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7 Things That You Don’t Realize Are Making Your Brand or Website Look Untrustworthy

They say it’s what’s inside that counts but I think we can all agree that what’s on the outside is most often the deciding factor in whether or not you take a deeper look. I’ve been working online long enough to have witnessed so many entrepreneurs complain that no one supports their brand. Some can at least get people to visit their websites but have found the visitors exit within seconds without making a purchase. Upon visiting these websites myself, I often see why a patron wouldn’t want to hand over their debit/credit card info. Everything basically looked too sketchy & you could be guilty of the same errors that are making your brand or website look untrustworthy.

One of the worst kinds of mistakes is a mistake that costs you money and before someone spends their money with you, they need to feel confident in doing so. Hesitant or cautious just isn’t the feeling you should be giving someone who is ready to part with their hard earned greenbacks.

The major downside to living in the digital age is that everyone’s attention span is a lot shorter so rather than make an effort to understand your brand when it looks thrown together, we are more likely to click off and move on. All throughout the day we are being presented with an endless feed of posts, videos, images, ads and other media competing for our attention. You only get one chance to make an authoritative first impression so you must make sure you leave a lasting one.

Here are 7 crucial things that may be ruining your website or brand along with what you can do to boost its credibility.

1. Your domain isn’t a .com

At this point, there are so many extensions in existence I’ve lost count. From .xyz to .io to .store, if you can think it, it’s probably out there somewhere.

But nothing will ever be as strong as a .com. In a sea of spammy websites online, you should always opt for something that people will never hesitate to click on. I’d go as far as to say that if the name that you want is taken for the .com, choose another name. It’s better to do that than to choose a shady looking extension.

I used to own lecocodecor.com & renewed it on the last day of the redemption period a few years ago when they reminded me in an email. 3 days later, the registrar refunded my money saying that I did it too late. Some Chinese registrar quickly stole the name and is using it to display spam. So instead of lecocodecor.com, I purchased shoplecocodecor.com for when or if ever I decide to have a presence for it again somewhere other than Etsy. It’s still strongly branded and no one will be put off by a questionable extension.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have seen trusted brands using other extensions but they usually have the marketing budget to be heavily endorsed by people that are influential. This obviously makes using their services less of a risk. But if you are a new/small/unknown brand, it’s best not to sabotage your success right at the beginning & stick with the extension everyone knows and trusts.

Oh, yeah and I don’t mind .co that much either. It’s closer than everything else to .com.

2. Your domain still has the platform in the URL that your site is hosted by

When it comes to your business, e-commerce shop, blog or anything else there is no reason why your visitors should instantly know the platform your website was built on. For example:

  • yoursite.myshopify.com
  • yoursite.bigcartel.com
  • yoursite.wordpress.com
  • yoursite.blogspot.com

That’s a huge no-no. In all honesty, I have instantly made up my mind about someone’s business before even seeing what they had to offer when the host was still included in their URL that way.

Coincidentally, I’d started writing this post days before I was contacted about this very thing. Someone I know expressed that she wanted to move away from Shopify. This surprised me because Shopify is the industry standard of e-commerce platforms! In fact, I’ve used Shopify for one of my stores for years & will also be using it for the shop on this one.

Turns out that she only wanted to move because she didn’t like that the ‘myshopify’ part was in her URL. She was like “weird, I know!” To which I replied that her concern was VERY valid.. i.e. not weird at all because that’s indeed a negative & more people should be as wise as she was to know that’s not ideal.

I realized in that moment that sometimes people just don’t know that the domain can be changed. I advised her that it was a super easy fix for that & proceeded to help her get it situated! Basically, you will need to purchase your domain from a registrar like Namecheap. That’s where all of mine are currently registered. Once you have it, you will need to follow your platform’s instructions for pointing your custom domain to their servers. Just like magic, you’ve gone from sketchy AF to a brand of strength!

