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What Makes a Website Credible – 13 Tips You Must Take to Increase Trust

updated on Oct 27, 2015
What Makes a Website Credible – 13 Tips You Must Take to Increase Trust In today's online world, there are lots of scams and useless information. No matter you are running a blog, an online store or a business site, you must convince the visitors that your website is credible before you can gain large traffic and sales. Then the question for most beginners is: what makes a website credible?

When a visitor visits your site for the first time, he/she would naturally look for some trust signals before digging into the content or product information. This post shows you how to offer your visitors with the trust signals they need. All the tips are also quite important for building brand awareness.

1. Maintain a Professional Design

According to surveys, more than 70% people regard the website design as the most important factor for judging the credibility of a website. If your homepage is full of ads or the content is disordered, most visitors will leave in seconds and never come back.

Having a professional design does not mean you have to use many fancy elements to impress visitors. But at least you should make sure your design has met the following requirements.
  • Easy to navigate. A clear navigation system gives visitors a better experience and helps them explore your site easily. On the contrary, mixed-up navigation can make the site look suspicious.
  • Show your seriousness toward your business. Pick every piece of content and image carefully to arouse a feeling for visitors that you are taking everything seriously without any trick. The consistency of elements should also be guaranteed.
  • Responsive. Modern websites are all responsive and can be displayed properly on different devices, so making your site mobile-friendly is a necessary task.
If you have enough budget, we'd suggest you to buy a premium theme instead of using a free one. Free themes usually include many hidden links which can affect visitors' faith in you.

Maintain a Professional Design

2. Use a Custom Domain

All serious brands have their unique domains. Imaging that there are two websites as following, which would you trust more?
Undoubtedly, the answer of most people is the former one because it looks professional. Therefore, you should be generous to invest around $10 per year in a custom domain to get some more trust.

When purchasing a domain, you can consider your brand name at the first place to build brand awareness. Also, you'd better use the widely adopted TLDs (top level domains) like .com and .net instead of the more exotic ones like .ninja and .site unless there are special requirements. If you need more help on this, read our tutorial about choosing a good domain name.

3. Be Careful for the About Page

When people visit a site for the first time, it is probable that they will look for the "About Us" page, desiring to find out more information about you and your business. The information on the page can have a big influence on their impression and willingness of exploring your site.

To make the page informational and trustable, you can tell your story, explain who you are, and share your goals with honest. Do not try to gain trust with pleasant but empty words. Also, show your sense of humor if possible.

4. Offer Contact Details

The contact-us page on your site is also something important that needs to be dealt with carefully. If you run an online business, you'd better include a physical address. Most people do not verify the address, but they will trust you more with such a piece of information.

Also, you should at least offer an email address to tell visitors that they can reach you at any time. This address should be "" instead of "" or "". You can easily create a branded email account if you use a custom domain.

Offer Contact Details

5. Showcase Your Team Members and Portfolio

If your business is backed by a team, you can show the bio of your team members on the site. Those who are not familiar with your brand will love this because the bio can indicate your professionalism, especially when a member has made big achievements in the industry. But remember, use the real photos of the team members.

Showcasing portfolio is also important if you are selling services. Let the potential customers know your talent and experience, so there will be more motivation for them to make a purchase. If it is possible, you can even offer a demo to give them a chance to have a try for free.

6. Make Use of Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Invite your customers to write reviews and testimonials for your products and then show them on your website (homepage or sidebar). People usually want to know how others judge your products or services, so you should offer them the information they want.

To guarantee the effectiveness of the reviews and testimonials, you should make sure the sources are trustable by offering the photo and name of each writer. Video testimonials are also good.

7. Gain Backlinks from Other Sites

This is about inviting others to try your products and write reviews on their own websites. The more referrals you get from others, the more your products seem reliable. Results are even better if you are linked by some authoritative and well-known sites. Quality backlinks contribute much to credibility.

8. Avoid Any Type of Errors

Your website must be well maintained. There should be no broken links, spell errors, grammatical errors or any other kind of errors. These issues can negatively affect the credibility and visitors' desire of purchasing.

Also, you have to make sure that page loads are fast, so that people will not get a broken page or broken images. As the speed of your website is largely decided by the performance of the server it is on, we would suggest the following web hosts for hosting small or medium sized websites.

9. Update Your Website Regularly

Your readers and potential customers would like to know that you are always there maintaining and improving the site. So you'd better update your site on a regular basis. This is especially important for blogs for which content is the king. You must offer fresh and original content constantly.

When you add some valuable information or write a good blog post, you can send a newsletter to subscribers to inform them of the new content. This not only increases the traffic, but also shows your care.

10. Offer Some Trust Symbols

If you have ever received any award or certificate, showcase it on your site bravely. Also, for big clients that have trusted your business, you can list them in a prominent place. These are all trust symbols.

However, for business sites, there are more important things you should have on your site, including:
  • An SSL certificate which encrypts customers' data like credit card information. An SSL secured website features HTTPS and a lock icon in the address bar.
  • Security seals that can be easily recognized, such as McAfee and Norton.
  • A refund guarantee (for sites selling services). This gives consumers a feeling of risk-free.

11. Improve the Product Information and Pricing Strategy

In the case that you sell products on your site, you should provide as much product information as you can to let consumers know what they can get and what they cannot. Your honesty will leave them a good impression, and the detailed product description also shows your professionalism and care about the business.

In terms of pricing, do not try to offer unbelievably low prices. You can price your products a little bit lower than your competitors, but if there is nearly a half down, you will look like a scammer because the offers are too great to be true.

Improve Pricing Strategy

12. Respond to Inquiries Actively

Since you have added an email address on the contact page, you may receive a large number of inquiries. Do not ignore the email messages because they include many business opportunities. If you can offer quick and helpful responses, some inquirers will give your more trust and purchase your services. Staying connected with potential and existing customers is always a good thing.

13. Be Engaged in Social Media

Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and G+ are good platforms for reaching out to a larger audience and establishing your reputation. However, your task is not just about opening an account on the platforms and adding new information regularly. All of the following things should be done.
  • Create a professional profile with brand awareness.
  • Work out a content plan and find the proper frequency of updates.
  • Interact with others with patience and professional knowledge.
  • Share the praises received from your users and express sincere thanks to them.
These activities can certainly establish the credibility of your business as long as you take them seriously and are willing to invest enough time. To improve the efficiency, you can follow this social media marketing guide to make an effective plan.