How do I get People to Trust my Website?

Now that’s one of those multi-million dollar questions isn’t it? If only everyone who stumbled onto your website was a) looking for what you offer and b) trusted your website enough to buy from you.

On average, a new visitor to your website will decide within 15 seconds whether they will stay or leave. Since there will generally be lots of other websites just clicks away offering similar goods or services to you, you have just 15 seconds to:

  1. Catch their attention
  2. Let them know you have what they’re looking for
  3. Make your products or services seem appealing
  4. Install a level of trust in your website into them

If you don’t succeed that elusive clicker will click away from your website and give their business to someone else. It is also possible that the visitor will associate a bad user experience with your website, and will leave immediately if they stumbled upon you again.

Here are 15 reasons that customers may not trust your website:

1) There’s no contact details

This is really important. How can someone trust to buy something from you, if there is no way of contacting you except perhaps an elusive contact form? Make sure you have some real contact information for your business listed, if not a phone number then an email, a mailing address, the registered business name.

2) There’s no information about the business

Why should someone trust you, if you can’t tell them anything about you? Even if you don’t think you have much to write about, make sure you have an About page. It doesn’t have to be much, maybe you could tell them what year your business started, what your business motto and visions are, and introduce some of your key staff. Use real images of real people.

about us

3) It’s too busy

Does your website have flashing images, lots of ads, graphics and flashy text? Website browsers are looking for information fast, they want to immediately see what they’re looking for, and proceed from there. For example, if you typed “mens shoes for sale” into a Google search engine, and clicked on a result that said something like “Men’s Shoes | Buy Online”, then you would probably expect to find yourself on a page with a range of men’s shoes for sale that you could purchase. If you found yourself on a website with so much going on that you couldn’t immediately see where the men’s shoes were, or how to go about buying them, you’d probably leave straight away.

4) It looks too old

Perhaps your website was the hippest thing out when it was created, but if its older than 5 years you probably need to have a spruce up. Websites that are old fashioned, poorly designed and just plain ugly are not going to do you any favours in converting visitors into customers.

Kiwi Hygiene website before
Kiwi Hygiene Supplies new website

5) It’s hard to navigate

People have come to expect websites to have a traditional look and feel in the way they navigate them. They expect to find your logo or business name in the top of the screen somewhere, generally the left hand side. They expect to find a menu for navigating the important sections of your website somewhere under the logo, often straight across the page, or down the left hand side. Then they expect to find the actual page content somewhere under that. Maybe your website is funky and fun, but be sure its not inhibiting your visitors’ use of it.

6) It’s hard to read

White text on black background might look classy and work well in print media, but it’s generally not a great idea for the Web. The contrast makes it very hard for users to read and focus on.

A big no-no for your copy is using all capital letters. IT BECOMES VERY HARD TO READ WHEN YOU TYPE IN CAPITALS, AND PEOPLE FEEL LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING AT THEM. It can work nicely on page titles and headings, but keep your main copy nicely capitalised. On the other side of that, don’t write all in lowercase either, and don’t abbreviate your words in “text” speech.

Another thing to watch for is your font type. It’s important that it’s easy to read, so don’t get too carried away with your font design.

7) It looks spammy

Avoid too many exclamation points in your copy. That means both all together in a sentence like this!!!!!! Or in a lot of sentences throughout the page!!

Also avoid using spammy statements like “Click here to get rich quick!!!”or big bright red text that says things like “You are our lucky winner!!!! Click here to find out what you’ve won!!!”

8) It’s not relevant

If you did a search for “golf clubs for sale” and clicked on a result, you wouldn’t want to land on a page that sold ladies hand bags, or children’s shoes. Make sure the content on your website is relevant and properly optimised. Don’t put content in your meta tag or page title that isn’t relevant to what a visitor will find on that web page.

9) It contains poor grammar and typos

Spelling mistakes, poor grammar, badly written copy…they’re all really important mistakes you need to avoid. Poorly written copy sounds unprofessional and creates distrust in visitors. There are lots of online resources for checking spelling and grammar, or you can write your copy in a program such as Microsoft Word and do a spell check before copying it over.

10) There are no social media links

It might seem like only something that only the youth of today engage in, but social media is actually really important and a key marketing tool for your business. Having active, regularly updated social media accounts helps to reassure visitors that your business is a real entity, with real people and products.

social links

11) There are no reviews or feedback

Legitimate reviews and guest feedback are crucial for helping to instill trust into potential buyers. If someone else bought this same item, or stayed at your establishment and had a great outcome from it, then they will feel much more comfortable forking over their credit card. It can be hard gathering them to start with, but if you offer a great product or service, you will find people who will be more than happy to write a few simple positive words for you.

12) It’s not mobile or tablet friendly

Nowadays, a huge percentage of online browsers are using their smart phone or tablet to do so. Is your website mobile friendly? If not, it will be very hard for visitors to read, navigate or use your website and you will likely loose their business. Check it out, see how your website works in your smart phone or tablet.


13) It takes too long to load

It can be a challenge to get websites to load fast when we design for large, high resolution monitors with rich visual heavy content, but it is important that your website loading speed is not compromised. If your website takes too long to load, your visitors will leave.

14) It has popups and error messages

There’s not much more annoying than popups and error messages when you’re trying to navigate a website. Popups are spammy, error messages show poor development and design, and altogether a disagreeable experience.


15) Your website says its insecure

Messages like this make people cringe and put their credit cards away. Make sure you’ve tested your ecommerce website and security certificates thoroughly.

Creating trust in your visitors is essential to converting visitors into customers. If visitors see fresh, engaging content, combined with a solid, contactable business entity, then they will be much more likely to stick around and potentially buy products from your website. Don’t forget though that once you have that converted sale, and have those juicy dollars in your bank account, it is still really important to provide a good user experience for your customer. Its important that they both like your product, and like your website. With today’s social media and online websites providing feedback and reviews on anything and everything, people will readily go online and rave about a good experience, or rant about a poor experience. You don’t want to end up with only poor reviews online.

Jonny Nicholls - website design services Christchurch

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4 Responses

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