3. Bad website or brand design

I’m a huge website design snob. I admit it. Meaning if your website sucks, I probably won’t be caught dead shopping there because I have to assume your business does too. I’ve always attributed this to the fact that I design websites but apparently it’s not just limited to those who have an eye for aesthetics but those who simply have an eye for quality.

So many studies have shown that a horribly designed website almost always has a super high bounce rate. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that leave a webpage without taking a single action.

If you can’t put any effort into making your website look professional, it basically seems like you won’t put any effort into making sure I’m happy with your product or service.

Follow these design tips:

  • The UI(user interface) should be easily navigable & clean.
  • Text should be readable. If you want to use script fonts, please use it for accents & never for body text.
  • Make sure your SSL certificate is valid. Especially on checkout pages.
  • Cohesiveness is key. No one likes a bipolar brand or website. Choose a theme & color scheme and stick with it.

Anything other than this makes you look inexperienced & unwilling to invest in quality design.

4. Your business email address is from well known clients like yahoo or gmail

No one can ever say that yahoo or gmail addresses aren’t valid. They are. But when it comes to your business or brand they look a little too personal. Even if it’s yourbusiness@gmail.com.

Instead you should be utilizing your domain name for your email address so that it looks like name@yourbusiness.com.

I use Google Workspace for my business email addresses here on The Cyberhustler, on Glamber Alert & on iRockstarz. & guess what?! They are $6 or less every month. My favorite thing is that you can set up aliases for each email address. For example on iRockstarz, the email address that I give everyone is phuckyeah@irockstarz.com but as it is an e-commerce store, I also set up

  • sales@irockstarz.com
  • returns@irockstarz.com
  • hello@irockstarz.com
  • support@irockstarz.com

No matter which email address someone uses, they all go to the same inbox. That’s fine for me because I’ve always worked alone. However, if you didn’t want them all to go to the same inbox you would just set up different users instead of different aliases just keep in mind that each additional user is $6 extra. During signup, you can connect an existing domain name that you have registered elsewhere or you can purchase one right there from Google.

Google Workspace doesn’t just stop at email addresses but it includes other great collaboration tools like Calendar, Docs, Meet, Chat, Drive, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites and more.

5. Poor grammar & misspelling words

I’ll keep this one short. If you can’t speak or write coherently, people will not expect that you can deliver on what it is that you say you do. It screams uneducated and no one wants to spend money with someone who doesn’t seem intelligent enough to be in business.

Don’t know the difference between your/you’re, woman/women, breath/breathe, their/they’re & etc? Then please – I say this with love – don’t write your own copy. Hiring someone who specializes in doing so would be well worth the investment. If you insist on writing your own, please use software like Grammarly to guide you through it.

6. No social proof

Your patrons want to be able to find you on their favorite social media platforms. Make sure you’re there when they do. You don’t have to be on all of them but at least have a presence somewhere other than your website. Seeing other customers interact with your brand gives them the confidence to do business with you.

Also make sure your visitors know exactly what you do or sell without having to dig through the posts to figure it out. It should be very clear in your bio as well as on your feed. It’s cool to have some personal things on a business page because people enjoy a good “behind-the-scenes” sneak peek but do make sure that the personal things tie in well with the story you want your brand to tell.

7. No clear contact info or policies

Should your audience have questions prior to purchasing from you, they need to have a way to do so. But keep in mind that some people just want to be able to look up your policies without having to interact with you at all.

Create a ‘Contact’ page like this one & make sure that your policies are clear so that they feel confident that if they have a problem, there will be a way that it can be addressed.

Level up!

Addressing these issues will work wonders in how you and your business are perceived. When it comes to your brand & website your biggest concern should always be to present yourself using tactics & imagery based in legitimacy. Now go forth and transform from scummy to yummy!

The Cyberhustler only recommends and links out to things I love based on quality, aesthetics, durability or other encompassing benefits & may earn for doing so. If you want to know more, click here.

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