Whether your website is brand new or you’ve been nurturing an online presence for years, credibility is that one feature you can never lose sight of.
It takes visitors just a couple of seconds (if not milliseconds) to form an impression about your website. If they can’t trust it practically instantly, they are likely to click off and turn to your competitors for a solution.
Let’s take a look at six different ways to generate exceptional credibility with your homepage with the help of some effective design tips.
Make Sure the Site Looks Great
First of all, you need to ensure that the homepage looks as amazing as it possibly can. One that is cluttered, difficult to navigate, and simply aesthetically unattractive will lead to an increase in bounce rate.
What will make a website appealing to your visitors will depend on your industry and their tastes. Nonetheless, here are some of the most basic principles of good web design you should be adhering to:
- Establish a logical hierarchy. Lead with the most important information and elements, and work your way down from there.
- Compartmentalize. Use grids to clearly section the website and create smoother transitions.
- Select a color scheme that matches your brand’s vision and voice. Limit yourself to two or three colors and their different hues.
- Carefully consider the typography. Font sizes and weight can help make different elements stand out or blend in.
- Use plenty of white space. It will make the page feel lighter and easier to navigate.
A good example of a website that does all of the above (and more) is Overflow. Their homepage is not cluttered, they have several different clearly defined sections, and they’ve chosen a simple yet effective color scheme. They also feature a video and plenty of social proof on the page, as well as a free trial. All of this adds to their credibility and trustworthiness.
Image source: Overflow.com
Use Video Testimonials
In order for a new customer or client to be able to place their trust in you, you need to convince them that you are legitimate and that what you claim to offer is what they will get.
One of the best ways to do this is to use video testimonials on your homepage that will feature your previous and current clients and customers who will tell their own stories about doing business with you.
While you may be tempted to script these videos, the best effect will be achieved if you truly let your customers use their own words. They will come off as genuine that way.
Select the testimonials you want to feature based on your target audience’s likely preferences. Who would they like to hear from? Someone like themselves, or perhaps someone from a more successful brand (if you work in B2B)?
WhatsGood has a great testimonial video on their homepage. It tells several different stories and shows real farmers reaping the benefits of their solution. These are clearly not hired actors but genuine users. The fact that they were filmed on their own properties just adds to the level of credibility.
Image source: Sourcewhatsgood.com
List Your Physical Address
By listing your physical address on your homepage, you’ll add a layer of trustworthiness to your business. Both your visitors, as well as search engines, will instantly see you as more credible.
First, it tells people that you are an established business that pays taxes and that they will know where to find you. But more than that, it also tells them something about you. They can imagine walking into your offices, as opposed to merely communicating via email or phone.
Even if your offices are not open to the public, you should always list in the footer of your website the address your business was registered at. This is where most visitors will look for this information, and they will be reassured to find it. Of course, you’ll also list it on your contact page.
Take a look at Brand Glow Up’s own homepage. The address is there in the footer, and even if you are not from Toronto but want to do business with the company, you will have one less objection to doing so.
Image source: Brandglowup.com
Showcase Your Availability
Your visitors will also want to know when they can reach you and when they can expect to hear back.
If you have physical premises, clearly state when they are open and where they are located. If you don’t, your office hours and availability times should still be a prominent feature in your footer.
If your website also has a chatbot, listing your active hours is even more important. Not everyone will understand that the chatbot may not be able to solve their issue, so they’ll only be frustrated that they need to wait for an answer, even though they just thought they were getting one immediately.
Listing how soon someone can expect to receive an email reply or a call back can also provide some extra credibility, not to mention it’s great user experience. For example, the US Fireplace Store has listed that their average response time via live chat is just 41 seconds. This encourages customers to get in touch in this manner, ensuring that their questions will be answered promptly.
Image source: Usfireplacestore.com
Highlight Your Press Coverage
Getting featured by a prominent and well-known platform or news outlet will instantly make you feel more trustworthy in the eyes of your visitors. After all, if someone they already trust is writing about you, then your business must be doing something right.
Highlighting some of your press coverage on your homepage can thus prove to be a great way to generate some added credibility.
Do bear in mind that you will most likely need to do something to attract this coverage in the first place. Rarely will someone reach out (unless you are a firmly established business) and ask to feature or interview you.
When you do get mentioned by a major name (or even a smaller but niche site or magazine), make sure to add this achievement to your homepage. Ideally, you also want to link to the actual feature. So many websites put up the “as seen in” section on their homepage, but anyone can throw a couple of logos on a page and claim the Wall Street Journal has mentioned them.
Quarry Hill Advisors, for example, have linked to every article, no matter how long ago it was published. Granted, some of these pages no longer exist, but we can certainly appreciate the effort.
Image source: Quarryhilladvisors.com
Even if it’s just a short blurb but for a major player, show it to your visitors. They’ll want to know about it.
Highlight Third-Party Reviews
Finally, you’ll want to showcase some of your third-party reviews, especially if they are realistic. If you have nothing but five stars on your Google page, you might want to reconsider – it may come off as less genuine.
However, if you have a 5-star rating on one website but a 4.8 on another, the combination will become much more credible.
People tend to trust these review sites because they are credible in most cases. Yes, there is room for tampering, as fake reviews are not uncommon, but you can still get a good sense of a company’s reputation.
Mrs. Property Solutions, for example, features screenshots from four different reviews sites – and they happen to be some of the most popular ones. This is a great way to provide extra credibility. A handful of reviews from one site may not be worth much, but their combination certainly speaks volumes.
Image source: Mrspropertysolutions.com
Consider these design elements when looking to generate more credibility for your website. You might need a more or less extensive plan to generate them, but they will certainly be worth it.