Here are 13 tried and tested tips that work, on how to gain a site visitor trust.
#1 – Check And Rectify All Broken Links On The Site
There is nothing like encountering a couple of 404 Page Not Found errors to mark your website as one whose site owner does not really care.
Its Broken links that give rise to a 404 Page Not Found error and these are really easy to fix.
I recommend Xenu as shown in diagram 1. This is a free to download and use tool. Xenu check every single link on your entire website. No link is overlooked. Xenu delivers explicit details all the URLs on your site that are broken.
It’s awesomely accurate and has never thrown me a curved ball over the multiple years I’ve used it.
#2 – Use A Fair Amount Of Blue On Your Webpages
Colour psychology indicates that the colour blue creates the sensation of trust and security. So do consider using a blue colour scheme for your website and its web pages. Hey! notice that Facebook uses this subtle technique.
#3 – Always Display An Image Of Yourself On Your Website
A photograph establishes a whole lot of trust. Perhaps on the About Me (or About Us) web page display a well shot, photograph of yourself perhaps in a family type setting. It’s amazing how much trust (and instant engagement) this kind picture can deliver.
Never fight shy of displaying some personal details about yourself whenever appropriate, Neil Patel does using a caricature. This helps in keeping your image alive in the site visitor’s mind. Believing that real people are behind a website makes it much easier to trust the site.
#4 – Do Not Autoplay Audio/Video On A Webpage
Very many people get a little startled when a video (or podcast) starts to auto play. Especially if like me they open multiple tabs and multiple sites (or webpages) in Browser, then they begin to read some page content and suddenly there is a loud blare of a video starting up.
They have to frantically hop across various Browser tabs to locate the offending one, breaking their current line of thought. Often in annoyance they will just shut the tab to return to what has caught their attention. You’ve just lost an opportunity to engage.
I think it’s disrespectful to me as a site visitor. It’s the quickest way to lose my trust.
#5 – Get A Professional Logo Designed
Sure a great logo design does not come cheap. That said, it’s the single biggest investment you can make in the trustworthiness of your online brand.
Your logo will go everywhere you go, from your header to your business card. Create a logo that shouts out high quality (i.e. a high level of professionalism) and site visitors will view your online business in high esteem.
#6 – Allow Site Visitor Engagement Via Comments
Most site visitors are not disrespectful online (their disrespectfulness is automatically visible to a huge audience). Do not hesitate to allow comments on your Blog posts or wherever you want to engage with your site visitors.
Comments, often indicate that you are confident of what you are delivering the world via the Internet. It shows that you are confident enough to handle both negative and positive comments with equal aplomb. To me, that equates to trustworthiness.
#7 – Keep Your Website Copyright Year Up-to-Date
Very many people do not seem to pay much attention to this small detail. It’s normally right at the bottom of a webpage, it’s always in a small font, and often the who reads the copyright year anyway takes front and center in our thoughts.
Many site visitors do. If your website shows a copyright year of let’s say 2010 many site visitors will hesitate to link back to your content assuming that it could be terribly out of date. Ensuring that your copyright year is up-to-date is so very easy these days. If your site template does not automatically do this, then discard that template and install and configure a better one.
My take on this is either update all your site pages every year on the 1st January or ensure that this is automatically done by the site template. I’m strongly recommending the latter approach.
#8 – Implement Testimonials
Testimonials are definitely key to building trust online. This is especially true if you’re selling a product or service.
When a satisfied customer or reader, voluntarily gives writes a testimonial to you, it’s really time to say a sincere Thank You and display the testimonial prominently on the site.
Do not hesitate even a little bit to ask for testimonials. Then feature these prominently on your sales page. You may be surprised at how much trust testimonials build.
#9 – Don’t Make Promises You Cannot Keep
If you’ve promised a free eBook, have this available and ready for download before you make the offer. If you’ve promised a 1 hour Skype consultancy ensure that you execute this, irrespective of if you sense that business will not happen. If you promise a Blog post every Monday you’d better have that Blog posted every Monday.
Broken promises, even if they are for excellent reasons (like illness) destroy trust.
Believe me trust is very fragile. Difficult to build and oh! so easy to tear down.
#10 – Don’t Fake It Until You Make It
You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do. – Henry Ford
Fake it until you make it, is sometimes seems sensible advice.
Today most site visitors are a matured lot. There are far too many Blog authors who claim to be Gurus in SEO, SEM, SMM, web design and more. Their Blog post content clearly indicates (often shouts out) otherwise.
If you are indeed a novice, state this clearly and ask your site visitor to accompany you on your journey to becoming an expert in the field. You may be amazed at how much trust and genuine site visitor engagement, this approach can bring you when compared to claiming to be something you are not.
#11 – Never Be Afraid To Admit It When You’re Wrong
Everyone makes mistakes. That is what makes us human. Even though I do a ton of research and a lot of proofreading, I still publish content with spelling mistakes and Grammar that’s a tad off.
When you make a mistake online it’s futile to try and cover it up. Own up the mistake. Fix it immediately. Publically acknowledge the individual who pointed out your error first. Always acknowledge how this helped move your content towards the quality you strive for.
This will get you a ton of support from you site visitors and build you up as completely trustworthy.
12 – Certify Your Website As One That Cares Deeply About Security
There are multiple organizations and services who verify that website is as secure as it can be. If your website passes their stringent tests, you can proudly display their badges on your site and boost your trust with visitors.
Use https instead of http by buying an SSL Security certificate from providers and using this certificate on your website.
Here are just three URLs where you can get your SSL certificate from.
Regularly scan your website using Sucuri. Subscribe to Sitelock. This is what really increases site visitor’s trust in your website, which always translates into trusting you.
#13 – Keep Website Ads To A Minimum
There’s nothing wrong with having ads on your website. Many of the world’s most trusted websites do. Ad revenue does help in the monetization of your website.
That said, having Ads jump out at your site visitors and every possible juncture is a sure fire way of upsetting/irritating them. This is just the beginning of their distrust if your website. Keep Ads to a minimum, keep Ads that are closely related to web page content and you should be good to go.