5 Things that Will Cause Your Site Traffic to Distrust You

Today’s guest post is by James Scherer from Wishpond. The Wishpond writing style is full of examples and how-to’s…I like that. Enjoy!

web marketing, online marketing

So you’ve generated some website traffic. Congrats. But are they not converting? Are they bouncing? Do you know why?

It could be you’re making one (or more) of the five mistakes that cause that traffic to distrust you.

In this article I’ll break down how these mistakes can be made, why they impact on the trust of your site traffic, and what you can do to fix them.

1. You’ve got an Unprofessional Website or Landing Page

Visitors to your landing page or website make subconscious, snap judgements based on its design. We all do this without even noticing we are. The color scheme may throw us off. The format and layout may confuse us. The text may overwhelm (or underwhelm) us.

These factors impact a visitor’s trust. If they’re not convinced you’re a professional business they’ll struggle to trust that you can deliver on anything you say. Even if you’re making none of the mistakes you’ll see below, an unprofessional website or landing page can still cause a visitor to that page to bounce.

Example: Web marketing

Especially if you’re a business that does design, you shouldn’t have a visually unappealing header image for your landing page. Especially as this wasn’t a rotating set of images but one set of four that they’d chosen to represent the work they’d done. Keep it simple to convert your business’ website visitors.

What you can do:

Luckily, there are things we can do to impact on the subconscious responses of our site visitors. I’ve taken a look at designing your landing page for conversions as well as the science and psychology behind a successful Facebook Ad (many of the factors overlap). Here’s a quick breakdown:

Make sure the color scheme of your landing page or website works to communicate professionalism:

  • Avoid bright, glaring colors
  • Use a maximum of two primary colors with one accent (and one color for your calls-to-action)
  • Try blues, dark greys and clean whites – these colors communicate professionalism more than any other
  • Avoid using red, orange, light green, pink or (unless your target market is middle-aged women) purple as your primary color
  • Your CTA’s should stand out, but not shout too loudly. Try a pale orange or green against dark blue

Remember people don’t read websites or landing pages left to right and top to bottom:

  • Tell your page visitors what to focus on with directional cues (lines, arrows, etc)
  • Test contrasting color that makes an object or text stand out
  • Use the eye-direction of a model to (subconsciously) draw attention to what they’re looking at
  • Use encapsulation around your page’s focus points

Oh, and keep it simple. Focus on one point (probably your page’s CTA or ‘ask’) and don’t offer distractions. Keep your text to a minimum, your main points ‘above-the-fold’ and (though I’d recommend testing it) keep your landing page short.

If you’re struggling with coding complications or a lack of experience or time, there are a load of great landing page building tools with built-in templates that make it simple to create professional-looking pages.

2. It’s all Too Good to be True

Your landing page’s value proposition or unique-selling-point (USP) are what encourage your traffic to click through. You need to sell them on something you can provide, whether it’s an offer, return on their investment, or a service they can’t get anywhere else.

The tricky part of your page’s USP is deciding on the most appealing few words that sell the hell out of your product or service, and yet don’t sound too good to be true.

If you can’t find this balance, your site visitor will be sceptical at best, and outright disbelieving at worst. Unless you can convince them fast (see customer testimonials and trust symbols below), they’ll bounce and you’ll lose them.

Example:Web marketing, online marketing

I think this business was right the first time. I’m extremely skeptical of this USP. Online marketing is an ever-changing, incredibly complex set of strategies which whole departments of professionals struggle to complete well. You’re telling me your business’ tools break down the entire process into the click of one “Easy Button?” Hmph.

What you can do:

Sit down and have a brainstorming session. Come up with five different selling points or value propositions. Instead of choosing the one that makes your business sound amazing, choose the one that you are 110% sure you can do.

Yes, 110%. Your value proposition needs to be something that there is no chance in hell you’ll fail at. If you promise a 100% return on a site visitor’s investment, you better be sure you can provide a 150% return. If you promise 24-hour delivery of new eco-friendly bamboo diapers, you better be sure there’s not a blizzard in Detroit for the plane’s 1-hour layover between you and Seattle.

Once you’ve decided on a value proposition or USP that you’re sure you can accomplish, have another brainstorming session to work on making it sound awesome.


3. You don’t have Customer Testimonials or a Trust Symbol

Increasingly, the value of an internet user’s peers is influencing the trust they have for brands. Some people blame Amazon’s review tool, some blame the transparent nature of social media. Either way, unless you show a visitor to your site that other people use and love your product or service they have no reason to trust anything you say.

