Trust, Safety and Credibility (Part 1) Landing Page Design Best Practices
how do you design fans? And welcome back in the last couple of lectures, we spoke about a lot of tangible elements that users are looking for in this lecture, we're gonna talk about a very intangible element of your landing pages, but an element that is extremely important to do right, that is trust, credibility and safety users come to your site with certain innate anxieties about how valid you are, about the trustworthiness of your site and of your company and you also want to do certain things that that not only decrease anxiety but actively increase a sense of affinity. I'm gonna show you a bunch of practical examples and I'm gonna show you a bunch of practical techniques to do this. Well, in a way that will increase your conversion rate and increase engagement with your brand. So with that let's jump into our slides. A user's likelihood to convert is directly related to how credible and how trustworthy your site feels and how your site appears. This is the type of thing that once ...
again, is very tied to that limbic system. It's not something that people will necessarily be able to point out when people will will choose a design preference or they'll say something feels safer. They typically don't realize why that is. These are also deep conventions, deeply held beliefs about what a site, how the site should look and how it should feel that will ultimately increase conversions. Like I said, trust and safety is an initial impression that's really formed literally within a second of users landing on your site because websites lack the fidelity of a face to face interaction. Right? If I'm selling you a product face to face, you know me, you get a sense of what I look like, how I speak, you know, my, my background, we could, we could, we could exchange information in a more personalized way. But because a web experience lacks that face to face fidelity, people are automatically conditioned not to trust you. They feel you're not trustworthy, innately guilty until proven innocent. That's how buying and converting on websites actually functions. It's your job to subdue that and prove yourself to be someone who's not only innocent, but someone who is extremely trustworthy elements that increase trust their subliminal in nature. Like like we just said, they're hard for users to point their, their hard for users to pinpoint their, even during a usability test, that's something we've seen over and over again. So in order to really know whether or not your landing pages are your changes to your landing pages are actually creating a sense of trust and a sense of quality, a sense of safety, you're gonna have to actually run real time a B tests to see whether or not your changes are improving conversion rates and you can see this screenshot I pulled on the right. This is the type of site that gives off an immediately untrustworthy appearance, right? There are just kind of things are spread out the colors that seems strange. There is this typical typical stock images kind of shoved there in the middle. These are all things that that further that feeling of anxiety and the user and they're they're not, this company is not doing anything that they should be doing that. I'm gonna show you in a minute. That will increase that sense of trust and increase that sense of safety. Right? These are things that are so important. Also because you need to do these tests to really figure out, you can't just do this in a five minute usability tests follow the following best practices blindly. They will always work in your favor. The overarching concept here is a sense of professionalism and refined aesthetics. We do judge books by their covers, right? We do form impressions very quickly. It will be very, very hard to change an impression. Once that first impression is formed. This overarching professionalism, that sense of aesthetic. It's the hardest thing to get right. It's a very overall, broad, broad sort of thing. There's not there's not one specific thing that creates a refined first impression. A lot of the different components of them. They're neatness, organization, high level of polish all those different things. Come together and create a sense of organization and professionalism. Clean typography, whitespace professional imagery, right? If we take a look at this screenshot on the right, You see professional imagery, you have good use of typography, right? You have professional graphics, clear navigation, there's elements that have room to breathe. There's whitespace. Once again, professional product shots a consistent but not overwhelming, color theme. Social share links, write paragraphs of copy that that are clean but not overwhelming. It's this page just feels professional, Right? And it's not any one component that gives it that professional field. It was designed. Well, that's what we're looking for here. I'm gonna show you an interesting test that I ran an actual usability test. Um, like I said, sometimes the subtler changes that you're gonna make are not going to necessarily be brought out through usability test, but this is a very clear example that that will actually prove this concept without a doubt. I took three sites that do the exact same thing. Here's a site that sells used cars and this is their homepage. Okay, take a look. That's what it is. Second sight Again, sells used cars the same exact thing. This is the design of the landing page. Okay, I don't need to go in and tell you all the different aspects why this is horrendous. You guys should be able to look at this and find 10, 15 different things from the just the lectures that we've spoken about, why this landing page is no good. Third site also sells used cars. Okay, this is the, this is a pretty big company called BP um, their growing popularity. They're doing a lot of really, really cool stuff in this space, but ultimately comes down to the same thing they sell used cars. Okay, So I ran the usability test. We asked a lot of people from across the country, um, which sight makes them feel safer. Safest about buying a used car. And then we asked them why, why did you choose the one you chose? So here are results. Okay, and this is not gonna be surprising, but it's still interesting. 