Latest posts by Andrea Ferguson (see all)
- Quick Thoughts on Where to Put Your Sidebar (or, Ode to the Sidebar) - March 7, 2017
- The Return of the Beautiful Web - March 5, 2017
- Creating Solutions Beyond the Obvious: Ideation - February 1, 2017
The Internet can be a scary place. Users worry that personal information they enter can be used against them; that their behavior is being tracked; and that the information they see and read can’t be trusted. Fake news is everywhere, and hackers can misuse the Internet for personal gain or worse. So how can you help your users trust your website–and, in turn, trust you? Here are a few tips to make your website trustworthy:
Be helpful, and tell the truth
First and foremost, be sure that the information on your website is relevant, factual, and up-to-date. A single piece of untrue content–whether intentional or just not updated–can cause users to wonder if anything they read can be trusted.
Use recognized logos and badges
Logos and badges such as those from the Better Business Bureau, Verisign, and Paypal let users know that your business is recognized and attached to trustworthy resources. The little lock sign in the browser bar for SSL-protected websites shows that you’re keeping your users’ information secure. If you have recognizable clients (and have their permission), using their logos on your website can give you credibility by association.
Show your face
People work with people, not companies. Let users know that there are actual humans attached to all those names, titles, and promises. Whether you’re providing information to the public or selling something, showing the faces of the people at your organization (not stock photos) builds trust.
Having others endorse you or share stories of how you’ve helped does wonders for building trust. Apart from your own marketing messages, testimonials show that others have placed their trust in you for good reason. If potential customers can identify with others you’ve helped, it’s easier for them to envision working with you.
Keep your promises–large and small
People come to your website because they expect to get something in particular–information, products, news, etc. Be sure they can get it easily. Then be sure that elements like buttons, links, and forms behave the way users expect them to. If blue underlined text is a clickable link, make sure that style is consistent throughout your site. If a call-to-action button is in the footer on every page, don’t move it to the header or sidebar on some pages for no good reason. Website users learn visual cues quickly, so make sure they’re used the same way no matter where users land on your site.
There are many ways to build trust in your website and your organization. By following these principles–and of course backing them up with great products and stellar customer service–you’ll help customers feel safe working with you and recommending you to others.