How websites have built trust

How websites have built trust

Posted on
November 21, 2022

We build things at Cyces. And one of the things we build are websites. More specifically: We want to build websites that will grow your business. To put it crudely: Websites that give you leads.

It sure is enticing to talk about CRO, and every other technique that helps you harvest leads. There are hundreds of articles about what button colours convert users better. (Full confession: We ourselves have written about it here). We’ve changed the colours of a website, played around with CTA placement, and added a flashy GIF here and there. All in the hope of getting leads. And in the process, we got lost in the details.

We failed to understand a fundamental question: What is the one thing a website should do?

Here is a snippet from the 1999 website of 37Signals the company that built Basecamp. Among multiple other inspirations, this gave us the most clarity.

Other companies talk about the importance of designing for the B2B, B2C, C2B, or B2C2B market. We don't. The truth is corporations don't use web sites, people do. B2whatever, we'll design a site that works for the person on the other end.

We then broke it down further. When will a site works for the person on the other end. When a website builds trust.

We then got down to study how websites we love built trust in the minds of the user. Thanks a ton to Web Archive (for all the screenshots from the past), and the people who built these websites over the years. For uniformity, we have chosen to look at websites from 2012-2022.


Basecamp is a project management tool which we at Cyces use to manage our multiple endeavours. It has proven to be very effective for our website projects since they require constant communication with the clients.

This is a screenshot from 2012, the year when London hosted Olympics. I now look at these snapshots with the one question in mind. “Which one of these elements builds trust?”. It sounds corny, but with Basecamp, almost all elements further the cause of trust. “Last week, 13,398 companies” started using Basecamp. About 13,000 businesses could not be wrong. Then, they emphasize it further. Millions of people in 150k companies use Basecamp — since 2004 (notice the rubber stamp).

When it comes to showcasing testimonials, Basecamp does not hold back.

Here are some snapshots from 2017. Gotta love this illustration. Here, Basecamp captures painpoints in design, and their content. Their primary customers were small businesses. And they have laid out every problems such companies face. This means, Basecamp knows their customers quite well.

I added in this screenshot from the same year. Basecamp retains some UX elements from 2017! It has displayed the number of businesses that have signed up in the last week. In fact, this stays on, even today.

The attention to detail: The yellow highlights, the number of notifications that keep increasing (in the smoke from the busy working woman’s head), and the copy below which clarifies that you can add team members for the free trial period.

This is now, in 2022. Basecamp displays hundreds of quotes from its happy customers. They display messages from business owners with whom a user can relate to the most. Their testimonials page is not a bunch of high-profile logos. Here is another page which we refer to quite often at Cyces: It always comes up during design conversations.

What we learnt:

  • Do not be afraid of showcasing testimonials
  • Keep it relatable
  • It is all in the details
  • There is no need to change something that has worked well in the past


This, is again from 2012. When Hubspot was positioning itself as an ‘all-in-one marketing software’.

Hubspot has also went all out with its awards, press mentions and its testimonials (not captured here). The testimonials mention numbers: “550% increase in organic traffic”. There is another block advertising ‘World’s Largest Webinar” on Inbound Marketing.

(Notice the CTAs)

Hubspot were pioneers of Inbound Marketing, and there is the classic need to educate an audience.  Here is a screenshot from 2017, when they showcase their expertise in Inbound Marketing. Their blogs fetch millions of monthly visits, and 54,000 professionals got their certificates from Hubspot Academy.

This was their landing page hero text in 2017: 'GENERATE LEADS, CLOSE DEALS & MANAGE YOUR PIPELINE WITH THE HUBSPOT GROWTH STACK’. Hubspot’s websites have been sharp and concise with their messaging. For a salesperson/marketer — their userbase — the pitch is crystal clear.

Now in 2022, Hubspot stays as clear as ever. They have retained the above shot even today, with more impressive numbers.

What we learnt:

  • Less is more
  • Use clear copy
  • Experiment with CTAs

Lessons from a rowing team

Rowing is a straightforward sport. You just have to make the boat go faster. While training for the Sydney Olympics in 2000, the British rowing team punctuated every activity with this question ‘Will it make the boat go faster?’

