Author Topic: Creating instant "Trust" with your website  (Read 1197 times)

swick

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Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« on: May 19, 2017, 09:59:40 AM »
Hi, everyone!

I'm working with a client and we have been talking about designing a website that promotes an instant feeling of "trust"

I think this would be a great topic to noodle around because so many of us have online businesses.

Basically, you have about three seconds to capture interest/trust before someone clicks away, so that "instant impression" your website gives can make or break your business.

So, what elements do you find inspire trust in a website you are looking at?

What elements promote trust on an intellectual level?

What elements promote trust at a feeling or emotional level?

What do you personally look for when you are considering purchasing from an online business?

Do you have friends and family who are not as online savvy? What do they immediately notice or look for?

What makes you trust a website you go to right off the bat?

What are instant red flags for you?

How do you build trust into your website?

I'll share my ideas and some awesome research I have found, but I'd like to get your uninfluenced ideas first :)



« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 10:03:06 AM by swick »

Smokystache

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Re: Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 10:16:54 AM »
If I'm on any non-hugecorporation website, I start with the "About Me/Us" page. I believe is it important to seem approachable, friendly, and trustworthy. That begins by giving out some information. Most importantly, I want to know why someone provides  a product or service. I'm fine with a person making money, but I want to see some of these on that page and throughout their site:

- I believe in what I'm doing
- I believe my product/service really helps people
- I put a lot of time, blood, sweat, and tears into my business
- I have special skills, education, talents (but I'm not going to go over the top bragging about them)
- etc.


solon

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Re: Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 10:21:22 AM »
I love a clean interface, lots of white space, simple design elements. This goes a long way toward highlighting the one main idea of the page (which you should also have).

swick

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Re: Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 10:25:22 AM »
If I'm on any non-hugecorporation website, I start with the "About Me/Us" page. I believe is it important to seem approachable, friendly, and trustworthy. That begins by giving out some information. Most importantly, I want to know why someone provides  a product or service. I'm fine with a person making money, but I want to see some of these on that page and throughout their site:

- I believe in what I'm doing
- I believe my product/service really helps people
- I put a lot of time, blood, sweat, and tears into my business
- I have special skills, education, talents (but I'm not going to go over the top bragging about them)
- etc.

Love this! I agree 100% I do think that the About page is often the most overlooked but vital (and statistically the most visited) page. Weaving that personality and trust throughout the site is key as well.

swick

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Re: Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 10:27:37 AM »
I love a clean interface, lots of white space, simple design elements. This goes a long way toward highlighting the one main idea of the page (which you should also have).

Design is often overlooked, or people don't realise your design can help you build trust and it is more than just "Lipstick" What design elements do you think are important?  What do you think works and what doesn't?

solon

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Re: Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 10:50:09 AM »
I love a clean interface, lots of white space, simple design elements. This goes a long way toward highlighting the one main idea of the page (which you should also have).

Design is often overlooked, or people don't realise your design can help you build trust and it is more than just "Lipstick" What design elements do you think are important?  What do you think works and what doesn't?

Well, it's tough to say, now that you asked me.

By "clean interface" I mean there should not be a lot of clutter and widgets. Of course you need links to the about page, and other resources on the site, but everything on the page should be necessary. No fluff.

White space makes me feel free. I'm free to explore the main idea of the page, without having to filter out the other things. Without white space, I feel like I have a lot of information to wade through, and it might be a long, hard slog, and maybe it might be easier if I just skip this page. (I go through that thought process often, on web sites!)

Any graphics or icons should be instantly meaningful. I shouldn't have to wonder why they're there. And they should relate to the one main idea of the page. And there shouldn't be too many of them, unless the graphics ARE the main idea of the page.

I HATE ads. I know site owners depend on them for revenue, but so many sites are essentially unusable because of all the ads. Any ads should be un-intrusive (but does that also make them ineffective?), and of course, related to the one main idea of the page.

MMM writes the most amazing blog posts. Each one of his posts is attention-grabbing, fun to read, and focused. You definitely don't need to copy MMM's style, but try to develop a style that is attention-grabbing, fun to read, and focused.

691175002

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Re: Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2017, 11:01:01 AM »
An interesting question, and one that I have thought about before.

One of the things that immediately makes me reconsider ordering is when a site has a copyright notice that is several years old.  Similarly, I've noticed a lot of online retailers link to blog/twitter/facebook pages that have been dead for many years.  I'm hesitant to order when its not clear that the company still exists.


In terms of e-commerce sites there are a ton of subtle cues that affect the degree to which I am willing to place an order.  Here is an example of one of the least trustworthy sites I've seen for a large (and official) retailer:  https://www.electronicsforless.ca/

There is just something about that page that makes it look really scammish to me.  Probably the name+design looking dated, plus massive amounts of offensively generic stock photography and the "comodo security" badge.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 11:02:41 AM by 691175002 »

swick

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Re: Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2017, 01:20:36 PM »


Well, it's tough to say, now that you asked me.


Thank you, Salon! This is the part that I have been struggling with, without using a bunch of jargon, it all synthesises into a "gut feeling" that is hard to quantify, you can certainly break it down but it requires a lot of examination. What the pieces are and how they work together to create an overall feeling.

