One thing that speaks volumes about your business is your website. It’s accessible to anyone, anytime, anywhere and is often the first place that new customers interact with you. This makes it essential for your site to have everything your target audience is looking for. A legitimate and professional website that’s free of technical glitches and has regularly updated content can not only attract more online traffic but can also be a catalyst for credibility.
What is credibility?
Credibility refers to the level of trust and confidence that customers and other stakeholders have in your business. It is the extent to which you are perceived as honest and reliable through being transparent, adhering to ethical and legal regulations and maintaining a good reputation in the industry. Online credibility is critical as there are many untrustworthy sources of information on the internet. As a result, businesses need to do all they can to appear as a trustworthy source for users. One of the ways in which credibility can be communicated is through a coherent brand identity and website design strategy.
The role of brand identity in web design
Brand identity encompasses every aspect of a marketing strategy and works to support business objectives and customer experience. It includes all visible elements of a brand such as colour scheme, logo, and design that distinguishes the brand in the minds of the customer.
When your brand identity is consistent with your overall web design, it strengthens your image, therefore building credibility in your business. Enhancing brand image through web design can be useful in influencing how a customer perceives your business and can impact brand loyalty. This makes it vital to ensure that your website is always up-to-date and aligned with your brand voice and personality. There are certain signs that indicate it may be time for a new website, namely it isn’t mobile friendly, the site looks dated, or traffic is high but conversions are low. As your brand changes and develops, so should your web design.
Your business website offers the chance to showcase your brand and attract new users. The results of a survey showed 81% of users think less of a brand if its website is not up to date, and 39% will stop engaging with a website if the images won’t load or take too long to load. This indicates that user experience and website credibility go hand in hand to build a strong and coherent brand identity.
Enhancing user experience to build business credibility
A business’s website has the ability to leave a lasting impression and whether that impression is positive or negative can depend on a lot of factors, one of them being website user experience. Establishing trust through web design starts with a functional and fast website that is regularly monitored. It can be tough to decide what’s best for your company website – Static HTML or WordPress? Why is SSL & Security needed? How do I design a website that drives leads?
Taking the time to understand what makes a website credible and ensure your user experience is on point will be highly rewarding.
Building credibility through website navigation and structure
If visitors are in any doubt over the trustworthiness of your website, they’ll often stop engaging with it. Your company site can directly affect your rankings too as Google favours trustworthy websites and will often choose to rank these higher on search results pages. Therefore, it’s important to establish a reliable website that is easy to navigate and structured appropriately. Clear navigation, a professional and consistent design and a helpful, human ‘About Us’ page are some of the website credibility factors that Google looks at closely.
Website navigation and structure play a critical role in a business’s credibility with web visitors. A seamless navigation system and site structure makes it easier for users to access the information they need and ultimately convert.
Leveraging web design for online reputation management
Managing your business’s online presence is no easy feat and it’s certainly not a one-off task. Online reputation management includes having accurate and relevant information on your website, social media platforms and advertisements. It’s about continuously staying on top of engagement with consumers and utilising website design best practices for building credibility amongst your online audiences.
Website aesthetics and credibility are interconnected as a website’s look and feel can determine the extent to which a brand has a trustworthy reputation.
The role of web design in online reputation management is significant as a professionally-designed site improves the overall experience of the website and ultimately helps to gain the user’s trust.
Consistency and credibility in web design
Consistency is an important aspect of web design that contributes to business’s credibility as it refers to the design elements including typography, colour scheme and layout. It creates a sense of familiarity and works to establish credibility. Here are 4 ways in which a website can relay trustworthiness and boost credibility for a company.
- Design quality – ensuring your site appears legitimate and professional.
- Upfront disclosure – prominently displaying information that relates to the customer experience.
- Comprehensive, correct and current – sharing useful content relevant to the industry.
- Connected to the rest of the web – links to social media, third-party review sites or news outlets.
Website design trends and credibility
According to a Stanford study, 75% of users make judgments about a business’s credibility based on the design of its website. In order to stay ahead of the game, your website needs to keep up with current website design trends. Here are six trends to look out for in 2023:
- Minimalist Designs
- Interactive Elements
- Motion Graphics
- Mobile-First Design
A poorly designed site can damage your reputation no matter how great your products or services are. If your website doesn’t reflect high quality, establishing credibility in business will be more challenging.
Luckily, by adhering to the above criteria and displaying useful content, you’ll have an attractive, engaging website that customers will enjoy interacting with.
Elements of web design that build credibility
Before building your website, it’s important to understand the needs and requirements of the business. For example, an eCommerce website will need to be curated differently to a news website. There are certain elements of website design that can have a positive impact on a company’s credibility.
- Make it easy for your website visitors to get in touch: Display your email, phone number or address on your site’s header or footer. Some businesses have a separate “Contact Us” page to make it even more convenient for potential clients.
- Make your website content relevant and customised for your target audience: A tailored website with content written by successful professionals in the industry will instantly establish credibility and build a stronger brand image.
- Double check the content for spelling mistakes: Spelling or grammatical errors can take away from your credibility so it’s super important to ensure your website’s home or product pages are proofread and double checked for any mistakes.
- Create an “About Us”page to introduce your team: Creating a page with the business owner and team can help to humanise your brand and show that real people are involved. This will add credibility and make it easier for customers to trust you.
- Provide detailed product and services descriptions and prices: Many people search for products online before going in store to purchase them so even if you don’t offer ecommerce services, it’ll still be beneficial to include your product or service offerings on the website.
- Include product reviews and client feedback: People are more likely to buy from you if they know other people did and had a positive experience. Including customer testimonials on the website will also make your business seem more credible.
- Integrate your social media accounts: Social media is an integral part of establishing credibility in business and works to humanise a brand. Adding your social media posts or links on the site can encourage users to connect with you, thus strengthening the company client relationship.
Maintaining credibility through website management
It’s one thing to have a professional website design to build credibility, but it’s another thing to manage and maintain the site regularly so that it works effectively.
Website maintenance involves ensuring your site remains accurate, secure and up-to-date at all times. This includes uploading new content, checking the website security, monitoring website performance, encouraging user feedback and adhering to legal standards.
We have an experienced team of Web Designers at Cariad Marketing that can monitor your website so you don’t have to! Our team follows a rigorous web development process from building, testing and optimising to monitoring and updating your site.