9 Proven Ways to Build Trust and Credibility for Online Businesses

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Website trust is so important to customers. Conversion rate optimization (increasing how many visitors you convert to a sale) largely depends on whether or not your visitors trust you as a starting point.

As an online business owner with your own website, you put careful research into where you spend your time and money – which website builder to use, which shipping company is reliable, and which payment processors are most secure. This is because you want to trust the businesses you use. And likewise, you want to make sure that your visitors feel confident with the trust and credibility of your site. But you might not know where to begin on how to build trust on websites.

In this article, we’ve gathered the best industry practices and will share nine strategies to show you how to build trust on your website!

1: Ensure a Secure Website

First things first. There’s no point in being honest and upfront if your website can get hacked at any minute. If you fail to secure your website, you put your customers’ data at risk – not to mention the financial implication to your business. In our report on data breach statistics we found that a data breach costs $210 on average!

A good place to start is to install an SSL certificate. Though there are also paid, more high-visibility SSL certificates, if money is really stretched, start by getting yourself a free SSL certificate from your web builder, web host, or Let’s Encrypt to encrypt data and keep your visitors’ info safe. 

Then make sure your visitors know they’re in safe hands by flaunting your trust badges and security seals. People put them in banners, pop-ups, in the footer, and above-the-fold.

And don’t forget to provide a clear privacy policy and terms of service, which you can whip up using your website builder.

You can also make your website’s login credentials strong and unique, and encourage your users to do the same for their accounts too. Regular website updates will always help get rid of bugs too.

A screenshot of Let's Encrypt's site. It features a write-up about web serve admin software and a complimentary illustration.
Let’s Encrypt provides clear instructions for getting your SSL certificate.

2: Enhance User Experience

Websites should always be as optimized as possible, so make sure you follow website navigation best practices and give your website a sleek design, just like Apple.

Customers love a good website that takes into consideration how easy it is to maneuver around and find what they’re looking for in as few clicks as possible.

Speed is another crucial factor. In our report on website load time statistics, we found that if your page doesn’t load in 4 seconds, 25% of your visitors are gone. You can check what needs to be done to speed up your site on Google PageSpeed Insights and make it super-fast for your visitors.

Full breakdown graphics featuring green bars of percentages analyzing page speed.
PageSpeed breaks down everything you need to know on the speed of your website and mobile sites.

Lastly, make your interface user-friendly and intuitive. It helps to consider the type of websites that work best for most users, and don’t forget to make your website accessible to disabled users too.

Top Tip: Showcase your team – let people know who works for the brand and what’s important to them. A good way to do this is by writing a bio page for each team member. People like to put a name to a face!

3: Highlight Customer Testimonials and Reviews

A huge part of how to build trust on websites is showing that other customers have had a good experience with you already. And what better way to show this than via customer reviews?

There are many ways you can get your customers talking with reviews and testimonials – just make it easy for them to do it. The first step is to ask customers for reviews and then gather them off TrustPilot, Facebook, Yelp, etc., or use platforms like Yotpo to collect them for you.

Add testimonials to your website and display them loud and proud on your site (or at least make the link to them prominent, like Amazon uses them). Testimonials from customers make new users feel more confident that you aren’t scamming. They can also show how effective your service or product is. For example, if you’re creating a dating website, you’d want to add testimonials from happy couples who found connection using your site!

If you have really enthusiastic fans, why not ask them to consider making a little video that you can put up on your website and share on your social media as user-generated content?

Top Tip: It’s always best to get permission first if you’re using feedback from customers and clients (or their real names and photos).

Find Out More

Customer reviews are a powerful form of social proof. Discover more Social Proof Examples in our full list!

4: Showcase Trust Signals and Social Proof

Customers are more likely to trust you if other trustworthy groups trust you. So if you’ve worked with or work for reputable partners or clients, show them off with logos, the more recognizable the better. You can even go a little deeper – add each other’s links on link trees or collaborate on special projects.

Include press coverage, whether local or international, and share user-generated content and social media shout-outs.

A Juice Beauty webpage with links to different media articles and mentions including Today Show and Pinkvilla.
Juice Beauty does not hide its press attention.

Find Out More

  • Did you know that there are specific credibility factors – including real life reviews, awards, and third-party trust seals? We list 30 of these Website Credibility factors in our helpful guide!

5: Offer Clear and Transparent Pricing

Nobody likes hidden fees. So when you’re pricing your products, it’s best to be upfront and take care to avoid any surprise charges and hidden fees at any point during the buying process. For example, charging expensive shipping fees right at the end of checkout. The last thing you want is for your customers to feel tricked and leave – once your reputation is lost, it’s hard to get back.

And if you want to go above and beyond the call of duty, why not offer a free trial or a money-back guarantee? It really shows people that you believe in your own sauce.

A breakdown of software pricing with 4 boxes and purple CTAs for each price.
Take a cue from Buffer for transparent pricing.

