Website Trustworthiness Psychology 101

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Published: 28 April 2016


Website Trustworthiness Psychology 101

A quick bit of keyword research for this article revealed just how important website trustworthiness is. All the following are popular Google search terms.

  • Can I trust a website 
  • Can I trust website 
  • How can I trust a website
  • How to trust a website 
  • How can you trust a website 
  • How do I trust a website
  • How to trust websites 
  • When to trust a website 
  • Trust this website 

Many People Don’t Trust Websites

Data from Semantic shows that a quarter of people don’t trust any organisation with their personal data. The least trusted businesses are insurance companies and supermarkets, both with 66%, then retailers with 64% of people claiming a lack of trust. Banks do better, only 35% of people said they didn’t trust their bank with their personal information.

Online shopping is one of the types of website that causes the most concern. 43% of people questions are worried about the general security of online stores. People are worried about their card details being stolen, identity theft, and items not being delivered.

Build in Signs of Website Trustworthiness

Security icons boost trust. 79% of people are happier making a purchase on a website if they see the SSL padlock in the address bar of their browser. By contract 80% of people would not visit a website with a security warning. SSL certificates are not too expensive these days and switching to https is usually straightforward. Google has stated that it thinks all websites should use SSL, and there is a small SEO benefit to being on a https address.

If you have any press coverage you should feature and highlight it on your website. If the press are talking about you it sends a strong signal that you are a real reputable business.  The same applies to and awards your business may have won.

If possible use images of real people from your business, try yo avoid stock photography. This isn’t always possible, but featuring yourself, your staff, and your place of business on the website will make people feel more familiar with the business, and people tend to trust whats familiar. You can stake this a step further and try using video to explain your products. This will make the site feel much more personal and really push familiar feeling.

Design is important in building website trust. Your website should look like it’s up to date and built by a professional. Use a consistent colour scheme and style, and avoid using more than 1-3 fonts. If your website has that branded feel people will assume that you’re running a professional operation.

Don’t hide behind your website. Make it easy for people to find your contact detail and give them a choice about how to contact you. Include your business address, phone number, and email address in the footer of your website. You should also consider adding you phone number to the header, and building a contact page.

Encourage your customers to leave online reviews for you. Humans are social creatures and will tend to go with the crowd. Hearing that a company supplied a good service or product by other people is a really great way to build trust. It also sends trust signals to Google which will give your website another SEO boost. You should also consider adding testimonials to your website. While not as effective as reviews on independent site it still boosts your websites trustworthiness.

If you have any notable customers such as a celebrity, large company, or popular local business, you could add a case study page. Show how your product has helped them and solved a problem for them.

Including a privacy policy will show your customers that you take the security of personal information seriously. You should also consider pages for your delivery and returns policy if appropriate.

Finally you should consider showing a trust seal, 74% of shoppers are more likely to make a purchase if your checkout has a trust seal.

Improving your websites trustworthiness isn’t hard and can lead to a big increase in conversions. Try spending 15 minutes to review your own website and look for opportunities to implement the tips above.

Website Trustworthiness Psychology 101

The infographic was created by Symantec.

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