How Trustworthy is Your Company’s Website?
So imagine that you're in the market for a new watch.
You just got a promotion, you're feeling like now is a better time than ever to treat yourself, and you've got one word on your mind: Rolex.
Would you rather do business with a credible salesperson at a Rolex retailer, or make the transaction with some character on the street corner wearing a trench coat lined with watches?
Sure the guy on the corner might pitch you a great deal, but what about the quality? Are those watches even real?
If your business is looking to increase sales, generate a greater profit, or gain customer loyalty, you absolutely must strive to convey trust.
If your website is working against your cause, or you're on the fence, you're in the right place. Trust me.
4 Ways to Improve Your Site's Credibility:
Make it Look Good
Whether you like it or not, our society is all about appearance. However, when it comes to a company's website, can you blame them?
I mean, would you ever make a purchase from a website that looked like this:
With all of the online competition going on, shady sites are becoming an oversight. To ensure that your website isn't being passed by, make sure that it at least contains these four elements:
If your graphics look like something pulled straight out of the 1999 version of clipart, you're only hurting yourself. Graphics should be in place to help you emphasize your message and add a level of interest, not just to simply fill space.
Clean, professional graphics will help you attract the reader and encourage them to move through the rest of the content without distracting them.
Easy to Read Content
Readability is huge.
If your site is bogged down by content-heavy blocks of text there's a good chance that people won't even bother to read it. Do your best to break up your text and try to say what you need to say in as few words as possible. Get to the point. Hiding the value behind a ton of fluff and industry jargon won't make you sound smart but it will confuse your visitors.
Aside from formatting, be sure that you are employing an appropriate font style and size. Keep in mind that a curly, cursive font that is 10 sizes too small is much less effective than a 12 pt font with clean lines.
Consistent and Purposeful Color Scheme
Selecting a workable color scheme for your website isn't something you toss together with no rhyme or reason. In fact, your website's color scheme is much more than just blue, red, purple, or green. The colors you select actually contribute to your businesses identity and branding, so be sure to select something that makes sense for you.
Be sure that the connotation of a color is taken into consideration. For example, unless you're dealing with Elle Woods, it's likely that you'll never see a law firm employ the color pink for their website. It simply doesn't align with their identity.
A functional navigation bar should appear on almost every page of your website to help organize your content and make it easily accessable.
Essentially a navigation bar will make it easy for visitors to make there way around your site pages without having to constantly click the back button. It contributes to the overall user experience, and helps to ensure that your visitors follow through with the actions you want them to.
Use a Video to Humanize
Video content is perhaps the best way to put a human face on your brand. After all, humans want to do business with other humans, so what better way to capture their attention and begin to build trust.
Videos provide marketers with a channel to tell a story, and connect with their visitors in a way that written words simply could not hold a candle to. By telling a story via video you are inviting your visitors to explore a layer of your business that they would not have access to by simply clicking around your page. It creates a feeling of comfort, familiarity, and helps to build a relationship.
Videos can be used to demonstrate the way a particular product or service works. This approach plays into the "I'll believe it when I see it" mentality that plagues consumers on a regular basis. Having the ability to show your customers exactly how something works is much more powerful than a written tutorial.
Additionally, videos can be used to compliment your company culture. Give a tour of your office, interview a team member, or highlight an event you're hosting. Any of these prompts will help you to lower the barrier between you and your potential and existing customers.
Steer Clear of Stock Photography
Nothing says "run for the hills" like a generic "Smiling CEO in Business Suit" or a "Happy Customer Service Representative With Headset", right? When it comes to your website or anywhere for that matter, stock photography is an instant buzz kill.
Stock photography doesn't tell a story, in fact, it doesn't say much at all. It looks cheap, it looks mindless, and it does very little to support the overall value you are trying to convey.
When visitors visit your site you want them to think you take pride in your work, you strive to be better, and you're a more suitable fit for them compared to your competitors. Unfortunately, the implementation of stock photography has the ability to give visitors the impression that you're willing to settle, take the easy route, and blend in.
Your website's ability to perform the way you expect it to lies in the details you employ. If you want to be portrayed as unique, trustworthy, and relevant, generic visuals won't help your case.
If you're looking for alternative sources for royalty-free images, check out these sites:
Highlight Social Proof
In the words of P.T. Barnum, co-founder of one of the most well-known circuses of all time, "nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”
When it comes to your website, the harsh reality is that consumers have been pitched to, over promised, and under delivered far too many times to believe a word you're saying without some sort of proof. If you think about it, a case study, testimonial, or review, works in the same respect as a crowd would. They create a spectacle out of your product or service, draw in new eyes, and provide the reassurance that we has humans need to justify our decision to engage or participate.
In fact, a study from Google revealed that 70% of Americans now say they look at product reviews before making a purchase. (Source: Google, Zero Moment of Truth)
If your website is lacking this critical element, it's not that hard to obtain. If you're confident in your product or service, feel free to reach out to your existing customers for statements and feedback. Positive reviews can then be published to your website's homepage, a case studies page, a landing page, and so on.
Monitor social media for positive tweets and comments that can be used to advance your business' credibility, or include a review box on one of your site pages to encourage visitors to submit their input.
Social proof comes in all shapes in sizes, while case studies are powerful, even the tiny numbers on the social share buttons you include on your blog can be enough to sway your visitors decision to bounce or stay.
About Carly Stec
Carly Stec is a Senior Content Strategist and former Marketing Blog Editor at HubSpot. Prior to HubSpot, she got her start here, at IMPACT, as the Content Marketing Manager from September 2013 - March 2015. Carly has a strong affinity for New Haven pizza (#TeamModern) and anything Kate Spade. She currently lives in Boston with her fiddle-leaf fig, Boyd Tinsley.