“Should we go to the pub tonight?”Will it make the boat go faster?“Should we have eggs for breakfast?”Will it make the boat go faster?

We now try to apply this at Cyces. Before putting an element on a website, we ask: “Will it create trust?”

Note: Cyces builds websites under its division Freshboost. Check out its website here



Webflow plans cost

Webflow has varied plans depending on your requirements.
The lowest plans start from $14 and the highest can go above $300/month for enterprise sites.

Developer cost

Most custom web-flow websites require additional HTML, and CSS code to change the appearance and this will require a developer. 
$25/hour to $150/hour depending on regions

Designer cost

The custom Webflow site will have a custom design, which will require a design.
Starts from $50/hour and upwards depending on Region


Webflow uses integration to work with third-party data sites or apps like Zapier.
Integrations like Zapier start at $19.99/month.

Site Type

E-commerce sites are heavy, while small business sites are light.
A small custom site can range from $3500. Whereas, ecommerce sites will start from $10,000 and above
Sydney SEO Conference‍Mar. 1, 2024‍Sydney, Australia‍
WTSFest London‍Mar. 8, 2024‍London, UK‍
PubCon‍Mar 4-6, 2024‍Las Vegas, US‍
SMX Munich‍Mar. 12 & 13, 2024‍Munich, Germany‍
SMX Paris‍Mar. 14 & 15, 2024‍Paris, France‍
Friends of Search‍Mar. 21, 2024‍Amsterdam, Netherlands‍
SEO Mastery Summit‍Apr. 9 - 11, 2024‍Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam‍
BrightonSEO‍Apr. 24 & 25, 2024 / Oct. 3 & 4, 2024‍Brighton, UK‍
Mozcon‍Jun. 3 & 4, 2024‍Seattle, US‍
WTSFest Berlin‍Jun. 7, 2024‍Berlin, Germany‍
LondonSEO XL‍Jun. 13, 2024‍London, UK‍
SEO on the Beach‍Jun. 14 & 15, 2024‍La Manga, Spain‍
WTSFest USA‍Sep. 19, 2024‍Philadelphia, US‍
Chiang Mai SEO Conference‍Nov 22 & 23‍Chiang Mai, Thailand‍
International Search Summit‍Nov. 14, 2024‍Barcelona, Spain‍
BrightonSEO (US edition)‍Nov. 19 & 20, 2024‍
San Diego, US
November 2023 reviews update8 Nov 202329 days
November 2023 core update2 Nov 202325 days, 21 hours
October 2023 core update5 Oct 202313 days, 23 hours
Ranking is experiencing an ongoing issue5 Oct 202326 days
October 2023 spam update4 Oct 202315 days, 12 hours
September 2023 helpful content update14 Sep 202313 days, 11 hours
August 2023 core update22 Aug 202316 days, 3 hours
April 2023 reviews update12 Apr 202313 days, 2 hours
March 2023 core update15 Mar 202313 days, 7 hours
February 2023 product reviews update21 Feb 202314 days

Poorani Balendra
Poorani Balendra
Get a free SEO audit. Turn your website into a revenue engine
Audit my website now
Signup for our blog
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Frequently asked questions

Is SEO important for eCommerce platforms?

Yes, SEO is crucial for eCommerce platforms. It enhances visibility on search engines, attracts potential customers, and improves the chances of higher conversion rates, ultimately boosting online sales.

How to increase eCommerce sales with SEO?

To boost eCommerce sales with SEO, focus on keyword optimization, create high-quality and relevant content, optimize product pages, improve website speed, utilize social media, encourage customer reviews, and invest in a mobile-friendly design.

How Is SEO for E-commerce Different?

SEO for E-commerce differs in product-focused optimization, dealing with large inventories, optimizing product pages, handling duplicate content issues, addressing seasonal fluctuations, and focusing on user experience to encourage conversions. It's a specialized approach tailored for online retail.

Which Ecommerce Platform is Best for SEO?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Popular platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento offer good SEO capabilities. The best choice depends on your business needs, content management preferences, and technical expertise.

What are the benefits of SEO for eCommerce Platform?

SEO for eCommerce platforms brings increased organic traffic, higher visibility in search engine results, improved user experience, enhanced credibility, and better chances of converting leads into customers, leading to increased sales and revenue.

