Make Sure Visitors Trust Your Site

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Conversion Killer Profile

The Trust ProblemAnti-Trust

The Trust Problem

A dubious character. Anti-Trust destroys conversions by failing to establish integrity with website visitors. Weapons include scepticism, doubt and fear.

Here are some causes of Anti-Trust on websites:

Insufficient Company Details

Revealing little about your company creates doubt, as this user mentions:

“I didn’t learn a lot about the company…I’m still somewhat hesitant when I stumble across websites I don’t know very well”
E-Commerce User Experience

Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

A participant in a study I ran came across this problem on a critical payment page:

“Delvirey…I wouldn’t like to trust this if it’s got its spelling wrong.  I’m quite a stickler for spelling”

Lack of Social Proof

Prospects are naturally cautious of websites they don’t know.  It’s like your parents telling you not to talk to strangers; there’s always the possibility that something will go badly wrong.  Maybe personal information will be misused.  Maybe orders will go astray.  Or maybe the site will crash in the middle of something important.  Who knows?

So one of the key trust indicators people look for is social proof: evidence that others trust the site.  Without this evidence – and a feeling they’re entering the unknown – visitors often hesitate to go much further.

Missing Security Seals and Payment Logos

Visitors want reassurance that websites they’re using are safe and secure.  This is especially true on e-commerce sites, where users are parting with sensitive information – like payment details.  Transactional sites that don’t use prominent trust indicators (security seals, payment logos, HTTPS) risk losing prospects.

Questions about Contact Information and Privacy

People are hesitant to provide contact details, like email addresses and phone numbers: Concerns about spam and misuse typically put them off.  Websites that don’t reassure visitors their contact information will be used honourably are likely to lose conversions.


Establishing trust with new visitors isn’t easy.  But you can get off on the right foot by nailing the essentials:

Tell Visitors Who You Are

Create a proper about section on your site, including company history, bios and contact information.  Customers want to know who exactly they’re dealing with.

Check Your Spelling and Grammar

Whether it’s on page copy, blog posts, ads or anything else you produce, here are some ways to avoid mistakes:

  • Use word processing software – like Word – first, rather than writing straight into a content management system (CMS), like WordPress.  You’ll get the most comprehensive spellchecking and auto-correction.
  • Proofread your work at least once.
  • Don’t rely on spellcheckers entirely; they don’t spot everything.
  • Get a colleague or friend to review your work for a fresh perspective.

Use Security Social Proof

Dabs security seals

Association with trusted security companies is reassuring, especially on transactional pages like payment forms. lifted their conversion rate 2.7% by including a security seal on their site.

Use Customer Social Proof

Show prospects evidence that others trust your site.  Include a few of your best customer testimonials, with name, photo, company etc. for authenticity:

Moz testimonials

The obvious place to display testimonials is the homepage.  But you can reinforce your image of integrity by including them on other key pages, such as price plans, sign up forms and company history.

Address Privacy Concerns

Finally, explain how you’ll use people’s personal information.  Be transparent and specific.  Include a link to your privacy policy right next to form fields that typically raise concerns: email, phone and address.  Give people immediate reassurance by adding a line underneath an email field saying you never spam or share details with third parties.

In short, do whatever it takes to move from the stranger on the bench to the family friend who gets invited round for dinner.

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