How to Use Trust Psychology to Improve Landing Page Performance
Trust, more than almost any other factor, guides every decision that we make.
Would you pay that shady guy in the back alley $200 bucks for an Apple Watch? Probably not.
Even if the guy told you the watch was in perfect condition and that it was $600 at the Apple store, most people would still say no—we know that you can’t trust shady guys in a back alley.
But what if your friend told you that the “shady guy” was actually a legitimate distributor? What if your friend showed you a watch he bought from the guy and told you about how happy he was with the purchase?
Would you be more open to buying a watch?
As human beings, we are constantly weighing the risks and benefits of every situation.
If you’re trying to decide whether or not jaywalking across a highway in the middle of rush hour is a good idea, that constant risk-benefit calculation is a great asset.
However, if you’re trying to get someone to buy online, that same, ever-present equation can be your worst enemy.
To convince your target market to convert, you have to convince them that the benefits of converting outweigh the risks. There are a lot of ways to do this, but one of the most effective is social proof.
What Makes Social Proof Important?
Think about it this way, do you trust infomercials? If not, why?
I mean, we all cut bread with pieces of wood, right?
That guy on the commercial is being paid to sell you his product. He makes money off every sale, so there’s a good chance that he’s biased...he could even be lying.
But is it possible that your customers think about your site the same way you think about infomercials?
Unfortunately, most people are very wary of online marketing. So, even if you have the best, most forthright site on the web, you still need to convince people to trust you before they’ll be willing to convert.
That’s where social proof comes into play.
People may not trust you, but they do trust other people. In general, other people don’t get paid to say nice things about your business, so the only reason they would say nice things is if your product is, well, nice.
For example, simply placing user reviews on a site will make 63% of your potential customers more comfortable with making a purchase. Security seals can increase sales by up to 42%!
So, if you want people to trust your business, you need to find people in your target market who will say good things about your product, and then...get them to share their feelings.
With that in mind, here are 4 ways to add compelling social proof to your landing pages:
1. Put Together a Few Case Studies
Nothing sells like a story. Case studies turn your current customer experiences into stories that allow your potential customers to vicariously experience what it will be like to use your product or service.
If a customer can see that something was worthwhile for someone else, they’ll be a lot more willing to take the plunge themselves.
In addition to helping potential customers envision what your offer will do for them, case studies give your customers a measuring stick for success.
For example, if your case study talks about how your product saved a client $10,000 a year and the competition only saved their client $5,000, your product is going to be the clear winner.
Now, case studies aren’t necessary for every business, and not everyone will read them, but they can do wonders for your business’s credibility.
2. Include Great Testimonials
Testimonials are a fantastic way to add a human touch to your page and make your company seem more trustworthy.
In fact, for many people, testimonials will be the most important social proof you can have on your site.
Plus, testimonials are easy to put together and put on your page—all you need to do is get people to share their experience with your product.
That being said, your potential customers can usually tell if you’ve doctored your testimonials, so just let your clients talk about what was good for them. People get that your business isn’t perfect, they just want to know what they can expect if they choose to convert.
Now, since testimonials are fairly easy to fabricate, it can sometimes be hard to put together a truly compelling testimonial. However, there a few things you can do to make your testimonials more believable:
- Refer back to credible sources. Consider finding other business leaders in your field. If a top dog in your field is willing to put his or her name on your page, that will go a long ways towards building your credibility.
- Include more details. Convincing details are hard to make up, so they tend to increase believability. If people feel like they could potentially get a hold of the person you’re quoting, they’re much more likely to take your testimonial seriously.
- Use pictures. Pictures are an easy way to make your testimonials even more compelling. These days, it’s pretty easy to look up names and faces online and potentially reach out to someone you have listed on your site. If the face and name match, that’s another great trust signal.
- Add a video. Video testimonials are almost impossible to fake, which makes them seem extra believable. Plus, it’s easy to feel someone’s sincerity and enthusiasm in a video, so potential customers can use your videos to really get a sense for how your customers feel about your business.
- Incorporate outside content. Third party content can’t just be made up and is easy to verify. If you can include reviews from different platforms that people already trust, you’ll go a long ways towards winning their conversion.
- Use a variety of formats. There’s very little chance every customer will let you take a video of them, but many of your customers may be willing to let you use their picture or review. Using multiple formats will broaden the appeal of your testimonials and provide evidence of a wide range of satisfied customers.
Studies show that customer reviews increase sales by 18%, so it’s well worth your time to put together a set of testimonials that leave your customers thinking, Hey, that sounds awesome, sign me up today!
3. Take Advantage of Social Media
One really easy way to establish your credibility is to include follower counts and likes on your landing page.
I mean, thousands of people can’t be wrong, can they?
There are a lot of easy-to-use plugins you can use to add social media counts to your landing page. Once you’ve done that, all of your visitors will know how much people on social media love you!
Just remember, this only works well if you have a large following. If only 12 people follow your Twitter account, including that on your landing page won’t do much for your credibility.
To that end, it can help to combine follower counts across social media platforms. After all, 1,000 total likes/followers looks a lot better than 100 page likes on Facebook, 400 followers on Twitter, 200 followers on LinkedIn, 297 followers on Instagram and 3 followers on Google+.
As a quick side note, social media is a great place to lose potential customers. So, to avoid distracting your traffic, you probably don’t want to make your social media numbers clickable.
4. Seal Your Trust
Trust is so important that entire businesses exist to verify the trustworthiness of companies. If your company makes the cut, you can put their trust seal on your page.
People like these seals because they’re an easy way to verify that you’re trusted by a reputable third-party. Therefore, people should be able to trust you.
As a result, adding these businesses’ trust seals to your landing page is another easy way to make your site more trustworthy.
In fact, nowadays, trust seals have become so commonplace that if you don’t have at least one or two, some people simply won’t trust your site enough to convert.
Sure, these stamps of approval will cost you a little, but the trust signals they send can be the difference between a potential customer that converts or one who abandons your page.
When it comes to choosing a trust badge, Norton Secured is typically considered the most trustworthy badge, but it’s not your only option.
If a particular badge is especially trusted by your market, make sure you’ve got that badge on your page. Otherwise, it’s really up to you which seal you choose to use.
In the end, the most important thing to remember is this: people pick companies that they trust.
Every decision starts with a risk-benefit calculation. If people trust that converting on your landing page will provide them a lot of benefit with little risk, they’ll convert.
If not, they’ll almost certainly look for a more trustworthy page.
However, by putting the right mix of case studies, testimonials, social media and trust seals on your page, you can give your potential customers exactly what they need to feel comfortable converting.
How do you think social proof can increase how much people trust you? Are there other things that help you know when a site is trustworthy?
About the author:
Jacob is a passionate entrepreneur on a mission to help businesses achieve online marketing success. As the Founder & CEO of Disruptive Advertising, Jacob has created an award-winning, world-class organization that has helped hundreds of businesses grow using pay-per-click advertising and conversion rate optimization.