It takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not, whether they’ll stay or leave.
Statistics like this reinforce the importance of your website, and how essential it is to make a good first impression.
With so much online competition these days, and consumers becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to being ‘sold to’, making sure your website showcases its credibility should be your top priority.
Here’s a couple of ways you can build trust and capture your audience within those crucial first few seconds and beyond.
The above statistic is most closely linked to the site’s overall look and feel, with people having a tendency to judge a company from the website’s design alone. Outdated, unprofessional, difficult to use… all trust barriers from a design perspective and if a user instantly gets a ‘dodgy’ vibe from your online presence, they will go elsewhere.
Web design and user experience are so important these days, and something worth investing in from the get go.
Images can be more powerful than words when it comes to trust signals. Instantly recognisable stamps of approval that give users that extra bit of comfort when they land on a website.
For example if your business has achieved great things, you’re likely to have some awards to prove it. Adding award logos can really offer visitors some assurance that you’re a trustworthy company to buy from or deal with, especially if you’re not particularly established.
Certified logos have a similar effect. They can come in many forms, but the most powerful tend to be any confirmation that your website is secure, and specifically for ecommerce sites, that you use a reputable payment gateway.
Accreditation logos also add weight to your web presence – if your company is a member of a professional body for example, let people know and shout about it.
Finally, logos of clients you’ve previously worked with, or press publications you’ve been featured in are another way of giving visitors an idea of your footprint
Testimonials & Case Studies
It’s human nature to seek out the experiences of others before making a decision, so if this is the first thing your visitors see when they land on your site, you’re off to a good start.
Including some impressive statistics, work examples or customer testimonials above the fold on your homepage will make a huge impact, and keep your visitors engaged.
It’s also common to include a dedicated case studies section on your website that allow visitors to see how your product or service has delivered value to customers in real life scenarios. It’s all very well plastering value propositions across your website, but if there’s nothing to back them up it can add a serious trust barrier.
It’s no surprise that businesses with better overall average ratings are significantly more likely to convert their visitors. It’s one of the first things people look for before deciding whether to use your services or buy your products, as again we typically tend to trust the experiences of others over an empty claim made by a business we’re not that familiar with.
Don’t make your visitors search for reviews – make them as prominent as possible. And it probably goes without saying that if your reviews aren’t great, it could do more harm than good so work to build the quality of your service as a priority.
Depending on your customer demographic, the size of your social following and the quality of your feeds can really add some credibility and prove that you’re the real deal. Allow easy access to your social channels and this will then lead to a whole new platform for them to explore and see how others are interacting with your brand.
User Generated Content
This leads us on nicely to user generated content… these days customers love to share their experiences via their social channels; instagram in particular is a popular place for people to share pictures or videos of products they’ve purchased, meals they’ve eaten, places they’ve visited etc.
This kind of authentic content (the non sponsored type) is an extremely strong trust element that can easily be included on your website. It’s a win win situation – your business gets free publicity / content, and your audience feels appreciated and part of the brand.