When you're starting a small business in today's digital age, one of the very first things that you need to do is establish an online presence.
In most consumers' eyes, a business is not credible without a website. So, considering this, creating a website for your business should be a priority.
With so many consumers turning to the internet to research products and services these days, the first encounter that many prospective customers may have with your brand will be online via your website. However, no matter how engaging the content on your website is or how beautifully designed your layout is, people are not going to want to return to your website if they have any doubts about your trustworthiness.
While building trust online is certainly not as easy as it is when doing so in person, we wanted to share 5 basic elements of a trustworthy website:
1. Include authentic images.
The internet is filled with websites that use generic stock photos, and there is not necessarily anything wrong with this. However, considering that your website is often the first interaction that people have with your business, they want to see that there is a real person behind your company. This is why it's beneficial to also use real images of your team on your website.
You can even take this one step further by sharing including real images of customers on a testimonial page.
2. Make your content helpful.
Your audience will quickly become turned off by content that seems to give a constant sales pitch. This is why you should always create content with the intent of being helpful and adding value to your readers.
When you're able to address their pain points and share how real customers have benefited from your offer to solve their issues, you'll do wonders in gaining trust.
3. Offer social proof via media logos.
We've all felt some comfort at one point or another when visiting a new website and seeing the "as seen on" publisher logos. If your business has received any press at all, be sure to promote it on your website. This third-party validation can put your visitors at ease and help to build trust.
4. Offer social proof via partner logos.
Do you have an upcoming event where your business is partnering with more well-known brands? If so, you can promote this upcoming event on your website and include these partner logos to offer social proof that you are a credible, trustworthy brand.
5. Make it clear what happens when visitors click on links on your website.
Often, website visitors are skeptical to click on links for fear of the unknown. This is why you want to make it abundantly clear of what will happen when when a person clicks on a CTA button or on your website's various tabs.
Offering quick disclaimers or labels below CTA buttons can be an effective way to communicate this message. Being transparent of what will happen and having links that take people to where you said they would go helps people to trust what you say.
If you take into account these 5 important principles when building a website, you'll have a leg up with a website and brand that your audience considers to be trustworthy.