85% of people chose BP, right? Probably like almost all of you chose 10% chose the first one, which was that ugly in your face purple and 5% chose that second one that had seemingly novel length text, you know, in the description fields, take a look at some of these responses that people wrote in the other one looks very cheap. The other to feel more gaudy. This one feels more straightforward and professional again, looks less cheap, It looks more professional and trustworthy than the others. Again, looks more professional. The least scam looking again looks more professional and there are no ads. Hands down, it feels like a service to me, not gimmicky marketing page. The others feel sleazy. It looks like scam me more professional looking, most professional looking again. The others just look like spam right over and over and over again. The same sense of consistency in these responses that there's a certain sense of professionalism. Almost none of these people wrote something specific. They didn't write about the purple color scheme or the long amounts of text. People just wrote, there's a more professional field, it just looks professional. So this is incredibly, you know, it really shows what's really going, what's playing out here, that there is this subliminal feeling that if people could tap into without necessarily knowing all the specifics that will make an incredible difference and how people engage with your page, how well and how professional is designed, transactional assurances is another really, really important concept when it comes to increasing trust and decreasing anxieties these elements that we're talking about here. They're subtle but they do do a good job at decreasing a lot of our innate anxieties when when we come to a landing page. These are equally important for legion and e commerce, these sort of transactional assurances that we're gonna take a look at, They have to be prominent before the conversion action. It's not enough to make people feel safe once they're on the conversion action pages, they should be made to feel safe beforehand. It's also important to remember that you're never gonna expunge or get rid of people's concerns. 100% these subliminal question marks that are kind of deep in the person's mind as they browse your page, they never really go away, your job is to get them to go away as much as possible on the right hand side, we see, ready to get started start my demo. Okay, this doesn't even seem to be something incredibly powerful. This is just their call to action but it's not true demos and free trials are one of the most popular ways of counteracting transactional anxieties by allowing people to experience a product or experience a service or experience something your brand has to offer for free as a trial or demo. It diminishes the anxieties tremendously. If your first asking somebody for money or to give over a lot of personal information guarantees and policies. These are also aspects of transactional assurances. Your refund policy right should not be obscure. Should not be hidden. Should not be hard to find. Do you pay for return shipping? If you pay if you pay for return shipping, highlight that, right. That's a transactional assurance you're giving users expectations. You're setting their expectations. What's going to happen? How easy are things gonna be exactly what your policies are? If your conversion action is a form, one of those innate anxieties is will you be selling my email address to other marketers? Will I be getting spam from you? If you're asking me for a phone number, are you going to sell my phone number? How often you're gonna call me? Will you respect my privacy? Right. So being able to counteract those with trust and safety icons and logos and text is very, very important. Do you offer multiple payment options? Are the different ways that people could complete a transaction by showing me that you're flexible, makes me the visitor feel less anxious about transacting with you. Price match guarantees along the same lines. If you offer price match guarantees, highlight that one of the anxieties of shopping when there's a lot of different competitors is will I find a better price? So a very common thing many e commerce companies are doing Is is telling visitors that not only will they match a price, but if a competitor drops their price within, let's say 30 days or 90 days, they will retroactively match that price. That's a transactional assurance that makes transacting with you more safe to the user. So right over here on the screen shot, we have about Wilsons leather, we've been around since 18 99 and then it says 100% satisfaction guaranteed 90 day return policy. And it describes the policy Wilsons leather. Put that information right on their homepage right under their main product categories. That's conveying a very clear 12 punch to the user. They're saying we have stood the test of time. We've been around since 18 99. That's a long, long time where successful company and the transaction process is easy. It's safe. It's secure, your satisfaction is guaranteed. You have 90 days to return any products right and that's something which they've realized makes sense to display on the homepage by the product categories. Once