For most of the businesses I have been involved with the websites have become the main way they prove their trading credentials (sometimes an elaborate business card is all that small business needs). Whatever the purpose or size of your website all visitors are potential customers and they look at your website for proof that they are dealing with a legitimate business. A lot of this 'confidence building' is down to the overall look of the site and the quality of the content. Good images, error free text and easy navigation are great first steps.
To build on a good 'first impression' here are some fundamental elements that your website should include*.
1. SSL security certificate as identified by a web address starting with https:// (look for the padlock symbol).
2. Physical address and landline telephone number. This is especially good if you are a limited company.
3. A domain based email address for example email@example.com.
4. Any relevant trade association logos.
5. Where appropriate consider including insurance details. Not too detailed just give the basic cover etc.
6. Multiple domains. This may not be a tangible part of the actual website but owning the top level domains for a business is a good idea and an indicator of a serious business. For example JIMLTD.com/.co.uk/.net and JAMESIMAGEMANAGEMENTLIMITED.com/co.uk all point at this website.
Looking at this from the other side, as a website user you can check a websites safety status with a Google Transparency Report. By typing in a web address you can search to see whether a website is currently dangerous to visit.
*Nothing in this post should be taken as legal advice on which you can rely. It is for general information only and just represents my understanding of current UK/EU legislation. If you are unsure of your position I strongly recommend that you take professional legal advice.
Hopefully this blog provide some insight into what we offer, provide inspiration for you to build the website you have always wanted and help with developing your business generally.