Business technology

Creating a trustworthy website

- April 4, 2009 2 MIN READ

With thousands of hoax websites on the internet, it’s important that your website gains the trust of your clients. Here are tips on how you can use your website copy to create a trustworthy website.

Supply thorough contact details

Have a ‘contact us’ link displayed prominently on your website, and ensure you include all contact details including your name, email address, phone number, a street and/or postal address and a fax number if applicable. Customers want to be able to contact you easily if they have questions or problems. Depending on your business and your target clients, supplying every one of the above details may not be strictly necessary, but in general, providing more details creates a more trustworthy website.

Make sure there are no spelling mistakes

The following warning is on an Australian bank’s website: “Many hoax emails are poorly worded and may contain grammar and spelling errors. If you receive such an email, it’s usually a given that it’s not from the company it claims to be”. Although this warning relates to emails, it easily applies to websites as well. Don’t risk appearing like a hoax! Get a friend or hire a professional to edit and proofread your website copy.

Showcase your credibility

  • Certain ingredients will boost your credibility, so showcase these in order to inspire trust and respect. Include information on any talks, workshops or seminars that you’ve given. Better still, have someone take DVD footage of the event and put this footage on your website.
  • Include links that relate to your business in the media, such as newspaper/magazine articles, product reviews, radio or television interviews.
  • Write your own articles and post them on your website. When you write an article, you are perceived as an expert and customers generally trust the experts!


Address your customer’s fears

On a piece of paper, list every possible fear that your client may have, and then outline how your business addresses these fears.

For example, here are some possible customer fears when visiting a limousine hiring website.

How do I know the driver and limousine will turn up on time?

How do I know their limousines are reliable?

What if I’m not happy with the service?

The business’ website copy might read like this: Our Guarantee: we will turn up on time with a clean, reliable and safe limousine – or your money back.

Want more articles like this? Check out the business websites section.

Provide testimonial details

Once you’ve sought permission, provide full details of people who have written genuine testimonials.

Preferred: Jo Bloggs from Bloggs’ Furniture,

Less preferred and less credible: Jo from Sydney

Make it personal

To create an effective business website give it some personality so that customers know they’re dealing with an individual as opposed to a faceless conglomerate or an organised scam. Effective blogs will address this issue as well. Also, if you belong to any industry associations, provide details of these associations and link to their websites.

Write politely

Instead of writing, “We don’t accept cheque or money order”, consider writing, “Thank you for paying only with credit card or PayPal”. Polite people are perceived to be more trustworthy than people who aren’t.

Do you have any tips on how website copy can create a trustworthy website? Have you ever distrusted a website, and if so, why?

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