Your brand is your reputation. For better or worse, it’s how your customers perceive and judge your company. Your brand is not just your logo, tagline, and advertising, but also the look and function of your social media pages and website. A web design that mirrors your product and your company’s personality, whether it’s casual, elegant or quirky, will build trust and is more likely to generate sales and/or conversions.
Five Tips for Web Design That Builds Trust
1. Make a great first impression.
It takes about 50 milliseconds for visitors to form an opinion about your website. Your site might contain all the information your customers are looking for, but 94% of first impressions are based on design. Your virtual storefront should be as attractive and be inviting as your physical storefront. In the same way, people might drive on by if a brick-and-mortar store is not attractive, web surfers are likely to exit your site immediately if the design isn’t eye-catching. Obviously, more site visitors staying to read your great content will equate to more conversion and more sales.
2. Keep it simple and user-friendly.
People are coming to your website to get information or find a product. Make sure they can get where they’re going with a few clicks as possible. If your website is illogical and hard to navigate, customers will assume you and your business are as well. Additionally, a 2011 study by the University of Melbourne found that a company with a well-designed site is thought to be more trustworthy. What might seem perfectly logical to you might not be intuitive to users. Be sure to test your site’s usability on people who use your product or service.
3. Write for people, not search engines.
SEO is important, but search engines aren’t paying for your products and services, customers are. Make sure the content on your site is interesting and useful to actual human beings (unless your customers are robots or zombies). Your content language should be consistent and concise. It should also sound like you. If users are confused or bored by your content, the conclusion will be that your brand is boring and confusing. Google and its competitors no longer companies that write stilted and hard-to-read prose in hopes of the search engines recognizing certain keywords. Every word on your site should be fresh and useful. Doing this will signal to visitors that you value their time and their business.
4. Make it snappy.
Websites that are one second faster get up to a 27% higher conversion rate. Just like a customer will walk out of a store if they aren’t being waited on, they will find another website if yours isn’t loading fast enough for them. Everyone loves pretty graphics and pictures, but make sure they serve a purpose. One of the elements most often cited for why users mistrust a website is site speed. To ensure all users are having the optimum UX, test your site’s speed on all operating systems and browser, particularly mobile browsers.
5. Use calls-to-action wisely.
Just like with in-person sales interactions, how and when you ask for the sale online will affect your credibility. Your site should lead users through a process of providing enough information to let visitors feel comfortable with their transition to a customer. When it’s time, provide clear, direct links to the purchase page. If users feel rushed, it may cause them to mistrust your brand. But when they’re ready to buy, a difficult or confusing process can chase them away empty-handed.
Look at your website as an extension of your business’s philosophy and personality. Use great design elements, engaging content and logical navigation to build rapport and trust with current and potential customers.