10 Proven Strategies for a Trustworthy Website

5 proven ways to make trustworthy websites 

Harlan Dave Tantog

With plenty of businesses moving to the internet, scams, fake news, unreliable sources, and data breaches are also becoming common. An estimated 2,220 cyberattacks happen every day. Users are increasingly wary of websites that appear untrustworthy, often leading to a loss of traffic and damage to brand reputation. 

As a website owner, it’s your responsibility to create trustworthy websites that counter these challenges, providing a secure space on the internet. As an online business, it’s even more important to reassure users that their online interactions and transactions can occur safely and confidently.  

Don’t worry! This article will provide practical, easy-to-implement strategies to enhance the trustworthiness of your website. 

6 elements that contribute to a trustworthy website 

When you own an eCommerce website, creating trust among your customers and prospective customers is essential to success. 

People won’t buy from your website if they don’t trust you — and to compete with the big guys, you need to work extra hard to show customers at first glance that your website is trustworthy. Take a look at these factors that make your website reliable: 

Security and privacy 

Good site security reassures visitors that their data is safe.  

Reliable websites use secure protocols to encrypt data transmitted between the site and its users. It also keeps its software, plugins, and other technology up to date to minimize vulnerabilities to hacking or other security breaches. 

The presence of clear, accessible privacy policies and terms of service is equally important, which enhances transparency and trust by informing users how customer data is used and protected. 

User-friendly design and navigation 

A well-designed website with a clean and intuitive layout conveys professionalism and attention to detail. It makes navigation easier while leaving a positive impression on users.  

If you think your website needs an upgrade, you can let web design professionals check it out and make improvements. 

Transparency and authenticity 

Providing clear, accurate information about your business or organization helps establish credibility and allows customers to reach out with questions or concerns. You can include your: 

  • physical address 
  • phone number 
  • email address 

You can also provide detailed and accurate information about your products or services, such as: 

  • high-quality product images 
  • clear descriptions 
  • pricing details 
  • shipping or return policies 

Finally, clearly stated privacy policies and terms of service also demonstrate transparency and a commitment to protecting user information. 

Credible sources  

It’s crucial for your website to associate with and cite credible sources. This means when you’re providing information, especially facts, statistics, or expert opinions, you should reference well-respected and authoritative sources. You can link to sources of reliable information such as: 

  • research papers 
  • scholarly articles 
  • academic journals 
  • government agency 
  • news sources 
  • primary and secondary sources 
  • educational institutions  

This practice not only bolsters your website’s trust factor but also positions it as a knowledgeable and reliable source in your field. If you notice unclear, unverified, or non-credible sources listed in your content, remove or replace them immediately. 

Social proof and engagement 

Social proof increases customer confidence in a product or service by showing prospective clients what previous customers say about your brand. Meanwhile, promoting customer engagement helps build a relationship with customers, making them feel valued and heard. You can use social proof by displaying: 

  • customer reviews and testimonials 
  • trust badges 
  • certifications 
  • affiliations with reputable organizations 

You can also encourage active participation in online communities and social media platforms to foster trust and authenticity. Be sure to engage your audience, reply to their questions, and give them incentives to share their comments about your brand. The more positive impressions you make, the more you add to your credibility. 

Responsiveness and accessibility 

With nearly 7.33 billion using mobile phones worldwide, ensuring your website is responsive across various devices and screen sizes is essential.  

Additionally, making your website accessible to users with disabilities is not only a good practice for inclusivity but also enhances trustworthiness. 

Offering reliable and responsive customer support channels shows customers that you are available to address their concerns or answer their questions promptly. You can connect with your customers through several ways like: 

  • email 
  • phone 
  • live chat 
  • social media accounts 
  • video chat 

How to build a trustworthy website: A practical 5-step guide 

Now that you know the components of a reliable website, it’s time to take action. In this section, we’ll break down what you need to do to create your own credible site in five easy steps. 

1. Conduct a comprehensive website audit 

Start by carefully looking over your website as if you were a visitor. Check if it’s easy to use, the information is clear, and if the design looks modern and professional. 

Look for things to improve, such as: 

  • loading speed 
  • mobile responsiveness 
  • accessibility 
  • navigability 

This step is about finding and fixing anything that might make your site better and more trustworthy for those who visit it. 

2. Implement security measures 

Security is non-negotiable. If customers don’t feel secure on your site, they won’t stay longer to see what you offer. 

First, get a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate, which makes data sent to and from your website secure. When this is installed, users will see an “HTTPS” in your website’s address and an icon of a lock. This reassures them your site is secure. 

Also, regularly update your website’s security protocols. This helps prevent hackers from finding and using any weaknesses previously unprotected from the outdated version. Keeping your website up-to-date and secure shows your users you care about protecting their information, making your site more trustworthy. 

3. Enhance transparency and authenticity 

Your website should have clear and concise “About Us” and “Contact Us” pages with accurate and important information about your business. You can even put your mission and vision statements. Just be sure to keep these sections updated accordingly. 

These help visitors see that you’re a genuine and trustworthy business, making people more confident about using your website and believing in what you offer. 

4. Foster social proof and engagement 

It’s important to interact with your customers online. Always reply to their reviews and comments, whether on your website or on social media. This shows you care about what they think. 

Encourage user engagement by incorporating interactive elements and social sharing buttons on your site. Let users comment, chat, or share your content on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Users are more likely to trust businesses that are active and responsive across all online channels.  

5. Ensure responsiveness and accessibility 

Regularly test your website across different devices and screen sizes. Implement accessibility features such as alt text for images, keyboard navigation, and screen reader compatibility, ensuring all users have a seamless experience. 

It’s important to make sure your website works well on all kinds of devices like phones, tablets, and computers. Check regularly to see that your site looks good and is easy to use on different screens. 

Also, make your site friendly for people with disabilities by: 

  • adding descriptions to images 
  • making your site work with just a keyboard 
  • ensuring it’s compatible with screen readers 

These steps make your website more welcoming and easier to use for everyone, which helps build trust. 

Improve your website’s trustworthiness now! 

To make your website trustworthy, focus on maintaining strong security, being transparent about your identity, engaging with user feedback, and ensuring easy usability across all devices. These efforts can help foster customer loyalty, enhance your reputation, and boost your visibility in search engine results. 

Aside from these principles, Web.com’s web security tool lets you get ahead of cyber threats. Protect your website from attacks while keeping your audience reassured of their own security online. 

  • Harlan Dave Tantog

    As a Technical Writer at Web.com, Harlan creates content that any reader can understand. With his background in technical and customer support, he incorporates his technical knowledge and deconstructs complex ideas and concepts into easy to digest texts. Outside work, you'll see him playing volleyball, jumping off cliffs, and drinking coffee at cafes.

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