Published on October 11th, 2019
In 2019, having an online presence (including a website) for your business is no longer optional; it’s mandatory. But putting together a quick, basic website is not enough; it needs to be well made and secure in order to appear trustworthy to your audience.
But how do you achieve that? How do you ensure that the website you create, your online business card, is professional and trustworthy? Here are 7 ways to make your site look legitimate and attract readers and customers.
1. Secure Your Website
Website security isn’t optional, either. If you choose not to go through the hassle of properly securing your site, Google will not be kind to you.
Instead of displaying the lock to visitors (signaling a safe domain), it will display a red triangle of doom, indicating an unsafe page. In fact, they might not even allow visitors to access your site, at all, because of the assumed risk.
It follows logically that the best thing to do is to secure your website. And how do you do that? With an SSL certificate installation. That is verified and signed for by the Certificate Authority, so that all users can rest assured that you’ve got the appropriate checks down and you’re fully secure.
But generally speaking, your visitors will pay attention to the little symbol in the corner of the domain bar: if it’s a lock, they’re good to go. If not, they will probably stay away.
2. Feature High-Quality Content
One thing that will always tip you off that you’re on a crap website is the quality of the content. Typos, bad grammar, nonsensical sentences – those are not signifiers that you’ll get accurate information about anything.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your website only has high-quality content. That includes a few different aspects:
- Well-written text
- Original content
- Long-form content
- Correct grammar and sentence structure
- The presence of data, facts, numbers, statistics, quotes, citations, etc.
- An attractive, non-clickbait-y title
- Beautiful, high-quality, relevant images
It shouldn’t take a special kind of effort to bring your content up to snuff; if you’re serious about creating a good, trustworthy website that your audience can enjoy, you’re surely already invested in providing the best kind of content available.
3. Pick An Authoritative-Sounding Domain Name
Believe it or not, your domain name can really help you – or on the contrary, really damage your image. A random or sketchy-sounding domain name will create the impression that you may be a spam site or otherwise untrustworthy.
If at all possible, try to score a domain that’s composed on just one word. But that is very hard to come by, these days. If you’re lucky, you may be able to buy one that’s unavailable from the person who owns it.
If it’s a very sought-after name, it’s going to cost you a lot, so it may not be doable. But it’s worth the shot, either way.
If you’re stuck on a domain name, here is how you can choose a great one:
- Aim for one to two words
- Make sure it’s easy to spell, pronounce, and remember
- Pick a .com domain over others
- Make sure it’s searchable
- Base it on keywords
4. Post Reviews
One thing that lends you authority is really positive customer feedback. Just like you’d research a product and form an opinion based on reviews, people do that for businesses, too. So, if you’re looking to establish authority, make sure to feature customer reviews on your page.
Now, there’s an art to this, as well; you can’t just slap on some reviews and call it a day. First of all, they need to be real – writing up fake reviews is a pretty scummy and dishonest practice, and it’s typically a very obvious one, too.
Then, they need to mention different aspects of your business, as much as possible. You’ll want some reviews praising your products/services, others mentioning your customer service, some of them saying how they’re satisfied with your business, in general, etc.
Don’t just include the 5-star ones, either, feature some 4-star ones, too. That will give you more credibility.
5. Include Contact Information
People like to see some kind of personal or identifiable information on a website. We’re not talking about your personal phone number or your home address, but a business email address, a phone number, and a contact form. The point is for people to be able to reach you, should they want to.
Not only is that information necessary for legitimate questions, concerns, etc. that your visitors might have, it’s also a great way to lend some credibility to your site.
When you access a page and there’s no way to verify that there’s an actual team behind it, one might be a bit apprehensive.
But when there’s someone there to reply to your emails (or even better, live chat), that demonstrates a certain level of legitimacy.
6. Don’t Clutter The Page With Spammy Ads
The more ads a page contains, and the more haphazardly they are arranged, the sketchier and spammier it looks.
We’re all trying to make a buck and ads are a part of that, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
Less is more, in this case – a well-placed ad can actually be a nice way to break up the text. However, cluttering the page with advertisements gives the page a chaotic and spammy look, makes the text difficult and exhausting to read. If the ads are moving, flashing, or making sounds, the effect is even worse.
And speaking of ads, their caliber will also affect how the public perceives you. Ads for cheap, spammy sites or pornography never go down well and may even turn readers away.
7. Go With A Professional And Attractive Web Design
Perhaps most important of all, your website needs to have a professional and attractive design, and we’ll tell you why – it only takes a second for someone to form an impression based on your website.
If it’s poorly made, unattractive, and cluttered, people will be less likely to spend time there or trust it and the people behind it.
You’ll want to get a professional web designer to create your website in order to ensure that you’re getting the best product possible. You should be aiming for a few foolproof markers of a good-looking website:
- Hosted on an established platform (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal)
- Clean, streamlined design
- Lots of white space
- High contrast between text and page
- Interesting, but readable fonts
- High-quality images
Creating a website that will appear trustworthy to your customers is easier than you thought. Some of these tips will appear obvious, because it’s fairly common sense advice, such as making sure the website is secure, or having a good-looking, updated design and high-quality content.
There are other details, such as the quality of the images, the fonts you are using, or the number, layout, and type of ads you are featuring that also affect how your website is perceived. Give these 7 tips a try and see how the level of activity on your website goes up.