4 Reasons People Don’t Trust Your Website

Books get judged by their covers and businesses get judged by their websites. Photo credit: Aleksi Tappura/Unsplash

Books get judged by their covers and businesses get judged by their websites. Photo credit: Aleksi Tappura/Unsplash

While it’s true you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, it’s also true that plenty of people do judge a business by its website. While that’s not always fair, it’s helpful to know what your audience is looking for when they come to your site and how you can make the best first impression.

Drama critic Terry Teachout talked about this in his interview with Selling Out. He explained why it’s so important for live event organizations to have a quality website:

“For the most part, what I know about an unfamiliar theater company is what I find on its website. I’m not just talking about production-related information, though that’s the most important part of it, but also about the total impression made by the site. If a site is imaginatively designed and user-friendly, it will lead me to assume that the company is competently run and thus worth taking seriously. I know that appearances can be deceiving, but they’re all I have to go on. It’s very much like interviewing strangers for a job — I’m inevitably going to draw preliminary conclusions based on what they wear and how they speak.”

So how can you be sure that you’re not alienating potential fans with your site? Duct Tape Marketing writer Phil Singleton outlined different reasons people don’t trust a site. You can read all 10 here and see four that are particularly important below:

A portion of Goldstar's "About Us" page.

A portion of Goldstar’s “About Us” page.

1. “You don’t have a detailed About Us Page

The About Us page is one of the most sought out pages of a website. When consumers arrive at your site, they want to know who you are and get to know your business’s “story.” This is your opportunity to introduce yourself, your business and your team while letting your customer know why they can’t live without your product or service. Jeff Haden provides some great tips on how to improve your About Us page.

2. You don’t have a Telephone Number Listed

When you display a phone number on your website it means you are accessible. When no telephone number is present, on the other hand, it can look like you are hiding something.  And who do I call if there is a problem with the purchase? For local businesses, having a local area code (as opposed to an 800 number) adds trust as well.

3. You don’t have a Physical Contact Address Listed

As with your phone number, a physical address adds many layers of trust to your website.   People want to know you are a real, physical entity and displaying a physical address appears way more trustworthy than an anonymous contact form. Furthermore, a physical address is both an on-page and off-page SEO ranking factor. Google likes to see a physical address clearly listed on your website, preferably in the footer of each web page. Your address is also an off-page local SEO ranking factor.

4. You don’t have a Decent, Mobile Friendly Web Design

According to a Stanford University study, 80% of people judge the credibility of a company by its website design. Whoa! Something to really think about if you have a cheap WordPress theme, a GoDaddy web-builder website or something that was slapped together by your nephew. Most businesses take their websites for granted and have unknowingly lost a lot of business, especially lost referral business.”

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