Searchers online are becoming much savvier when it comes to website security. They understand that there are many questionable websites out there that promise the world but are only looking to take advantage of people’s trust, whether that be by taking their credit card information and using it for other purposes, or stealing personal information that can be used against searchers at a later date. It is becoming exceedingly difficult to earn people’s trust when they visit your site for the first time, but there are some ways to make your website more trustworthy to visitors.

Secure your URL

HTTPSGoogle has all but demanded that all websites use a secure website. They started by showing concerning messages in Google Search Console to users who wanted to review their site’s performance for any issues. Earlier this year, Google also started sending out notices to webmasters about securing your site, especially if the site collects personal or financial information. WordPress also started requiring webmasters to secure their sites. What exactly does “secure” mean, and why is it important?  Secure is the “s” in “https” that prefaces a secure website. HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol, while HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. Every website that collects and saves info like passwords, credit card information, as well as other personal information is required by Google to get HTTPS as well as an SSL certificate. If your site does not do any of these, it is still an exceptionally good idea to have a secure site as it shows that your site is trustworthy. Would your website lose visitors if it lacked SSL security? Very possibly! A recent survey says 85 percent of online shoppers would avoid a website they perceive as unsecured. Not sure how to secure your site? Here is an article from Google though we suggest reaching out to your webmaster or hosting company for assistance.

Add “trust signals”

guaranteePeople feel comfortable if they know they are visiting a site of a company that has done business with others, won awards, etc. Trust signals are elements that are often displayed on websites to help customers feel more secure in their decision to patronize a specific business or buy a particular product or service. They can include:

  • Names of current or past clients
  • Awards won
  • Security badges
  • Memberships
  • Guarantees

They are all meant to showcase a company’s trustworthiness. If possible, you can make your site more trustworthy in the eyes of site visitors by adding one or more of these to your website. Wordstream wrote a great article a few years back about trust signals to help you with more ideas.

Showcase testimonials

Sure, we all know that no company is going to put BAD testimonials or reviews on their site. Nonetheless, having testimonials on your website helps gives visitors peace of mind by knowing your company has earned good testimonials for your product or service along the way. By using testimonials in text, audio, or video formats on your site, you introduce content that will convincingly promote your company and help establish credibility. Testimonials work because they are not strong sales pitches; they come across in an unbiased voice and establish trust. Not sure how to get those testimonials? We wrote a couple of articles on how to ask for more testimonials and reviews.

Add your social media accounts

social media linksBeing able to see how you conduct yourself and what kind of content you share on social media goes a long way to earn a searcher’s trust when they land on your site. As a matter of fact, one of the best ways to show that your brand is trustworthy, active, and operational is to keep your social media accounts updated. You can share news, post advice, and provide customer service through sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms. If you are concerned about them leaving your site to view your social profiles, you can add widgets to your site that brings in your feed from various social channels.

Make it easy for people to contact you

It is a good idea to give people several options should they want to reach out to you, so be sure to showcase all those options on your site, including:

  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Social channels
  • Contact form

You could also add a chat feature to your site so people can contact you immediately. Several free and paid options are available for websites.

Keep your website maintained and current

Nothing screams “sketchy website” than one that has not been updated. Be sure you are adding fresh content regularly. If you have a copyright date on your site, be sure to update it every year. Add new blog posts to your site regularly. Be sure that it is obvious you are actively maintaining your website with content useful to visitors. If you don’t have time to keep your site up, engage the services of a small business marketing professional to do it for you.

Being found online is only part of the battle. To ensure that people stay on your website and engage with you, it is crucial to make your website more trustworthy to visitors. Following these suggestions is an excellent place to start!

Patty Hughes
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