Basically what I get from your post, and agree with, is that everything has to have a conscious reason and purpose for being included.

An interesting question, and one that I have thought about before.

One of the things that immediately makes me reconsider ordering is when a site has a copyright notice that is several years old.  Similarly, I've noticed a lot of online retailers link to blog/twitter/facebook pages that have been dead for many years.  I'm hesitant to order when its not clear that the company still exists.


In terms of e-commerce sites there are a ton of subtle cues that affect the degree to which I am willing to place an order.  Here is an example of one of the least trustworthy sites I've seen for a large (and official) retailer:  https://www.electronicsforless.ca/

There is just something about that page that makes it look really scammish to me.  Probably the name+design looking dated, plus massive amounts of offensively generic stock photography and the "comodo security" badge.

These are all valuable insights! Definitely having any external links such as FB and twitter have to be kept current or they definitely can break the trust you are trying to establish.

That website is a perfect example of a scammy feeling site. I think for me the fact there is NO company info really is a red flag.

You say: "there are a ton of subtle cues that affect the degree to which I am willing to place an order" This is the stuff I really am curious about digging into. Do you have any idea on what those cues are for you?



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Re: Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2017, 10:05:32 PM »
Great topic!
Things that infuriate me -and make me not give them business/lose trust:

- pop-ups of any kind before I've had a chance to look at the site. No, I don't want to subscribe to your newsletter! I don't usually return to those sites. Have a newsletter sign-up, sure, but not as a pop-up.

- obvious spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting errors etc. Especially if the business involves attention to detail.

- also you must tell me where you are located, including the country, and how to contact you. Your phone number should also be a link so I can call easily when browsing on my phone.

- fonts must be dark and large enough; I don't have the best vision - don't make me strain to read it.

- I agree with the white space thing.

- must work well on a phone.

I particularly like to cruise websites that so-called website developers have, and find all the errors.

SeattleCPA

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Re: Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2017, 04:19:00 PM »
Some things I think help:

An address so someone feels like they could track you down if push came to shove.
Real names so people really know who you are.
Verifiable professional or technical credentials.
Some online identity or presence for principals. (E.g., a linkedin profile)

FIREby35

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Re: Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2017, 05:26:16 PM »
I'm currently redesigning my website. This will be the first time we really use it to grab the attention of clients and we are going to be using google ads and other online marketing. We'll see if it works. I'm an attorney, btw. So, no e-commerce but people use the websites to vet us and see if they "feel" like we are legit. I've looked at dozens of different sites for just this reason over the last few months.

Also, just say thought a bunch of presentations on the topic. One from Google itself.

1) People are using their phones, a lot.
2) On the phone, if it doesn't load in 3 seconds you lose a significant percentage of the clients. So, load time is important.
3) Sticking to "one main idea" is important. If you seem scattered you message will be lost and client will look for another web page.
4)Attorneys sometimes have sites that are not client oriented. They talk to other attorneys, not clients.So, keeping in mind the target audience.
5) They are always telling us to have more content (like a blog), original content and not to copy and paste.
6) I think a good clean logo and professional photos of the team are paramount.
7) I think attorneys that make themselves look to big/important might scare of clients thinking they are expensive. It's a fine line, got to look good but not to good.

We'll see how I do. New website is to launch within 30 days. Just took new photos of everyone in the office. Writing content now. Maybe I'll come back and ask you all to give feedback when I have a draft!
 

swick

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Re: Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2017, 09:44:40 PM »
Great topic!
Things that infuriate me -and make me not give them business/lose trust:

- pop-ups of any kind before I've had a chance to look at the site. No, I don't want to subscribe to your newsletter! I don't usually return to those sites. Have a newsletter sign-up, sure, but not as a pop-up.

- obvious spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting errors etc. Especially if the business involves attention to detail.

- also you must tell me where you are located, including the country, and how to contact you. Your phone number should also be a link so I can call easily when browsing on my phone.

- fonts must be dark and large enough; I don't have the best vision - don't make me strain to read it.

- I agree with the white space thing.

- must work well on a phone.

I particularly like to cruise websites that so-called website developers have, and find all the errors.

Thank you, KMMK. I think the point I bolded above is a super important one, ease of use and design around readability and accessibility is important, not something I have thought too much about. I'll have to ponder this some more. I know I HATE light text and things that make it hard to read in general, but even what may be considered "standard" we may have to look at depending on who are target audience is.

swick

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Re: Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2017, 09:56:21 PM »
Some things I think help:

An address so someone feels like they could track you down if push came to shove.

I like how you worded it :)
I'm currently redesigning my website. This will be the first time we really use it to grab the attention of clients and we are going to be using google ads and other online marketing. We'll see if it works. I'm an attorney, btw. So, no e-commerce but people use the websites to vet us and see if they "feel" like we are legit. I've looked at dozens of different sites for just this reason over the last few months.

Also, just say thought a bunch of presentations on the topic. One from Google itself.

