easy for people to be suspicious.
One way to avoid this situation is to create an ‘About Us’ and ‘Contact Us’ Page using some friendly information. Include photos of the key people in your organization. It is not a bad idea to also include the picture of the office building with a map showing precisely where you are in the city.
4. Neglecting Trustmarks
Trustmarks are electronic images indicating that your eCommerce site has been rated by a third-party as trustworthy and legitimate. These can go a long way in convincing visitors to purchase your product without fear of a scam. Don’t forget to include the following things throughout the site to increase the customer’s confidence in you:
Refund Policies/ Clear Return
If you do not have these things on your site, it can cause the customers not to trust you, especially if they have never heard your name elsewhere. Convincing the buyers about the credibility of your site is quite difficult.
For example, if you are selling clothes online, ask yourself: Do you buy from sites that offer the return-back policy or from sites that do not mention this point? The answer is quite apparent. No ones want to buy clothes that do not fit well and be stuck with them. They plan to return it if it does not work.
5. Typos or Bad Grammar
A surefire way to look unprofessional is forgetting to clean up spelling mistakes and poor grammar. This applies not only to your website but also your social media posts. Bad grammar can adversely affect the sales on a website. Since bad grammar can accumulate subconsciously, it can result in people not trusting your site. Take care to proofread your website copy several times before publishing it.
6. Dysfunctional elements
Realize the fact that dead links, non-functional forms and anything else that may look broken can take away the credibility of your site. Ignoring these things is not wise as they can cause you a lot of trouble. Take time to fix usability and technical bugs that you face.
It is essential for you to realize the fact that the credibility of the website is contingent on many factors. Some of these things are out of your control, and there are things that you can easily control, like the ones discussed above. Be honest and genuine if you want your website to succeed.