We may no longer hesitate to share our credit card details with even the most reputable ecommerce stores, but it’s still crucial to communicate credibility through your small business website design.
After all, your website provides a vital portal that is probably a prospect’s first point of contact with your brand. Even if your business already has a credible web presence, you can lose custom if your website doesn’t give the same impression.
Let’s have a look at five of the simple ways you can make your small business or charity website look more trustworthy.
1. Build an authentic and informative ‘About Us’ section
The less your target audience is given the impression that your firm has something to hide, the more willing they are likely to be to purchase your products or services.
This makes it extra-important to populate your site’s ‘About Us’ section with engaging and relevant content. A few photos of team members, complete with brief bios, can make a big difference to how much of a real and trustworthy company you will look like.
2. Display your contact information clearly
This is another tip that you can file under ‘not hiding from your own customers’. On its own website, your business needs to be put clear and centre in front of its target buyers.
Fortunately, adding the relevant contact details to your company’s site is quick and easy to do, and it makes simple business sense. Your customers should always be made to feel like they are welcome to reach out to you and ask any questions at any time, which is why ‘chatbots’ are an increasingly popular feature of small business websites, too.
3. Minimise the use of advertisements
It can be very tempting to agree to the placement of third-party ads on your site as an extra revenue stream.
Unfortunately, it can also be counterproductive, distracting the attention of the visitor and causing them to wonder whether your own service is truly reputable and used by many people if you feel the need to host such advertisements in the first place.
4. Keep your site up-to-date
Adding new, relevant and well-targeted content on your blog on a regular basis – as the PENNInk Productions team can do for you as part of our Gold search optimisation plan – should really be seen as a bare-minimum requirement.
If your business site doesn’t seem to have been updated for several months or a year, it can cause the casual bystander to wonder whether the business itself is dead. Nor is it only your blog where this can be an issue, which is why many successful small firms refresh the content on the main pages of their site on an annual basis to avoid giving too stale an impression to frequent visitors.
5. Incorporate reviews and testimonials
Your target customers will also be more inclined to do business with you if they see evidence of others having done so to their benefit – something known as ‘social proof’.
Even just a few reviews and testimonials on your site from satisfied customers can therefore be a powerful way of ramping up your small business’s online legitimacy in the eyes of others. We would, however, urge you to resist the temptation to include any fake testimonials that could come back to haunt you if you aren’t careful.
Such is the vast range of factors to consider in any small business website design, that it can be easy to overlook all of those simple tweaks that could have a big impact on your new site’s efforts to be seen as the ‘real deal’.
Give the PENNInk Productions team a call today, on 020 8144 7931, and we’ll discuss with you, in plain English, how we can design a site for you that truly means business.
Edward Solomon has over 15 years’ experience in project management, technical education, computer networking, web design and development and is a Digital Business Consultant for PENNInk Productions Ltd.