The rapid digitalization of online businesses faces serious issues. First, there is the problem of online scammers. There are many hackers out there who use shady websites to trick people and steal their money. The second issue, maybe a more common one for anyone starting a business, is how to play this game with strong competitors. With their resources and customer knowledge, it becomes difficult to build a website that will compete successfully and attract customers to your business. One of the ways to do it is to invoke trust in your customers. That is not always the easiest thing to do, especially if you cannot do it in person. However, if you learn how web design affects customer trust, you will be able to create an experience that will bring your clients one step closer to you!
What are website “red flags” you should avoid?
Whenever a person visits a website, their mind can notice red flags if there are any. These red flags are usually the reason why they decide not to put their trust in that company’s hands and quickly leave the website.
The most important red flags to know are:
- too many pop-ups and ads;
- complex layout;
- endless walls of text;
- small prints you can barely read;
- slow loading speed;
- poor navigation design;
- the lack of colors;
Let’s see why these elements are treated as red flags when it comes to websites.
Be extra careful with the pop-ups and ads!
Adding pop-ups and ads to your website is a way to earn money and advertise your products. In fact, this is a very useful strategy to also inform customers or implement pop-up forms with different functionalities.
However, having too many pop-ups and ads can be highly annoying:
- Your visitors are distracted from the main content of the website. If something is popping up every few seconds, they will quickly lose focus.
- They will start to think about how you are trying to force something on them.
- They might accidentally click on a section of the website just when the pop-up shows, and that will take them to a different website.
The entire experience will be terrible, and they will never want to come back.
Simplify the website layout
The number one issue when discussing the website layout is creating a complex page structure. If a visitor cannot figure out how the website layout works within the first minute, they will feel confused. We are not talking about creating a low-effort website. It is necessary to create something unique. However, it needs to be simple to follow. Otherwise, your visitors will spend too much time trying to find their way around your website.
This is also a terrible decision from a marketing point of view. Like pop-ups and ads, a complex layout will grab the visitors’ attention. They should be focusing on your products and services instead.
Endless walls of text are boring
Has it ever happened to you that you open an article and you close it simply because it is too long to read? You are staring at this endless wall of text, white background with a bunch of words. There are no images, no other elements to break everything into noticeable sections. We live in a busy world, and no one has time to sit in front of a computer and read a long website description.
If you want to present your company values and explain what your business is all about, do not do it with endless lines of text. No one will read that. Furthermore, they might have a feeling you are trying to hide something. It’s the equivalent of receiving a 100-page long contract and having to sign it without reading everything first.
Instead, it would be best to use small blocks of text that only contain the main point and mix them up with infographics and other visual elements.
Avoid small prints
Another text-related red flag is small prints on your website. If your customers sense that you are trying to hide something from them by making it unnecessarily small, they will lose all trust in your website and your company.
If there are disclaimers, make sure they are clearly visible. Never try to hide things from your visitors.
Slow loading speed
It is a fact that the website loading speed substantially affects your website’s search rating. If your pages take more than 5 seconds to load, visitors will lose their patience. Furthermore, this is also a sign that your website is not well made. If your loading speed is unsatisfactory, who knows what else does not work properly.
Besides looking amazing, your website also needs to function as a clock. Fix any glitches that might interfere with a perfect customer experience.
Poor navigation design
Your website needs to be unique. We have already spoken about how complex layouts can turn off visitors. However, we have also mentioned how important it is to invest in website design. This is especially important for your navigation menu. You should look at the navigation as a pathway your clients use to get to the important sections of the website. It directly affects customer experience, so you should do your best to make it better. If it takes a visitor more than three clicks to get the information they need, you have done something wrong.
It is yet another telltale sign that you are invested not only in your website and your business but in providing an exceptional and exciting customer experience.
Make your website visually appealing by using the right color palette
Poor choice of colors can also affect how users see your website. If you combine colors that do not go well together, their eyes will hurt. It will also tell them that you know nothing of the importance of colors for website design. Why should they trust your business if you did not take the time to do your research and use the right colors?
Furthermore, colors directly affect visitors’ emotions. They have a higher meaning and can easily be misinterpreted. Consult your website designer and make sure you pick the right palette that fits the nature of your business.
Website features that increase customer trust
We spent some time talking about the red flags of poor website design. Now let’s cover some important features that will improve your website and increase customers’ trust.
Improve website security
It goes without saying that you need to purchase the SSL certificate. Switch your website from HTTP to HTTPS if you have not done that already. It costs a little more, but it actually buys customers’ trust. When users visit your website and see that the URL shows HTTPS, they will know that their data is protected. They can safely browse your website and enjoy its content.
Be consistent with the layout
When building the website, you want to create a sense of familiarity. Website design affects customer trust in many ways, and using the same features and elements on all pages is one way to do it. If one page sticks out from the rest, the customers will start to ask themselves why. If they are browsing the pages and suddenly notice a new feature they are unfamiliar with, it will only increase the complexity. Be consistent, create a familiar template, and use it on all of your pages. It is also vital to follow the latest website trends.
Show customer reviews
There is nothing that spells “trust” as much as the reviews of previous customers. Even if they are bad, the visitors will see you are not hiding anything. Leave an option to comment on customer reviews to easily communicate with them if you get a bad review. This way, whoever reads it will see that you don’t shy away from talking about bad experiences and finding a way to fix them.
Brag about website partners and business licenses
If you have a partnership with other companies on the market, make that visible. It tells the visitors that other companies trust you. Similarly, if you have a license or a certificate for your line of business, display it on the main page. It tells the visitors that you run a legitimate business.
Display completed projects
Another essential element you should add to your website is the page that shows all the completed projects. This helps clients learn more about the company.
Know who your customers are
We leave the most important part for the end simply because we want you to remember this as a key takeaway. Learn who your clients are, who are your website visitors and what their user intent is. If you understand your audience, you will know precisely how to create your website so that it invokes trust. Without knowing your targeted group, you are just phishing in the dark and trying to make an end product without understanding who the buyer is.
Web design affects customer trust, so use it to your advantage
Hopefully, now you understand more about how web design affects customer trust. Focus on transparency, create a sense of familiarity, and prove that you run a trustworthy business. Remember, your website is your online business card. If you don’t make it the right way, no one will take it!