Consistent Instagram activity builds trust in a website - pop-ups destroy it

Consistent Instagram activity builds trust in a website - pop-ups destroy it

The big challenge for any website is to engage customers with relevant content. But how many sites are failing to engage simply because they don’t build trust or fail to recognise the importance of confidence in a site?

According to recent research, a site’s ability to maintain engagement comes down to whether or not consumers trust what they see. An unhappy user, after all, will leave a website within 10-20 seconds if they are unsatisfied.

The top five features that build trust

Research by Reboot SEO Agency has found that the top five features that build trust among consumers are: social media activity (47%), recognised trust seals (47%), affiliation with trusted websites (45%), SSL certification (43%) and address and phone number listed (40%).

Social media activity 47%
Recognised trust seals 47%
Affiliated with trusted websites 45%
SSL certificate 43%
Address and phone number listed 40%
A professional design layout 38%
Familiar payment methods 36%
No stock images 36%
Terms and conditions and privacy policy 31%
About Us page 31%

Social media activity tops the charts, especially Instagram

Almost half of participants surveyed (47%) 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 made easy.

Reboot SEO Agency also found that 56% of users view a company that uses Instagram as more trustworthy than those using other social media platforms. As many as 45% said they would not use a website that isn’t active on social media.

Meanwhile, 43% of users think 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.

Ways to pay win the day

Having familiar payment methods (such as PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, etc) on your website ranked as the sixth most trustworthy feature (36%). A solid 92% of users said 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 and determines interaction, with only 2% ranking it in their top five.

Which features build distrust?

Having identified the features that build trust, the survey went further, asking participants to choose the top five features that make them distrust a website. In this way, the survey discovered the key issues that reduce customer engagement.

Pop-up ads 65%
Grammatical errors and spelling mistakes 56%
Lots of adverts 52%
Very large discounts and broken links 45%
Blurry images 43%
No reviews 40%
No trust seals 38%
No SSL certificate 36%
Wrong currency entering a website 34%
Missing contact details 29%

The study found that customers have little confidence in a website with pop ups. A majority – 65% of users – state this makes them question its authenticity and would choose to reduce their interaction with this website. This is partially due to 82% of participants being concerned about malware and security.

Spelling and grammar

Correct grammar and wording are one of the most important factors for 56% of participants. Websites with poor grammar and spelling quite predictably raise doubts and provoke hesitation among visitors. Additionally, 79% of shoppers said that they would not use, or trust, a website with grammatical or spelling errors.

People love a good review

The sixth most untrustworthy feature is a website with no reviews or case studies available, as stipulated by 40% of shoppers. In total, 65% state they would not purchase from a website if there are no reviews, and Reboot found that 93% of visitors are likely to exit the website due to this.

Naomi Arahony

Surprisingly, 65% of people purchasing online said they would use a website that does not have an About Us page and 75% said they would continue to browse on a website that is not mobile friendly.

Reboot SEO Agency Managing Director Naomi Aharony says, “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.”


Reboot SEO Agency surveyed 1,322 people to compile the study.