The internet can be scary, especially when people want to make an online purchase and need to judge which website seems safe and reliable. If your business has an online presence – trust is everything. Often site visitors decide within seconds if they deem a website safe or not. To help you sell online, here are five things NOT to do on your website if you want to be deemed trustworthy:
1- Don’t pick a name that misrepresents your business
The first step with any website is choosing the domain name, which is what users will have to type into the browser to arrive at your website. It can be difficult to find the right name but it really is worth spending a little extra time to get the name just right.
Don’t pick something that sounds cool or even misrepresents your business. So for example, if your business sells inexpensive sports wear, cheap-name-brand-sports-gear.co.uk is only appropriate if you actually sell cheap name brand sports gear. If your name sets the wrong expectation and the website doesn’t match that, customers are likely to leave your site and dismiss it at scammy and not trustworthy.
Bonus tip: Ideally your domain name should be short, descriptive, and memorable; that way interested customers can remember it easily and find you online without extensive online searching.
2- Don’t forget to use a spellchecker
You wouldn’t see typos or grammar mistakes on sites like bmw.com, tesco.com, or virgin-atlantic.com; and while they have a budget that is likely much higher than any small business’s, typos and grammatical errors are incredibly easy (and cheap) to fix! Take the extra five minutes to proof read your content and make sure it looks and sounds professional. If grammar and spelling aren’t your strong suit, ask a friend or family member who is able to do this for you.
3- Don’t use grainy images
Similarly to the previous point, reputable websites don’t use grainy images. Low quality images are the easiest way to make your website look amateurish and will cause visitors to bounce off your site. It is definitely worth making sure the pictures on your website look professional – and with high-quality phone and tablet cameras, there really is no reason you should allow out-of-date, grainy images on your site. This is especially important if you are selling products directly through your website! Inspire people to purchase from you by showcasing your merchandise beautifully.
4- Don’t make your contact information difficult to find
How much contact information you make available to customers is up to you. However, it is considered best practice as a local small business to make your phone number available on every page of your site (in the header or footer for example). The longer a potential customer has to spend looking on your site to get in touch with you, the more likely they are to leave and give their custom to a competitor. Furthermore, if you don’t provide any contact information it can make your business seem shady and illegitimate and you definitely don’t want that! Therefore, as well as a dedicated ‘Contact Us’ section within your website, your key contact should be easily available on every page.
5- Don’t use pop-ups inappropriately
If pop-ups are done well, they can be effective for collecting customer information like emails and preferences for future marketing etc. However, they are incredibly easy to get wrong, so if you really want to use pop-ups make sure they function exactly as you want them to. Pop-ups should only ever ask for very basic information – NEVER credit card details or any financial details. And more importantly, pop-ups should be easy to dismiss. Pop-up windows should serve as a friendly suggestion, but if users want to continue without interruption, they should easily be able to dismiss the window and get back to browsing your website.
There are many characteristics which contribute to how ‘legitimate’ a website seems, but these are five important ones to get your website headed in the right direction. Remember to keep these in mind even when you’re adding new content to ensure your site looks and feels right to your customers.