How to Build Trust on Your Website

WRITTEN BY

Mojca Brezigar
Mojca Brezigar

Conversion Copywriter

building trust on your website

Table of Contents

Building trust on your website

Trust is a complex phenomenon that is essential for successful relationships, both in personal and professional contexts.

It is an essential element of successful online relationships and as a marketer, you understand that customers need to trust you in order to do business with you. After all, they are investing their time, money, and energy into your products or services — so it’s only natural for them to want some assurance before making a purchase decision.

In this blog post, we will discuss different factors that can help us to build and maintain trust with our customers.

Pyramid of Trust

The Pyramid of Trust is a framework that describes the different stages of trust that users go through as they form and build a bond with a brand.

The stages are:

  1. When people first come to a website, they typically lack trust in the brand and its products or services.
  2. As they engage with the website and learn more about the brand, they may start to find it more credible and reliable. As they continue to interact with the website and see that it is better than others, they may start to trust it more.
  3. They may then be willing to share some information with the website, such as an email address or other personal information, but not necessarily sensitive information like credit card numbers.
  4. As the trust continues to build, users may be willing to share more sensitive information such as credit card numbers, and may even be willing to make recurring charges.
  5. At the last stage of trust, the relationship between the brand and the user becomes more progressive and deepened.
building website trust

By identifying which stage of trust a user is at, a brand can match its “ask” or the action it wants the user to take, to the user’s level of trust. For example, asking for a purchase or personal information in the awareness stage might be too much, but it would be more appropriate in the adoption stage.


This can help to increase the likelihood of the user taking the desired action, as they feel more comfortable and confident in the brand.

Credibility Factors

Those are the 10 factors identified by BJ Fogg and his colleagues at Stanford University, that could help increase the perceived credibility of a website.

  1. Show that there is a real organization behind the site by providing a physical address and other features such as posting photos of offices or listing membership with the chamber of commerce.
  2. Highlight the expertise in your organization and in the content and services you provide by providing credentials, affiliations and avoiding linking to non-credible sites.
  3. Show that honest and trustworthy people stand behind your site by providing information about employees and their background
  4. Make it easy to contact you by providing clear contact information
  5. Design your site professionally, or appropriate to its purpose
  6. Make your site easy to use and useful
  7. Update your site’s content often and show that it has been reviewed recently
  8. Use restraint with any promotional content and avoid annoying ads and pop-ups
  9. Avoid errors of all types, including typographical errors and broken links, to maintain site’s up-time.

By following these guidelines, website owners can help to build trust with their users and increase the perceived credibility of their websites. This can lead to increased user engagement and conversions.

Reviews - Research findings that reveal the power of authentic reviews.

Reviews can have a powerful influence on consumer purchasing decisions, and research has shown that authentic reviews can be particularly effective in increasing trust and credibility for a brand. Here are a few findings that reveal the power of authentic reviews:

  1. Positive reviews can increase sales: Research has shown that positive reviews can significantly increase the likelihood of a consumer purchasing a product or service.
  2. Consumers trust reviews from other consumers more than advertising: A study by BrightLocal found that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. In contrast, only 14% of consumers trust advertisements.
  3. Authentic reviews build trust and credibility: Research has shown that consumers are more likely to trust and believe reviews that are seen as authentic.
  4. Negative reviews can be beneficial: Research has shown that negative reviews can be beneficial for a business, as they can increase trust and credibility.
  5. Reviews from verified buyers are more reliable: Studies have shown that reviews from verified buyers are more reliable than reviews from unverified buyers, and consumers are more likely to trust them.


Overall, reviews can be a powerful tool for building trust and credibility for a brand, and authentic reviews in particular can be a valuable asset in convincing potential customers to make a purchase.

Domain Trust

A “good” domain name can potentially increase trust and credibility in the eyes of users, as it can signal to users that the website is legitimate and credible.


Simplicity in the domain name can help users to remember the name and find the website easily. Moreover, domain names that are easy to spell and pronounce are less likely to be mistyped or misremembered, which can increase trust and credibility as users can easily find the website they intended to visit.


The region can also play a role in domain name trust and credibility, as a domain name associated with a specific country can signal to users that the website is based in that country and is likely to be more relevant to them.


The clarity in a domain name can it makes it clear what the website is about and what users can expect to find on the site. A domain name that accurately describes the content or purpose of the website can help to build trust and credibility with users.

