The easiest way to establish digital credibility is through modern website design
Commitment to modern website design is important because our goal is to build trust with our visitors and prospective customers immediately. Mobile responsiveness and a modern look affect whether a visitor takes the next step to contact our organization, make a purchase or move on to the next website. (Tip: if bounce rate is high, then we have a problem.)
Website modernization is a must today, and visual credibility matters – just like the way we dress and smile, our landing page matters for a first impression.
According to a Stanford study on web credibility, credibility is “perceived trustworthiness + perceived expertise”.
So why is establishing credibility through website design so important?
- Our websites are frequently the first stop for a prospective customer.
- Visitors simply want to know, “can I trust this business?” In other words, is this company up to date? This question is at the forefront of the minds of prospects when they arrive at our website via search engines, directories, or social media.
- The credibility of our site has a direct impact on our bottom line and our ability to generate leads and sales.
It is up to us to take the necessary steps to ensure that we are creating a website design that makes users comfortable enough to consider doing business with us. We should be committed to building a site that shows our business is trustworthy.
There are Four Types of Credibility
- Presumed credibility – a belief based on general assumption, e.g., we see a .org website and believe it is a non-profit or charity. We count it as trustworthy. What would we think if we were sending messages to an AOL email address? The company comes across as less credible.
- Reputed credibility – a belief based on someone we view as authoritative or credible, e.g., Gary Vee’s recommendation of a product. Or someone tells us of a bad experience with a company, and we are less likely to view that company as credible.
- Surface credibility –a belief based on our first impression, e.g., a website design that looks professional is credible, but a website that looks confusing comes across as less reliable.
- Earned credibility – a belief based on experience with the site, e.g., a website that is easy to use increases credibility. A website with broken links is less credible.
Let us run a digital and website design review of your site. It’s free. Just fill out the contact form on your site, and we will connect.
In the meantime, let’s start with some simple fixes and easy suggestions:
List a physical street address on our website
A physical street address on our website helps establish our trustworthiness, not just for our website visitors, but to search engines as well. A physical address tells visitors that we are a real, established business, giving them peace of mind when doing business with us. The ideal place to list our physical address is either in our website’s footer at the bottom of the site, or on a dedicated contact page.
Make our phone number highly visible (above the fold)
A prominent phone number on our website not only tells our visitors that they can reach us, but it also shows them that we want to connect. Modern and mobile design allows for visitors to tap the number and make the call. No writing or memorization. Place the phone number at the top of our website. Period. The key is to make contacting us always easy for our website visitors, prospects and customers.
Use third-party-verified trust seals
Trust seals are especially necessary for websites that collect sensitive information such as credit card information. A trust seal tells visitors that our website is legitimate and a third party has verified it. Hacking of data is becoming an increasingly severe problem for businesses of all sizes. Trust seals make it easier for customers to hand over sensitive information knowing that we are taking extra steps to secure our website.
Ensure our website is visually appealing – THIS IS HUGE
A study by the University of Melbourne shows that “prettier websites gain trust.” This is further backed by a study by One Poll that found that “70 percent of people claim they would not buy from a company with a badly designed site.”
This statistic is real; we can just look at our google analytics bounce rate to prove it.
Testimonials and reviews are a critical factor in the prospect’s buying decision. A study by BrightLocal found that 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. “72% say that positive reviews make them trust a business more.” Ask current customers to provide feedback and testimonials. Testimonials and reviews make great sales messages. An active testimonial shares a relatable or similar experience a prospect may be having and how we fixed it. Our testimonials will be more effective if we include a photo of the customer, or include their testimonial in a video. (The video is king, but that is for another post.)
Highlight professional affiliations and memberships
Do we belong to any professional organizations recognizable in our industry? If so, highlight our professional affiliations and memberships by displaying their logos on our website and linking to their site. By aligning our company with other well-respected brands, we can boost our reputation, credibility and trust.
Put a human face on our business
Pictures of our team members on our business website help prospective customers get a better idea of who is behind the company and adds a personal touch. However, don’t overdo it. Beer drinking ping pong is so 2009. Keep the photos professional and sprinkle in a little fun.
Consider publishing a guarantee
Guarantees make it very easy to persuade prospective customers to do business with us. It sets us apart from our competitors and lowers the risk for the prospect. Offer our customers a guarantee such as a refund, or a lifetime warranty on satisfaction of product or service.
Show social proof
Do we have social media accounts with sizable followings? Create instant credibility by publishing social media feeds on our website that show the number of followers we have.
Have we been featured in notable news or industry publications? Contributed to any? Brag about all media coverage of any prominence. Create a press page or highlight the press logos on our website to boost our credibility. Press mentions demonstrate expertise.
Keep our website content updated
Have we been to a website where the information is outdated? Expired promotions or event dates still appear on the site? Or yesterday’s content still exists? This does not reflect well. Ensure that we are doing everything we can to keep our website content fresh and updated. Make it suitable for our visitors and search engines.
Keep good company
Websites that we link to from our site can affect our website’s credibility. Ensure that we are keeping good company by paying attention to the places we link.
Improve our website load time
Websites that take a long time to load give the wrong first impression. According to the NY Times impatient web users flee slow loading websites. A study by Kissmetrics found that “47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and every second we shave off of load time will tend to boost customer confidence and trust in our site.”
In conclusion, Fogg says, “to improve the credibility of our website, find what elements our target audience interprets most favorably and make those elements most prominent.”
We hope you use this valuable checklist to maximize your website design’s credibility.
Planning an update or website redesign? All of our packages include branding strategy.
Call us at 480-886-8066, or email at Concept@2completion.com.
2018 – Protect Your Brand, Project Your Brand