Did you know?

that of those visiting a retail website:

  • 79% of users do not trust or engage with a website that has grammatical or spelling errors
  • 45% of shoppers won’t purchase from a website without an active social media page
  • Only 7% of people would interact with a website they distrust with 93% disengaging as soon as possible
  • TRUST SEALS – those prominently-displayed security logo granted by a trusted entity to assure users of the role the business has in protecting their data – ranks as the most trustworthy feature of a website.

More than one half of brand profitability relies on effective consumer engagement. Often, the biggest challenge websites developers face is maintaining this engagement and often, it boils down to whether or not a user trusts the website. With stats suggesting that an unhappy user will leave a website within 10-20 seconds if they are dissatisfied, businesses can see that retaining a visitor for longer than this is both a challenge and an opportunity.

Building Confidence

In a bid to discover how websites can increase engagement and build trust among customers, Reboot SEO Agency surveyed 1,322 people, asking participants to choose the top five features that build confidence towards a website. From this, we found the most trustworthy features on a website that encourages interaction among users, as ranked by the results:

1. Social media activity (47%)
2. Recognized trust seals (47%)
3. Affiliated with trusted websites (45%)
4. SSL certificate (43%)
5. Address & phone number listed (40%)
6. A professional design layout (38%)
7. Familiar payment methods (36%)

8. No stock images (36%)
9. Terms and conditions and privacy policy (31%)
10. About Us page (31%)
11. Up to date Google/Yell details (25%)
12. FAQ page (22%)
13. Meet the Team page (18%)
14. Limited advert banners (18%)

Almost half of participants surveyed 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 facilitated with ease. We also found that 56% of users view a company that uses Instagram as more trustworthy than those using other social media platforms. And interestingly, 45% of respondents said they would not use a website that isn’t active on social media. A significant number of respondents – 43% – believe that one of the most trustworthy features is an SSL certificate, with 58% stating they would significantly reduce their interaction with a website if they did not have one. [SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser.]

Having familiar payment methods (such as PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, etc.) on your website ranked as the sixth most trustworthy feature. Almost all were in agreement that 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.

What Not To Do

We have found if a website has high customer engagement, then it implies customers’ expectations have been met and there has been a positive experience. This valuable interaction naturally leads to strong customer trust which has been earned from the website.

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

1. Pop ups adverts (65%)
2. Grammatical errors & spelling mistakes (56%)
3. Lots of adverts (52%)
4. Very large discounts & broken links (45%)
5. Blurry images (43%)
6. No reviews (40%)

7. No trust seals (38%)
8. No SSL certificate (36%)
9. Wrong currency entering a website (34%)
10. Missing contact details (29%)
11. Slow loading time (29%)

We found that customers have little confidence in a website with those pesky pop ups. Sixty five percent of users stated that this makes them question website authenticity and would choose to reduce interaction with this website, which also ties into the heavy number (82%) of participants who expressed concerned about malware and security.

For consumer-friendly websites, where retail is more and more driven by how you present your offerings and how you secure end-user’s data, these findings are critical to structuring your online presence.

Naomi Aharony
Managing Director at

Naomi Aharony is the managing director or Reboot SEO Agency and be found at rebootonline.com