1) People are using their phones, a lot.
2) On the phone, if it doesn't load in 3 seconds you lose a significant percentage of the clients. So, load time is important.
3) Sticking to "one main idea" is important. If you seem scattered you message will be lost and client will look for another web page.
4)Attorneys sometimes have sites that are not client oriented. They talk to other attorneys, not clients.So, keeping in mind the target audience.
5) They are always telling us to have more content (like a blog), original content and not to copy and paste.
6) I think a good clean logo and professional photos of the team are paramount.
7) I think attorneys that make themselves look to big/important might scare of clients thinking they are expensive. It's a fine line, got to look good but not to good.

We'll see how I do. New website is to launch within 30 days. Just took new photos of everyone in the office. Writing content now. Maybe I'll come back and ask you all to give feedback when I have a draft!
 
Your 3 second mobile load time is a good point!

Definitely, use us for feedback! I'm curious to see how it all translates to a lawyers website. There are a couple of things you can do to "humanise" the lawyer image through pictures and copy. Since you have already taken the photos, that leaves copy.

You could add personal tidbits like each person's favourite quote or a fact about them that your target market can relate to, or you can intersperse the "professional" headshots with pictures of your people out in the community. Especially if you do things like volunteer days and things like that.

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Re: Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2017, 10:34:08 PM »
Just before you posted, I booked a photographer to shoot some routine community stuff we don't usually make a big deal out of. I think it will definitely humanize us and remind people that we are a part of the target community in a positive way. Win, all the way around.

I've learned, no one really wants to help you write copy. Searched high and low for someone to take the time to get to know us and help. Allocated a decent budget but never found a good fit. Only people any good had been conflicted out by my top competitors! That is how I discovered who the serious firms in my community were, actually.

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Re: Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2017, 01:02:20 PM »
I'm a career marketer who recently launched a marketing consultancy, so I deal with these questions quite a bit. Here are my thoughts:

Video:
Explain your business and do your about me section with a video taken on your webcam.  Authentic beats professional/scripted IMO.

Testimonials:
Even better if these are videos, as they're much tougher to fake.

HTTPS:
A secure site gives credibility.

Your Why:
People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it (stolen from Simon Sinek, check out his book Start with Why). Focus on your beliefs and purpose.

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Re: Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2017, 07:53:19 PM »
I love a clean interface, lots of white space, simple design elements. This goes a long way toward highlighting the one main idea of the page (which you should also have).

+1 to all of this.
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swick

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Re: Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2017, 08:11:03 PM »
I'm a career marketer who recently launched a marketing consultancy, so I deal with these questions quite a bit. Here are my thoughts:

Video:
Explain your business and do your about me section with a video taken on your webcam.  Authentic beats professional/scripted IMO.

Testimonials:
Even better if these are videos, as they're much tougher to fake.

HTTPS:
A secure site gives credibility.

Your Why:
People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it (stolen from Simon Sinek, check out his book Start with Why). Focus on your beliefs and purpose.

Great points, MaaS! Especially the video - but for the love of God don't have them autostart!

The downside to video testimonials is you can get them on Fivrr, although you can fake regular testimonials too.

I love Simon Sinek, he has some amazing TED talks too!

MaaS

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Re: Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2017, 05:18:54 PM »
I'm a career marketer who recently launched a marketing consultancy, so I deal with these questions quite a bit. Here are my thoughts:

Video:
Explain your business and do your about me section with a video taken on your webcam.  Authentic beats professional/scripted IMO.

Testimonials:
Even better if these are videos, as they're much tougher to fake.

HTTPS:
A secure site gives credibility.

Your Why:
People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it (stolen from Simon Sinek, check out his book Start with Why). Focus on your beliefs and purpose.

Great points, MaaS! Especially the video - but for the love of God don't have them autostart!

The downside to video testimonials is you can get them on Fivrr, although you can fake regular testimonials too.

I love Simon Sinek, he has some amazing TED talks too!

Agreed, autoplay should be outlawed and made a felony.

Very true, pretty much anything is fakeable online, but it takes a lot more work than typing "omg this course changed my life, I made 4000 in my first month with your digital marketing coaching guidance!!! - Todd"


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Re: Creating instant "Trust" with your website
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2017, 11:11:25 AM »
As far as design goes, I really hate when a website tries to be too flashy.  Two pet peeves for me are large menus opening up when you hover over things where you have to weave your mouse around a minefield to get where you want, and weird backgrounds that don't scroll down with the rest of the page and have text hovering over it.  Amazon actually does well with the menus, I think maybe it's the delay they put in before the menus come up that makes it so much better than most low end sites I visit that try it.

I like simple but well done.  Clean spaces, links that are easy to see and click, not a lot of extraneous effects on text, and minimizing scrolling except in specific detailed articles.  It's also really nice when the website scales depending on the window size you have, rather than having a fixed size that requires horizontal scrolling on some screens.  Generally horizontal scrolling is almost a deal killer for me.

I think in general the websites I use most tend to allow me to get where I want right from where I land on the front page.  The search bar should be clearly visible, and links to other sections should be prominent.  More detailed stuff like featured products or services can be farther down on the home page, but I don't want to have to spend time working to navigate the site every time I visit.