Face it, you have a vested interest in your site visitor’s conversion. You’ll do whatever it takes to encourage it. Your previous customers, however, have no vested interest whatsoever.

More than that though, the fact that you have previous customers is a pretty great point in your business’ favor. To a visitor to your site (and yes, most of this is subconscious) the customer testimonials on your site work to convince them that they’re not going to be the foolish first guy to get cheated by this entirely illegitimate company (that’s you.)


online marketing

Though you can’t see the entire page, the source landing page has no customer testimonials of any kind. In fact, the only bragging rights they quote is ‘we work with Fortune 1000 companies’. If it were me, I’d leave that out and include a photogenic customer quoting how they impacted their business.

What you can do:

  • Include at least two or three customer testimonials (I highly recommend adding a picture of the person, as this increases trust massively as well as impacts on the relatable nature of your company)
  • Include the logos of the biggest names you’ve worked with – showing that even recognizable companies trust you to deliver on your promises
  • Include a trust symbol from a recognized authority – showing that even if your site visitor has never heard of your company, an authority they trust vouches for you


4. You’re Leaving out the Details

Details matter. People like to know that you’re not going to disappear as soon as they fork over their monthly fee. Some of this trust comes from the testimonials or trust symbols I mentioned above, but it also comes from the little things. Like being able to contact you whenever they want, or believing you’re not going to sell their personal information and credit-card details to the highest black-market bidder.

Example:Reg form,

How hard would it be to put a simple sentence like ‘We take privacy seriously. Check out our privacy policy here’?

Privacy Policy: Even if not everybody reads these, they are absolutely, 100% essential. Everywhere. I mean any time you ask anybody for any detail, make a link to your privacy policy evident.

What you can do:

Although there are a million sites that can outline in depth exactly what you should include in your privacy policy, here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Your commitment to privacy (why it matters to you, and how dedicated you are to protection of… etc.,)
  • What information you collect
  • What you use that information for
  • How you protect a customer’s information
  • Whether or not you disclose information to outside parties, and why
  • How consent works
  • How changes to your privacy policy will occur
  • A way to contact you with questions

Making it hard to get in touch: This one should be relatively straightforward. Almost all websites and landing pages already have the ‘contact us’ option, but I’d recommend you make it really obvious

What you can do:

  • Have a contact number or email below or very close to your CTA (your page’s focus).
  • Remember that one of your sales associates has a far better close rate than your landing page by itself.
  • Create a popup like ‘Live Chat’ or ‘Talk to an Agent Live’ which traffics to your customer service department


5. You’re asking too much

Your USP and value proposition have to do not only the ‘believable vs awesome’ dance but also the ‘risk vs reward’ dance. Basically, the value of your offer has to seriously outweigh the risk involved. Yes this is about the dollar amount you’re asking (one of the many reasons I recommend a trial period to many B2B and SaaS companies), but also about the more personal details you’re requesting.

Example:Demand generation

I understand that you might need my first and last name and email address (kudos on including the privacy policy) but the rest seem designed to make me bounce. I’d definitely A/B test the conversion effect of a shorter, more succinct, entry form.

What you can do:

I could go into optimizing entry forms for a few thousand words (wouldn’t that be thrilling!) but instead I’ll condense it down into a few bullet-points:

  • If possible, allow your possible lead to start the sales process with their Google+, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account. It’s an even easier ‘ask’ than an email address
  • An email address is worth far less to your possible lead than their phone number
  • Balance the amount of entry form fields you have with the amount of demographic details you really need
  • Consider the next step of your sales funnel: Is your possible lead beginning an email-marketing campaign (if so, you may need demographic details, which ones?)
  • Keep your entry form as short as possible when thinking about how to create a landing page. Once you’ve gotten the email address or contact details you can accomplish anything else you need in later steps of communication.



Hopefully you have a better idea of the whys and wherefores of establishing trust on your website or landing page. I’d also highly recommend you A/B split test the integration of a model onto your landing page or website. For B2C companies, use a smiling man or woman modelling with your product. For B2Bs, test a photogenic customer of yours, and make their testimonial a focus point.

Do you have any other strategies for building trust with your business’ site traffic? Let me know in the comments below!

About the author:
James Scherer is a content marketer for Wishpond and author of the ebook The Complete Guide to Facebook Ads. Wishpond makes it easy to run Facebook Ads, create landing pages & contests, email automation campaigns & manage all of your business’ contacts.