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Larry Alton

How Trust Directly Impacts On-Page Conversion Rates

Larry Alton
How Trust Directly Impacts On-Page Conversion Rates

As a marketer or SEO expert, you’re always looking for ways to increase conversions. Sometimes, there are obvious fixes that will help a client see noticeable results. Other times, low conversion rates are just sort of a mystery. If the latter is true, have you ever considered the fact that your client or website may not be doing a good job of establishing trust with their target market?

The Relationship Between Trust and Conversions

Successful internet marketer and entrepreneur Ramsay Taplin likes to discuss a phenomenon he’s coined “blue-shirt trust.” The concept is rooted in a conversation he had with his younger brother when he was preparing to attend an interview that would let him know whether or not he would be accepted into medical school.

Instead of wearing one of the nice shirts he already owned, Taplin’s brother went out and purchased a new baby blue shirt. When asked why he decided to purchase and wear a new shirt as opposed to donning one he already had, his brother said it was because blue “conveys trust and calmness and helps people to perceive you as reliable and successful.”

And while it’s difficult to imagine that Taplin’s brother was admitted based on the color of his shirt, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that this subtle detail played a minor role in how he was perceived. (Yes, he was accepted into medical school.)

The takeaway here is not that you need to use a blue color scheme. Instead, it’s all about the initial reaction. “If you want to convert visitors on the web you need to be perceived as blue-shirt trustworthy,” Taplin says. “As a general rule people are skeptical of websites (especially when using a credit card) and as such you have to work extra hard to help them feel safe. And this never happens by accident.” 

3 Ways to Enhance Trust

Depending on your industry, target market, and ultimate goal, how you establish trust on your website may differ from how another marketer establishes trust on his site. With that being said, the following tips generally hold true. 

  • Be transparent. The number one thing you can do open up with your audience. Stop trying to sell and start connecting with customers. The best example of this by far is Buffer’s decision to openly discuss salary information and details for all employees. This prevents confusion and allows for open conversation.
  • Incorporate trust seals. You can have all of the world’s greatest safeguards in place, but – from a trust point of view – they won’t do you much good if users aren’t aware of their existence. Check out how the popular children’s website FunBrain strategically incorporates the kidSAFE certification seal into its parents' page. This seal alone puts many parents at ease. Other common trust marks include anti-virus software and e-commerce security features.
  • Use social proof. There’s no way to replace the value of social proof. Whether it comes in the form of customer reviews, specific numbers (like 1 million units sold), or a showcase of current and past customers, social proof is often one of the biggest factors in establishing trust.

As you continue to design website pages and landing pages, trust needs to be a major priority. Sure, aesthetic appeal and functionality are important, but they’re of little importance if trust isn’t established early on in the process.

Make Trust a Priority

If increasing conversions is a goal for you, then trust needs to be a priority. There are a number of ways to build trust with your audience and you should spend time studying how you can leverage these various strategies for optimal results. Use these three tips to get started today.

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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