Anybody with an internet connection can set up a website and put anything they want on it. They don’t even have to know how to code or to even have a credit card.
That means that anyone can create a site sharing fake news. Or making claims about products that aren’t true. Or even sharing links or downloads that are full of malware.
Google does what it can to crack down on these spammy sites, but it can’t catch them all. Not all untrustworthy sites are such grievous offenders, and they can’t be more difficult to discern.
But consumers are more savvy. And if you’re website doesn’t seem trustworthy, they won’t stick around long enough to finish reading the page content, let alone to actually purchase from you.
You need to make your website more trustworthy so that you will rank well in search and so that your visitors will feel confident enough to visit again, the make purchases, and to recommend you to friends.
Here are a few tips for how to make your website more trustworthy:
Choose an Appropriate Domain Name
Your domain name is your first calling card to potential customers.
If you choose a domain name like themostawesomeguitarsever.com, people are going to think you have a spammy site that makes a lot of bold claims to make up for your lack of substance.
Branded domain names are usually best, and then you can build your reputation through brand marketing. If you do need to use keywords in your domain name, try to limit them to location and simple descriptors, such as durhamguitars.com.
Choose a domain name that sounds respectable, and people are more likely to trust it.
Switch to HTTPS
HTTPS offers a more secure connection. It tells visitors that they don’t have to worry about viruses and other malware when they are on your site.
Google also ranks sites that have HTTPS higher than those that don’t, so there is a strong incentive to make the switch.
Fortunately, you don’t have to have a lot of tech savvy to make the switch to HTTPS. We offer an easy guide for it here.
Be Choosy with Ads
Sites that are loaded down with ads will appear spammy and untrustworthy.
We’ve all seen these sites. They have ads in the header, ads all down the sidebar, ads at the footer, and popups. All those ads make it hard to see the valuable content, and they may even slow down the page speed.
Most of us immediately leave the page when we see that kind of ad setup.
But even if you haven’t gone all out with the ads, you can still be deterring people from your site by including ads that are too flashy, that automatically play video, that pop up, or that have some other annoying property.
Be choosy with your ads. In fact, get rid of the ads entirely and just focus on your own products to make your site seem as trustworthy as possible.
If you must generate ad revenue, use products to insert ads discretely and in a way that’s relevant to the individual user.
Show Contact Information
A lot of flimsy or spammy sites just have information about the product or a lot of ads, but they don’t have much information about the company or the author of the site.
And they don’t have contact information.
You can immediately establish some trust with your visitors by including an “About” and “Contact” page on your site. Your contact information should include an email at the very least, but you should also consider adding an address and a phone number. If you don’t have a corporate headquarters, you can set up a P.O. box and an online phone number for this contact.
Let other people sing your praises.
Ask your customers for testimonials, and share those on your website. Include a page or a widget for the testimonials, and make them easy to find.
Also include a link to your online reviews, as well as some snippets from them. Online reviews will be even more trustworthy than the testimonials because they come from an objective third-party resource. You aren’t putting the text on your site, so you don’t have the opportunity to edit or fabricate.
Offer a Guarantee
Give customers the ultimate confidence in your site by offering them a money-back guarantee or a warranty.
Visitors will feel more inclined to buy if they know they can get their money back if they don’t like the product or it doesn’t work the way you said it would.
Take as many of these steps as possible to make your site and your company more trustworthy for your visitors. You’ll encourage people to stay on your site, to learn more about your company, and to buy from you.