Trust can be a hard thing to gain. Mass data theft, stolen details, and fake news have diminished people’s confidence in what they see on a website, making them more cautious than ever as to what websites they consider credible.

If you want your business to thrive online you can’t be caught slacking when trying to build trust. If you’re stumped for ways to make users buy into your business, follow these tips for inspiring trust in your website.

Trust seals, secure checkouts and privacy policy

There isn’t a more assured way of gaining a user’s trust than being approved as a trustworthy website by a third party.

All industries will have their own individual companies, and it cannot be understated how much of an impact using services such as Trust Guard and Better Business Bureau will have on the public perception of your website. Their seal of approval acts as a sign your website is worthy of putting faith in.

For an e-commerce store, having a secure checkout is essential. If you’ve convinced a user enough to get them to the checkout, don’t throw it away by not securing it. Choose a reliable third-party payment vendor that people will recognize and make sure all financial information is SSL encrypted. Of course, if all of this is going on in the background and the customer doesn’t know about it you won’t gain any trust, so make sure you’re guiding them through the process with notifications.

Finally, a strong privacy policy with a dedicated page is another great way of putting visitors at ease. This page should clearly outline who you are and how you endeavor to protect their details. Make sure it’s professionally written and hitting all their concerns. There are templates for private policies which are a great start.

Make it easy to get in touch

A lack of contact information can make visitors cautious. Your business phone number, email address and office location, if you have one, should be readily available and presented clearly on both your homepage and contact us page.

Choice Screening’s contact us page makes a proud point of stating that you will always speak to a human when you call them, assuring users there’s a face behind the business. Having this information available gives you a sense of place in the world. A business that can’t even be reached might as well not exist.

The least trustworthy thing you can do is hide. It’s understandable to want privacy if your office isn’t open to the public, but the mystery will harm your business. Some customers will want to get in touch just to check you’re genuine.

This is especially vital for returns. Highlight that you accept returns in this section and clearly link to your full returns policy. Nobody will buy if they don’t know they can either return their order or fully understand why they can’t return it.

Share your human side

A website can be a cold place. A poorly designed one with walls of text will not only bore your user, but it will make them think twice about it. A lack of personality can make them question the purpose of the website, and that’s why it’s important to put your own touch on it.

Highlighting the human element of your business is essential for building trust. Introduce yourself and the people you work with. Make sure there are faces to match the names, so the whole thing doesn’t feel manufactured.

This is your opportunity to gain trust by telling your story. If you’re a small retailer this works heavily in your favor, as a positive company story makes you seem relatable and puts you in the same bracket as your competitors to your audience.

Consider peppering your website with these little flourishes, making your business seem unique and consequently more real and trustworthy.

No matter what service or product your business provides, any website can benefit from some personal touches. If you’re selling a particularly technical product that customers will be looking for expert opinion on, it’s even more vital to create this air on confidence. Online retailer StarTech does this particularly well, complementing its product with a brand story that includes up-to-date images of staff and company events. This makes them feel like a genuine business you can get support from should you need it.

Testimonials and Social Proof

One of the strongest endorsements you can have is from users and customers. Your website should proudly display extensive social proof for new users to read. There are two primary forms of this that build trust in your website.

Testimonials from clients you’ve worked with add additional legitimacy to your website and the business overall. These are usually from high-ranking individuals within other businesses, which give peace of mind to people who might be questioning what you are.

Customer reviews are the most common and possibly the most effective method of social proof. You’ll need to garner a good number of reviews before launching this feature, or else it will look as if you’ve written reviews to boost your trust. People trust product reviews from impartial previous customers, so they’re worth sourcing.

Don’t gloss over how trustworthy your website appears at any point in its lifespan. It will be the difference between somebody using your website or leaving it and telling everyone they know to stay away.

Kayleigh Alexandra is a writer for Micro Startups, your online destination for everything startup. She’s passionate about hard-working solopreneurs and SMEs making waves in the business world. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup and charity insights from top experts around the globe @getmicrostarted.

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