How to Design a Website to Create Trust and Authority Online
Website Design Basics for Building Trust and Authority

Website Design Basics for Building Trust and Authority

Website design basic tips This article is part 2 of my 4 part series on building trust and authority online.

In part 1, I covered setting up WordPress, starting a blog and creating great sharable content.

In this part, I'll focus on design.

Design is somewhat of a subjective thing although I like to think most people can tell good design from bad design, even if they can't quantify it very well.

The Two Components of Design

When you think of design you probably think about how something looks. But as the late, great Steve Jobs said "Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works"

When it comes to websites it is important to have something that looks nice but also something that achieves your goal (to build trust and authority).

Component 1 - Looking Nice

Having something that looks professional is essential. People will judge something immediately based on appearance. If your site is out of date, has inconsistent fonts, poor quality images, different size to other sites, has excessive flash etc, then people will make assumptions about you and or your business.

You need three things to make a nice looking website.

  1. A nice modern, professional logo. If your logo is out of date and ugly your site will be too.
  2. Nice images. If you use old pixilated or just boring images your site won't look good. This is particularly true with ecommerce sites - product images need to look good.
  3. A web designer that can design nice quality sites or a professional website theme that has been designed by a good web designer already.

This is always going to be tricky because people aren't going to tell you if your site looks terrible. But here are some things to look for to work out if your site is nice:

  • Is your logo crisp, simple and modern (no blurring around it)?
  • Are your design colours consistent?
  • Is your text easy to read?
  • Are your fonts, font sizes and colours consistent throughout the site?
  • Is your site the same size as other sites?
  • Are your images professional and well integrated into the site?

Website Design Component 2 - Does it Work?

If your goal is to build trust and authority your site is not well designed unless it succeeds in helping towards this.

Every website should have a goal - something specific. For example if you want to build authority you probably want to build up a following either an email list or on social media or similar.

Make sure your goal is well defined and then make sure the site is designed around it (most goals can be easily tracked using Google Analytics).

For example the Goal on Xero.com is to get people to sign up for a free trial. The whole site is designed around getting people to do exactly that.

Check out this landing page for the Michelle Bridges 12 week body transformation. The goal is clear, to get you to sign up for her newsletter to be notified about details about the program. The whole page is designed around getting you to sign up. It's so well done I'm tempted to sign up myself except I'm skinny :(

Click to go in our free online competitionsYou will notice with that example a few tricks they use which are also good for building authority:

  1. The use of video - which is a very powerful way to convince people of authority.
  2. Specific copy on what makes the offering unique.
  3. Specific testimonials from members (very powerful if they seem authentic).
  4. A personal touch.

Depending on your site you might want to extend this further by providing social proof - i.e. show your Facebook likes or Twitter followers or perhaps examples of your work depending on your site.

Website Design Tips Conclusion

There is a lot of thought that goes into well designed websites and generally it is captured by the two components of design, the need to look good and the need to achieve a goal.

I hope you have enjoyed this post. In part three, I will start to look at specific strategies you can employ online to start building your authority. 



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Meet Dan Norris of A Website Designer

Meet Dan Norris of A Website Designer

Dan Norris runs small business web design specialists A Website Designer and is passionate about helping people succeed online.
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