Landing pages are those web pages specifically designed to perform one task…it could be to sell your product, encourage people to sign up for an email newsletter or recommend an event.
No matter the purpose, however, a landing page must build trust from the very beginning and never let up. The moment it does, your prospect will likely take a hike.
Here are ten very simple ways to keep him from doing that.
1 – Match Ad Copy With Landing Page Headlines
More than likely people will arrive on your landing page from some other source, like a text ad. This is where the journey of building trust begins. In a nutshell, your landing page headlines and ad copy should match.
For example, I searched Google for “landing page conversion.” Here are the text ads that popped upon the left:
I chose the last one because it looked pretty unique and makes a pretty big promise. Unfortunately, when I clicked through I didn’t get that as a headline. Here’s what I got:
There seems to be a disconnect here, don’t you think?
I want to know more about “+191% conversion rate” but the only thing that satisfies that curiosity is a large, non-clickable icon.
Wouldn’t you think mentioning something as specific as “+191 conversion rate” merits an explanation?
I do, too.
This company makes the mistake of not answering that unique promise right off the bat, which will probably bounce people right off the page, which brings us to the next element.
2 – Write Seductive Headlines
Like I mentioned above, that text ad was pretty compelling. It was specific and had a benefit-laden promise. See, when a user hits your landing page, you need to pull out the big guns. You need to make a beautiful promise that solves one of their pain points. This is the trick to getting people’s attention.
Take a peek at the headlines that Russ Henneberry found on Prevention magazine:
Notice anything special about those headlines? They are unique, ultra-specific, urgent and/or useful. Your landing page headlines need to do the same thing. Your headlines needs to grab your target audience and force them to keep reading.
When you give your target audience what they want, you are naturally going to raise trust and landing page conversion.
3 – Create Compelling Landing Page Copy
Your next step to creating trust on your landing page is by writing great copy. Here’s a landing page from 37 Signals product Basecamp:
Notice the short paragraphs, short sentences and easy-to-understand language? Those are all elements that build trust. If you use words that people find hard to understand, then you can easily alienate then.
Here are a few more elements to use in your copy that generates trust [and create scannable copy]:
- Sub Headlines. If your landing page is long, then you need to give reader’s visual clues to what the entire page contains. Each sub headline should summarize in a compelling fashion the copy beneath it.
- Bullet Lists. Because you can scan bullet lists, people love it when you use them. So, break chunks of copy up with a liberal use of bullets.
- Limit the use of links. Since this is your landing page, the last thing you want to do is distract people with links that lead them away from the page. If you need to explain something to the reader, then do it on the page.
- No typos. One of the quickest ways you can break trust with your reader is with typos. Make sure spelling and grammar are correct on the page. Readers are looking for reasons to leave your page. Don’t give it to them.
4 – Display Impressive Numbers
Another great way to create trust is to show how many people are using your current product or service. This is a form of social proof and it goes a long way in getting others to sit up and take notice. Here’s what Copyblogger does to encourage people to sign up for their blog:
You also see social proof in action on how many comments have been entered and social media mentions. For example here are my social numbers on one of my Copyblogger articles:
Social proof helps people make decisions based on limited information. Should I read this post? Gee whiz, 177 people commented and 888 tweets…I need to see what this is about.
This doesn’t only apply to blog posts. The same is true of your landing page. How can you show people that your product can be trusted?
5 – Supply Endorsements
Want to build credibility with your readers immediately? Then show off those impressive endorsements from those prestigious organizations have been giving you. Here’s 37 Signals again to show you what I mean:
Let me ask you a quick question: Before now, have you ever heard of 37 Signals? If not, seeing the companies and organizations who use their products…does that change your view of them from “strangers to be cautious with” to “people with a reputation you can trust?”
I bet that’s the case. And that’s the power of endorsements.
6 – Highlight 3rd Party Certification
Since your landing page is more than likely going to be selling something, you need to demonstrate you can be trusted.
In other words, since people are going to exchange their hard-earned money for your product…and probably over the Internet…then you need to demonstrate that you’re not going to take or lose their money or expose them to identity theft.
How do you do that? That’s where third-party certification comes in, organizations like VeriSign and Better Business Bureau. Here’s the bottom of the page of New Egg:
Both VeriSign and Better Business Bureau [BBB] are internationally-recognised as organizations that provide customers a safe way to buy products online. You really shouldn’t sell something online without these pieces in place.
7 – Display Press Mentions
If you have a product that has been mentioned in the press, then you need to mention what was said about your product and by who.
Here’s how Base Camp does it:
Press mentions work on the same level as endorsements. Press mentions tell your readers “You can trust the people and product behind this landing page because high-profile media is sticking their necks out by saying good things about their products.”
This is one reason that early in product development it’s important to try and bring media attention to your product.
8 – Don’t Skimp On Design
Short quiz…look at the two snippets of landing page design below and tell me which one you would trust more…
This one, exhibit A…
Or this one, exhibit B…
If you’re like me, then you probably chose exhibit B. I’m not into hypnosis, but if I was to put my money somewhere I’d put it with the guy who looks like he actually spent some money developing and designing his landing page.
Design is such an important factor when it comes to trust and making sales, Brian Clark at Copyblogger built a product around the concept.
Can you tell which one it is?
9 – Tone Down Those Terms and Conditions
When your product or service demands that you explain the terms and conditions of use…do not take the lawyer’s copy and place it on your landing page. Legalese does not make people feel comfortable.
Just the opposite.
Make sure people can understand what you are trying to say. In fact, put this copy to the test by having a friend or two read it. Then ask them to tell you what it says. If they don’t say what you hope they say, then re-write it until it’s clear beyond a shadow of a doubt what you are trying to say.
Here’s how not to do it:By the way, you can always summarize the Terms and Conditions on the landing page and then link to the TOS with legal teeth like the one above. If you’re going to link to anything, this might be a good one. People may feel like they can’t trust you if you don’t.
10 – Testimonials
A landing page is going to fall dead in the water if you do not provide testimonials.
If your business doesn’t yet have testimonials, ask your customers to send you some. Just shoot them an email asking to send you a short testimonial on how they liked your product.
Want to know a really great way to damage your credibility? Create fake testimonials.
By the way, when using testimonials, try to arrange the testimonials so they highlight different aspects about your product or service.
Where should you put your testimonials? Some people like to create a sidebar full of testimonials. Other people like to pepper them throughout the page when it’s appropriate. Even others use both approaches. I’ve seen them all work equally well. The most important thing is that they are there.
No doubt there are more ways to generate trust on a landing page. Can you think of any?
Part of the Sales Letter Makeover Series. Other posts in the series:
- Everything You Need to Know about Writing Seductive Offers in 7 Easy Steps
- Gimpy Web Copy? Use This 4-Step Copy Formula to Make It Killer
- The List: What Copywriters Have in Common with Jockeys
- The 3 Ways a Sales Letter Can Fail (and How to Avoid Each)
- How Compelling Is Your Website’s Copy? A Simple, 4-Step Checklist - July 3, 2012
- You Might Not Be the Kind of Person Who Can Use This Copywriting Trick - April 18, 2012
- 8 Brilliant Examples Of Social Proof On The Web - February 2, 2012