6: Establish Thought Leadership and Expertise

We love an expert, and we definitely want them around when it’s decision time.

The thing is that quite a good chunk of us don’t think about the fact that we can be experts and thought leaders too! You can become the go-to source for info for your industry, product, or location, or whatever you want!

But you have to be perceived to be an expert too. Create killer blog content. Publish informative articles and guides, à la Moz. Get involved in industry events or conferences. Do guest appearances on podcasts.

To showcase even more of your expertise (and your products and services!) host interactive webinars or workshops. This allows you to personally build trust and credibility.

A Moz blog webpage with 4 multi-colored links to different articles on SEO.
Moz creates lots of articles and value for its website users.

More Information

  • Marketing for Doctors: Doctors need to generate a lot of credibility and trust online so it’s important to perfect your marketing strategy

7: Provide Excellent Customer Support

No matter how well you run your business, things will go wrong – whether it’s a lost package or an item damaged in transit, you need great online customer service ready to go for when any issues arise.

Customers won’t trust you if it feels like you’re dodging their enquiries or complaints. So it’s good to make it as easy as possible for them to reach you using different channels including email, phone, social media, help centers (especially when you’re away) and platforms like Zendesk.

It’s also important to respond to questions as quickly as possible. A good FAQ section can help meet a few of those questions ahead of the pass, but you’ll still get specific queries so be prepared.

Some online businesses like to create videos that show how to use products or services, posting them on the website or on social media, like YouTube. When done right, these double as ads!

You can also offer personalized support through video calls or screen-sharing sessions. That helps you give a more human touch to your customer support.

Top Tip: Try adding interactive chatbots. It shows you’re available to help and 68% of users like their rapid speed.

8: Utilize Trust Seals and Certifications

This works on the same principles as the partner logos and SSL certifications. Trust seals and certifications just give that little bit more oomph to the trust factor.

Score some industry-specific trust seals, like BBB Accreditation, and display your certifications or memberships where they are easy to see. Landing pages are good, and you can also put seals in banners and social media bios.

And use verified payment gateways and security measures to show you’re the real deal. Well-known payment methods like PayPal build even more trust because of their familiarity and anti-fraud guarantees.

Don’t be shy about sharing any awards or recognitions your business has received. This can further boost your credibility and showcase your commitment to excellence in your industry.

A photo of the Aveda website detailing B Corp status on top of a photograph of green leaves.
Aveda has earned B-Certification, the gold seal of trustworthy certifications!

9: Leverage Influencer Endorsements

Why slog it alone when an influencer marketing strategy can help you jump leaps and bounds ahead? When you collaborate with influencers in your industry, you’ll get your brand out there. Think about what kind of influencer will work best for you – there are different types, for example micro, macro, nano, and mega influencers!

Ensure their line of influence complements your business – if you sell spicy honey, there’s no point in hooking up with a sports car influencer.

Instead, find influencers whose audience links to your own. Casper mattresses did a multi-year campaign with influencer dogs to promote its dog bed launch, and it was so fun people only cared about seeing more.

A webpage and photograph with two silky white and tan spaniel dogs eating a fancy steak dinner.
Casper’s dogfluencer campaign got them multiple award nominations.

Before you seek out endorsements from the pros, think about what’s in it for them. What do they have to gain by going with you?

To use influencers to drive sales, you need to build long-term relationships with them by engaging with and sharing their content. Please their audience – they might be your future customers.

Top Tip: Avoid offering influencers “exposure” instead of pay. If you don’t have a lot of money, look for an influencer who might need what you sell. But never ask for them to work with you for free. We have a guide on influencer rates to help you budget in advance.


So that’s it! Now you know how to build trust on websites with these nine strategies to help you get going.

Building trust on a website takes time and effort, but when you keep at it and start seeing the rewards, it makes all the difference.

By following these steps consistently, backed up by your authenticity, you’ll be well on your way to a more trustworthy website in no time. Keep pushing forward and refining your approach to stay ahead of the game!


Both expertise and thought leadership require that you know a lot about the topic. But thought leadership needs a little something on top – disruption. A new point of view. How does your point of view differ to others in your industry? What industry problems haven’t been solved yet by the others? What beliefs make you different from your competitors?
Yes! Offer a clear refund policy. Be open about shipping policies, times, and costs. When you accidentally run out of stock or there’s a delay in shipping, let your customer know – don’t just hope they’ll just forget about it.
Written by:
Smiling headshot of Amanda Graham
I started writing for Website Builder Expert in 2022. I love copywriting for ecommerce, website, automation, and website brands and I’ve ghostwritten and content strategised for some of the largest multinational brands in the world. I have years of writing experience for the BBC, including documentaries, scripts, and Twitter campaigns. With such a wealth of experience to draw on, some of my best work on Website Builder Expert focuses on topics such as ecommerce strategies, marketing tips, and small business advice. I hope you enjoy my articles!