How your website looks can make a huge difference on how potential clients perceive your business. We all know the importance of first impressions, and visitors will make an instant decision on legitimacy based on the look and feel of your website.

Did you know that your visitor will judge your website within half a second upon landing on your site? This is why it’s important to get it right and build immediate trust on first impressions.

Online scams are becoming advanced and people are growing understandably wary from parting with their personal information and money. If your website looks untrustworthy, any potential customers will immediately navigate away, probably never to return again.

Your don’t have to spend thousands on good website design to show people that you’re a legitimate business. You do, however, need to make sure that important points have been considered so that your online business sends out the right message.

Write A Privacy Policy

If you are collecting sensitive data such as personal or payment information, by law you will need to include a privacy policy page on your website.

A well-written privacy policy should include and explain the following:

  • Cookie Data
  • Personal Information Policy
  • Collected Information
  • Information Usage

You must clearly explain to your visitors what you wish to do with their data, how you will store them and most importantly that your website complies with the Data Protection Act 1988.

Terms & Conditions

T&C’s, Delivery and Return Policies are ALL required as a part of the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations along with the Electronic Commerce Regulations.

You must include:

  • Name and address of your company
  • Description of your service
  • Delivery & Returns costs (if applicable)
  • Payment Arrangements
  • Right Of Cancellation
  • Period for which terms are available

Install an SSL Certificate

If you run an e-commerce store, it vitally important that you install an SSL certificate. As an online business, it is YOUR responsibility to ensure that the sensitive information you collect such as credit card and personal data is protected.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encrypts data from a web server to your visitors browser, so any private and confidential information entered on your website such as credit card numbers, personal information and passwords are protected.

Without this, your business might lose potential customers, and it will give an impression that you are careless with your customers personal information.

About Page And Detailed Contact Information

Untrustworthy websites are hesitant to reveal too much about themselves.

The lack of ‘About Page ‘ and contact information is an obvious giveaway that a website can be potentially unsafe.

It is important that your website is not missing essential details or you might be unintentionally giving out the wrong impression.

Do Not Make Your Domain Details Private

Legitimate businesses do not have a problem having their details available on the public domain. This confirms that you have nothing to hide and that your name and contact details are there just in case your customers need to get in touch.

Unfortunately, many business websites opt for their details to be hidden from public view, this will make your website look suspicious.

Update Your Website

According to researchers at Stanford University*, website visitors will often decide on a website’s trustworthiness based on visual appearance. A well-designed website can automatically gain a visitors trust.

By investing on a good website design it is more likely that your visitors will stay to find out more about you.

Provide Great Content

Blinking texts, flash and clashing colours are some of the things that can put off a potential customer. Broken links and missing images will give the impression that your site hasn’t been updated for years.

Are you still even in business? Take the time to go through your content and proofread any descriptions and articles. A website littered with grammatical errors and low-quality images will look untrustworthy and spammy!

Use Social Media

Social media plays a large part when it comes to running a business. Show off your profile by adding ‘Like or Follow ‘ buttons. People tend to trust what other people have said or reviewed.

This also shows that you actively engage with your followers, giving potential clients the peace of mind to conveniently reach out to you.

Testimonials & Reviews

According to the National Marketing Group, 88% of customers read online reviews of local businesses and many trusts user-generated content more than anything else on a website.

Publish testimonials from clients who have used your services to increase the trustworthiness of your website.

Company Number

If you own a physical store you will be required by law to be a registered business. This also applies to online businesses. Adding a company number at the footer of your website immediately lets people know that you are a verified and legal.

Resources:

Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility
National Marketing Group