Videos, Photos, Animations, Phrases

Using authentic videos, photos, animations, and phrases can be a powerful way to increase trust and credibility with users. Here are a few ways that these elements can be used to build trust:

  1. Videos: They can be an effective way to showcase a product or service, and can help to increase trust by allowing users to see the product or service in action. Authentic videos that show real people using the product or service can also help to build trust, as they demonstrate that the product or service is being used by actual customers.
  2. Photos: They can be used to provide a visual representation of a product or service, and can help to increase trust by allowing users to see what they are purchasing. Authentic photos that show the product or service in use can also help to build trust, as they demonstrate that the product or service is being used by actual customers.
  3. Animations: Animations can be used to provide a creative and engaging way to showcase a product or service, and can help to increase trust by allowing users to see the product or service in a dynamic way.
  4. Phrases: There are 10 words that influence the perception of an ad:
    → Fer price-fair price
    → Caring
    → Fair treatment
    → Quality
    → Competences

Overall, using authentic videos, photos, animations, and phrases can be a powerful way to increase trust and credibility with users, as they demonstrate that the product or service is being used by actual customers and provide social proof that others have had positive experiences with it.

Ultimatum Game

The Ultimatum Game is an experimental game that is used to study social norms and behavior in trust and decision-making. It typically involves two players, one of whom is given a sum of money and must offer a portion of that money to the other player. The other player can either accept or reject the offer. If the offer is accepted, both players get to keep the money as offered, if it’s rejected, neither player gets any money.


Research has shown that socialization plays a role in building trust in the Ultimatum Game. People tend to be more trustful and generous when they are playing with someone they know, or someone they perceive as being in their social group. In contrast, when playing with someone perceived as an outsider, people tend to be less trustful and less generous.


This suggests that trust is not only based on rational calculations, but also on social and emotional factors. People tend to trust those who are part of their social group more than those who are not, and this social preference extends to trust-related behaviors such as being more generous and accepting more risky offers.


When it comes to building trust between users and a website or a brand, socialization can also play an important role. By providing opportunities for users to interact with the brand and get to know the company and its values, website owners can help to build trust with users. This can be done through social media, customer service interactions, or other forms of engagement. As users get to know the brand and its values, they may be more likely to trust the brand and its products or services.

Improving Your Photographs

Certain cues in photographs can influence how attractive or powerful a person appears.
In general, women tend to be perceived as more attractive when they are photographed on the left side of their faces, while men tend to be perceived as more powerful when they are photographed on the right of their faces.

A smile can communicate various emotions and traits depending on its intensity. A minor smile can communicate intelligence and confidence, while a greater smile can communicate dominance and kindness.

It has also been found that the perception of a smiling face can differ based on gender. Studies have shown that men who are perceived as happy in photographs are generally less attractive than those who have a neutral or serious expression. On the other hand, women who are perceived as happy in photographs are generally more attractive than those who have a neutral or serious expression.

Looking directly into the lens can also be a powerful cue in photographs.
To make a person appear confident, powerful and trustworthy in your pictures, you will want to shoot them straight on.

Trust Symbols

There are multiple trust symbols, such as security badges, certifications, and seals, which are often used by websites to increase users’ sense of security and trust when buying products or entering sensitive information online. However, the effectiveness of these symbols can vary, and some may be more trustworthy than others.  
Trust badges

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is building trust on a website important?

Building trust on a website is important because it can lead to increased customer engagement, sales, and repeat business. People are more likely to make a purchase or share personal information with a website that they trust.

What are some ways to build trust on a website?

Some ways to build trust on a website include displaying customer testimonials, offering a money-back guarantee, displaying certifications and awards, providing detailed contact information, and displaying security badges or seals.

How can I display customer testimonials on my website?

Customer testimonials can be displayed on a dedicated testimonials page, integrated into product pages, or featured in a slider on the homepage. It’s also good to include the person’s name, photo and any other relevant information to make it look more authentic.

How can I offer a money-back guarantee on my website?

A money-back guarantee can be offered by creating a clear and detailed refund policy and prominently displaying it on the website. It should be easy for customers to initiate a refund and should have a clear timeframe for the refund process.

How can I use customer feedback to improve my website's user experience?

You can use surveys, customer interviews, and other forms of feedback to gather information about the user experience on your website. This information can then be used to make improvements to the website’s design and functionality.

How can I display certifications and awards on my website?

Certifications and awards can be displayed on a dedicated page or on the homepage in the form of badges or logos. It is also good to include information about the certifying body and the criteria that were met to earn the certification or award.

How can I provide detailed contact information on my website?

Detailed contact information can be provided on a dedicated “Contact Us” page, and it should include a physical address, phone number, email address, and contact form. It’s also good to have an easy to find contact us button on every page of the website.

How can I display security badges or seals on my website?

Security badges or seals can be displayed on the homepage and on the checkout page. It’s recommended to use badges or seals from well-known and reputable security companies, such as VeriSign, McAfee, or Norton.

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Mojca Brezigar
Mojca Brezigar

Mojca is an expert in transforming words into gold - or as she likes to call it, Conversion Copywriting at ADGY!

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