Frequently asked questions

Is pay-per-click advertising worth it?

PPC advertising offers targeted reach, measurable results, and fast outcomes, making it valuable for businesses. It allows precise audience targeting and provides detailed analytics for performance tracking. While it delivers quick results, it requires ongoing investment and time for management. Additionally, competitiveness in certain industries can raise costs and pose challenges.

How is ranking different when comparing PPC vs SEO?

PPC: Paid placement based on bidding and ad quality for immediate results and precise targeting.SEO: Organic ranking influenced by website quality and content relevance, takes time to build and maintain.

How Is SEO for E-commerce Different?

SEO for E-commerce differs in product-focused optimization, dealing with large inventories, optimizing product pages, handling duplicate content issues, addressing seasonal fluctuations, and focusing on user experience to encourage conversions. It's a specialized approach tailored for online retail.

How do SEO and PPC work together?

SEO and PPC complement each other by improving online visibility and driving traffic. PPC provides keyword insights for SEO, while SEO informs PPC strategies. PPC serves as a testing ground for SEO keywords, enhancing organic optimization efforts. Together, they increase SERP visibility, optimize landing pages, and improve user experience and conversions. Additionally, PPC data informs SEO content strategies, resulting in better online performance overall.

How much do PPC agencies charge?

PPC agencies offer services to assist businesses in handling their PPC campaigns, with costs typically ranging from $350 to $5,000 monthly or 12 to 30% of ad spend per month.

Frequently asked questions

What criteria should I consider when selecting an SEO agency?

When looking at how to choose an SEO agency, you’ll need to go through any available client testimonials that’ll be available in their website. Also, check if they’re transparent about their business approach to you and whether they possess a multi-disciplinary team.

How can I assess and evaluate the capabilities of an SEO agency?

When you research how to choose an SEO agency, you can evaluate their capabilities beforehand by going through their previous sample works, going through client testimonials and also going through community forums to check for reviews regarding the SEO Agency you’re looking out for.

What factors should I weigh when choosing an SEO specialist?

The factors that influence your question of how to choose an SEO agency should be to check if their portfolio is diverse, and whether they have good client testimonials, and they don’t guarantee you top ranks in Google’s search results.

What steps should I take to pick a local SEO company for my business?

Go through the company’s portfolio that is publicly available. Also, while looking for pointers on how to choose an SEO agency for your business, you can go through your local SEO agency’s client testimonials and research the company’s cultural dynamics.

Frequently asked questions

What is Plastic Surgery SEO?

Plastic surgery SEO is a specific type of search engine optimization (SEO) focused on attracting potential patients to a plastic surgeon's website. It involves various tactics to improve the website's visibility in search engine results for relevant keywords.

Why SEO for Plastic Surgeons Is Important?

SEO is an essential tool for plastic surgeons seeking to increase online visibility, rank high on SERP, attract qualified leads, and ultimately convert them into patients.

How long does it take for medical SEO to work?

Based on SEO strategies and the quality of content, initial improvements can be expected within the first three months. Achieving top positions in search results and driving traffic typically takes an average of six months.

How do you get plastic surgery leads?

Utilize 3D visualizations, Content Marketing & Webchat, patient-focused blogs, testimonials, mobile optimization, and SEO to generate plastic surgery leads.

Frequently asked questions

What is manufacturing SEO?

Manufacturing SEO involves optimizing a manufacturer's online presence to improve search engine rankings and visibility, attracting potential clients and enhancing brand awareness.

How does SEO benefit a manufacturing company?

SEO benefits manufacturing companies by increasing online visibility, attracting targeted leads, and establishing credibility, ultimately boosting brand awareness and facilitating business growth.

How can manufacturing companies improve SEO?

Manufacturing companies can enhance SEO by optimizing website content, incorporating relevant keywords, improving site speed, and utilizing quality backlinks for a stronger online presence.

How do you get plastic surgery leadsWhat is the main mistake of SEO that manufacturing companies make??

The main SEO mistake manufacturing companies make is neglecting to focus on industry-specific keywords and failing to regularly update and optimize their online content for search engines.