Customers want trustworthy websites

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Customers want trustworthy websites

You need customers to trust your website - make sure it is coherent and simple to use.

A recent study has identified what makes individuals trust one company website rather than another. This article summarises the findings and provides a practical checklist for what this means for your business.

Contributors to trust

The research identified criteria which is important to users when evaluating a potential supplier - and then deciding to do business with them.

Most important customer reasons for choosing websites

The most important are ease of use and site functionality - especially (in order of importance):

  1. Easy to find information
  2. Easy to read descriptions
  3. Coherent and simple

For a site to be trusted it has to convey the idea that there is a team of real, locally based people who have taken the trouble to make it easy for you to do business with them. A customer also wants a business to be easily contactable to sort out any potential issues.

A responsive, effective approach to doing business that provides value and meaningful recommendations from real people is ideal for building customer trust.

Reasons for not choosing websites

The research identified reasons for not choosing sites focused around wordiness and sales - and a dislike of the colours.

The least important criteria for trusting a website:

  1. Size of the organisation
  2. Videos to illustrate what you get
  3. Sense of community

The research has identified the following complete list of criteria that make individuals trust one company website rather than another:

Ease of Use

  • Simple to understand - Simplicity is key
  • Clarity of approach
  • Easy to find information
  • Easy contact details


  • Being able to enter into a dialogue
  • Prominent contact details
  • Easy contact details


  • Features and information which demonstrate authenticity
  • Recommendations, testimonials, reviews, accreditations transparency on pricing


  • The site is informative
  • Easy to find information
  • Transparency of information
  • Accuracy - absolute attention to accuracy in copywriting - no typos or broken links - the older and more female the target demographic the more critical this becomes.

Being local

  • Location (being local)
  • A local presence
  • Presenting your business as being local.
  • Number of branches

Being personal

  • Give a sense of who the people behind the site are and what you are about, being personable - convey the authenticity of the people behind the site.
  • Easy contact details

Other factors:

  • Professionalism
  • Time in business
  • Range of choice
  • A good reputation
  • An attention to detail
  • Customer focus

What this means for your business and website

Review your website to make sure it is:

  • Easy to use.
  • Has clear contact details and features.
  • Demonstrates your authenticity and reputation (recommendations, testimonials, reviews, accreditations and transparent pricing).
  • It is informative, with honest and transparent details about who you are, what you do, what you offer, your opening hours, how long you've been in business, your range of choice you are offering, and pricing.
  • Is accurate with no typos or broken links or incorrect information.
  • Shows where you are based, and emphasises your local presence.
  • Is personal - Give a sense of who you are and what you are about - blogs, contact details, photos, bios with your expertise, reasons for your professionalism, staff details, pictures of your vans or shop premises, factory floor, events and so on.