again, transactional assurances, safety logos. If you think they're overrated. Think again, this is a screenshot of a footer of a of an office products company. And look at all these different trust and safety loaders. Norton secured google trust distort uh a plus rating from the BBB. These are all important important things. And I would even recommend a couple of these should probably be moved up to the menu bar towards the top of the page above the fold because they are so important and studies have shown that they have such a powerful effect. These logos are subconsciously expected right? If, if a successful companies will, will run the usability test and no one's going to say, oh I saw the Norton secured logo in the shopping cart page, which is why I felt this tremendous sense of trust. No, it's, it's more like when they're not there something feels off when I don't see any of these trust symbols and the ups logo and the Fedex logo and the papal icon, some of these, it just feels off to me. I'm expecting them to be there even though I can't describe it. I can't quite put my finger on it. So these logos, they relieve anxieties about entering my payment method, try to include them above the fold when you can. And definitely definitely include these types of logos in the checkout process whenever possible. So that's definitely something important to keep in mind, clients and media kind of shifting over more towards I would say lead gen, B, two B companies, Service companies, software companies, things like that, but definitely very much incorporated with local service companies and e commerce as well, clients and media, right? You might think that this is overused but it's very, very important. It's very helpful to highlight your brand. We're gonna talk about the idea of the many and the comparable, but it's very important to show the different types of people you've worked with and all the different media mentions that you might have gotten. You don't wanna be in your face about it. And I'll show you, you know, a bunch of different screenshots where you'll get the idea of how it's done tactfully your visitors don't know you yet. So these are ways once again, not only to decrease anxiety but to increase affinity to increase trust, actively increase trust, especially when some of these logos and media icons are very, very immediately recognizable. You can show things like awards and achievements. Media mentions, partnerships, studies and surveys, client lists and logos. These are all popular ways of increasing a sense of safety If we see over here, tech validate along the bottom has that bar of, of logos that it's done tactfully. It's out of the way of the content, but once again subliminally they should be there and they are meaningful to the visitor when they are there. Here is an online learning platform that that does this very well backed by the best. This is partnerships. Right? So intel, IBM, HP very recognizable logos. It's not like the user is going to spend too much time thinking about this. They're not, but but they're there and they really make a difference. Here is a company called Intercom, a big company that offers chat software and customer interaction software inside the start your free trial call to action. They placed subtle icons to some major companies. But I want to show you something very interesting here is that they don't have any major headline explaining what these logos are. Right? That's something that kind of proves the idea that you don't really need to call out exactly who these companies are. Just seeing these recognizable logos immediately increases a sense of trust in a sense of security. And then below it they have 15,000 customers and counting. Um, so on and so forth. Which once again complements those recognizable logos right above the copy company called Invoca that offers call tracking software. See what the buzz is about media mentions, Right? So you have the recognizable logos, Venture beat Fortune TechCrunch and then the quote from the media mentioned very, very powerful. Again, a company called Jacopo helps companies, local companies with reviews. You have that subtle logo bar below the hero section and something that you're seeing with these logo sections that are usually near the hero area of the site is that they're they're they're not. So visually over the top, There are usually black and white or even transparent over here, you have blue with a lighter blue or kind of a transparent white overlay on top of the actual logos so that they're not in your face. But they do provide that subliminal message. Over here, we have an example of awards and partnerships, best places to work in New York City part of the list. These are very, very important sort of icons. They as long as the award and the recognition is recognizable. Their popular awards definitely promote those have them in the main content area, even have them towards the header above the fold of possible. This is an example from a footer but in most cases A recognizable award. If you were so lucky to achieve one should be placed in a more visible location on the site. Here we have a screenshot from campaign monitor, another large company that offers email marketing software, loved by over two million people at 200,000 businesses around the world. And their client logo list very powerful, understated, subtle, short and sweet, but really makes an impact in in creating this super, super important sense of trust and sense of safety with your visitors. And remember their visitors are starting off primed not to trust you. We're just about at our limit for time. Uh So we're gonna literally continue this exact same slide presentation in the very next lecture. Um so I will see you guys in a few seconds on the other side