Trust is the key to increasing engagement on your website in 2020—here’s how to win it

by | Feb 18, 2020 | Public Relations

Today’s website traffic is based on trust, and brands and businesses must put every effort into designing their sites in ways that will foster it with visitors—from loyal customers to curious prospects.

With up to two-thirds of a brands’ profits relying on effective consumer engagement*, often the biggest challenge they face is maintaining the engagement of a customer—and this often boils down to whether a user trusts their website or not, according to new research from Reboot SEO Agency. And with stats suggesting that an unhappy user will leave a website within 10-20 seconds, businesses can clearly see the difficulty in retaining a visitor for a longer look.

In order to discover how websites can increase engagement and build trust among customers, the firm surveyed 1,322 people, asking participants to choose the top five features that build their confidence towards a website. The results reveal the most trustworthy features on a website that encourage interaction among users:

Trust is the key to increasing engagement on your website in 2020—here’s how to win it

Social media activity builds the most trust

Almost half of participants surveyed (47 percent) said that a company with consistent social media activity is the top feature that makes a website trustworthy—specifically, being active on Instagram, as brand interaction is made easy.

More specifically, the research found that:

  • 56 percent of users view a company that uses Instagram as more trustworthy than those using other social media platforms
  • 45 percent said they would not use a website that isn’t active on social media
  • 43 percent of users think that one of the most trustworthy features is an SSL certificate, with 58 percent stating they would significantly reduce their interaction with a website if they did not have one
  • Having familiar payment methods (such as PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, etc.) on your website ranked as the 6th most trustworthy feature (36 percent)
  • 92 percent of users said that they would not trust or engage with a website that uses unfamiliar payment methods.
  • Having an author bio was ranked as the least important feature that makes a website trustworthy and determines interaction, with only 2 percent ranking it in their top 5.

Trust is the key to increasing engagement on your website in 2020—here’s how to win it

After asking participants to choose the top five features that make them distrust a website., Reboot Online discovered the key issues that reduce customer engagement:

Trust is the key to increasing engagement on your website in 2020—here’s how to win it

The research found that customers have little confidence in a website with pop ups

Sixty-five percent of users state this makes them question its authenticity and would choose to reduce their interaction with this website, this is partially due to 82 percent of participants being concerned about malware and security.

Correct grammar and wording are one of the most important factors for 56 percent of participants

Websites without this arise doubt and hesitation among visitors. Additionally, 79 percent of shoppers said that they would not use, or trust, a website with grammatical or spelling errors.

The 6th most untrustworthy feature is a website with no reviews or case studies available

This was stipulated by 40 percent of shoppers. Sixty-five percent state they would not purchase from a website if there are no reviews—and nearly all (93 percent) visitors are likely to exit the website due to this.

Some webpage features often touted as critical were found to not be as important as previously thought: The survey found that, surprisingly, 65 percent of people purchasing online would use a website that does not have an ‘About us’ page, and 75 percent said they would continue to browse on a website that is not mobile friendly.

Percentages do not add up to 100% because of multiple responses.

*Data from Hall and Partners

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter