When you are researching products and services online, do you ever notice how quickly you dismiss some websites because you don’t feel they will deliver? Well, what about your website? Will your potential customers run away in fear?

What does an untrustworthy website look like?

Have a look at this list of website trust factors. If they make you squirm when you see these on other sites, then chances are they have the same impact on your web visitors too!

1. It’s a graphic disaster

We are living in the land of templates. A do-it-yourself logo and clunky template don’t look professional and could give you that impression of a “fly by night” operation. You need consistency in brand and a nice blend of the right colors, images, and text.

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 2. It’s boring

The website feels like you are reading a small novel. Fonts are small, and the site is very text heavy. Images are stock photography that you’ve seen before. Websites should show the reader that they understand clearly and concisely what the reader needs to know. Punch out important text and add some original, creative photography.

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 3. It’s old news

You can tell that the website hasn’t been updated in ages. They have old resources and it has been months (or years) since the blog was updated. Websites should be a place for visitors to learn about what’s happening in your industry as well as about your company. Keeping it fresh and engaging keeps visitors on the site longer.

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4. You can’t find what you’re looking for

In other words, the navigation sucks and there are way too many “clicks” required to get to important information. It’s a common fact that the more clicks required the more you lose visitors. Keep key information like contact info in your footer, header, or sidebars, so it shows up on all pages. Summarize products or services on one page. Make it easy for people to get to the right solution quickly.

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 5. It’s a whole lot of hoopla

These are sites that over-promise and under-deliver. The headlines promise one thing in the content, and the content is completely different. The testimonials don’t have names or companies attached. Statistics aren’t footnoted with sources. The results seems to too good to be true, which normally means they are—you get the picture.

Here you find music for $129.95, but the source is “Royalty Free Music Library.”

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6. Everything requires an email address

So you want to know about our products? Fill out this form first. Commonly called “squeeze pages,” these websites give you no other option if you’re interested but to leave your information to take the next step. You can then expect daily emails for weeks trying to get you to buy.

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7. It’s a whole lot of nothing

When you are searching and visit multiple sites, you soon discover that these sites say exactly the same thing as a handful of other sites you have read. They use the same language. They promise the same results.

You might think you want your website to be like your competitors, but that could be the biggest mistake you make. Sites that are all the same can be the biggest reason people don’t trust you. Be bold and be proud of what makes you different.

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So now that I’ve shared my list of what sends me packing online, what are your biggest website no-nos?

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Cidnee Stephen
Cidnee Stephen

Cidnee Stephen is the owner of Strategies for Success - a marketing company that focuses on the needs of budget minded small businesses and professional services. You can follow her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook