There are all kinds of tips out there about what to include on your landing pages in order to prompt more conversions, but there’s really just one underlying factor that encompasses them all: trust.

If your visitors trust that what you’re offering is valuable to them and that your business is reliable and reputable, they will be much more likely to engage with your page and follow through on your call to action.

In addition to building trust, your landing pages are your opportunity to build your brand’s reputation and move visitors to the next step of your customer lifecycle. The elements you include on your pages, as well as your design and copy, work together to support those objectives.

Here’s how to incorporate these concepts onto your pages from the moment visitors arrive until they complete your call to action.

Make a Strong First Impression

The first things your page visitors see and read when they get to your page will impact whether they trust you and stick around.

Message Match

When your page visitors clicked on an ad or email to get to your landing page, it was because they were interested in the promise made in that ad or email. When they get to your landing page, you should show them what they expect to see with a similar or matching headline and images. That confirms for the visitor that they’ve reached the right page, and it shows them that you fulfill your promises. It reiterates that you are neither tricking them with click-bait headlines nor out to squeeze them into buying something they don’t want.

As marketing strategist and Chief Creative at Good Funnel, Liston Witherill wrote, “When someone is compelled to actually read your ad, something caught their attention. So why, when you send people from the ad to the landing page, would your headline include anything other than the text from your ad? It’s confusing and doesn’t capitalize on what worked in the first place.”

Attractive, Balanced Headlines

In addition to fulfilling the promise of your ad’s headline, your page headline should be persuasive and informative but not too “salesy.” People can tell when someone is trying to sell them or push them into buying something — and it’s an immediate turn off.

Instead, convince your visitors to stay on the page by clearly and succinctly representing the value of what’s on the page — there’s no need for anything more than that. Your headlines and subheads should be easily understandable so visitors know, at a quick glance, exactly what the page is offering them. Get right to the point — you only have a few seconds to keep them.

Mobile-responsive

If your visitors can’t easily view and read your page on a mobile device, they’re going to exit immediately. When creating your page in a landing page builder, you can often simply click a mobile icon to view what your page will look like on mobile devices with varying screen sizes. Some builders will allow you to adjust your layout to be different on mobile than desktop so you can further ensure your mobile version is as readable and attractive as possible.

Clean Above-the-Fold Design

If visitors come to your page and feel overwhelmed by too many colors, images or content that’s not aligned or sized appropriately, they’ll bail. It’s important that your content, especially “above the fold” — the content that’s shown within the parameters of the screen upon visiting, before the visitor scrolls down — is easy to grasp and easy on the eyes.

“It’s natural to want to explore all the colors, fonts, sizing and other settings available in your  landing page builder — but that doesn’t mean you need to use all of them,” said ONTRAPORT VP of Creative Laura Casanova. “Stay true to your brand’s look and feel, and avoid cluttering up your page with extras that detract from your main message and goal.”

Also, keep the navigation labels at the top of your page to a minimum — or don’t use them at all. Your landing page should be focused on one product. Including navigation to explore other products or parts of your website is only a distraction that takes away from your goal. It also can cause confusion for your visitors, which leads to distrust.

Keeping your page design clean is not only important for keeping your visitors on the page, but it goes a long way toward expressing that you’re a trustworthy, professional brand.

Proof

You can tell your customers how great you are as much as you want, but it’s not going to be nearly as effective as if outsiders tell them.

Validation from a third party is often the critical tipping point that keeps people on your page. You can show this by displaying any of the following on your page:

  • Logos of recognizable media outlets that have written positively about your product
  • Five-star reviews from Yelp, Google or other popular review sites
  • A quote or video testimonial from an industry expert
  • The number of clients you’ve served or logos of your well-known clients
  • Badges or certifications representing awards you’ve won

Be sure to place one of these items above the fold to make a positive initial impression and instill that you’re a trusted brand.

Keep Their Attention

You’ve got your visitors’ attention enough to get them to scroll down the page. Here’s how to keep them there.

Continuity and Congruence

All the guidelines you followed above the fold should continue below the fold — the overall look and content tone of the site should remain throughout.

Design-wise, use the same fonts, colors and image style. For example, if you used images with people in the header image, continue using similar people in other images rather than introducing illustrated drawings of people.

Likewise, be sure the copy on your page fulfills the promise of your headline and subhead.

Together, your design and copy should be congruent. They should tell a story in tandem. When everything relates, your visitors can more quickly understand your point and comprehend your business as an authority on the topic — which builds their trust in you. On the other hand, when your copy and images don’t play off one another and are going off on tangents, your readers can get lost and confused — which will make them think your brand and product must be imperfect, too.

Share Your “Why”

There’s a reason you created your product or service — tell your visitors what that is. Your reason most likely relates to your desire to solve a problem, relieve a common pain point, or fulfill a need. People can relate to that; in fact, they probably came to your page because they’re looking for it. Be clear about how your product or service will serve your visitors and what their life will be like after they use it.

Sharing the benefits of your product or service speaks directly to your visitors and hints at the mission and purpose of your business; it shows that there’s a human behind the screen, not just a money-seeking company. That’s what people relate to, and that’s what builds trust and lasting relationships.

Back Up Your Claims

Similar to the third-party proof you provide at the top of your page, you’ll also want to show proof of what you’re saying within the copy of your site by using statistics or sharing more examples of third-party validation.

This could include quotes extracted from customers who’ve found success with your product, industry experts who support your business, media coverage about your product, or online reviews.

Testimonials are powerful endorsements when they appear on landing pages: Visitors want to see how other people like them succeeded — they want to be able to really relate to these people and think, “That guy was just like me and now he’s a success. I can do that too!”

You can also use video, graphics or imagery to back up your claims. Often, “showing” goes a lot further than “telling” when it comes to how a product works. It’s visual proof that keeps your visitors from questioning whether what you’re saying is true.

Close the Deal and Move Them Forward

Your visitors have stuck with you; they’re liking what they’re seeing and reading. Now it’s time to instill an even stronger level of confidence in your brand and make a pact based on the trust you’ve built.

Proactive Answers

Even after reading your whole page, your visitors might still have some lingering questions or might still be on the fence about following through on your call to action. An FAQ section serves to answer the questions you expect them to ask at this point. This shows them that you’re looking out for them and want to help them, and that you’re not hiding anything. It also resolves any unknowns that would inhibit the visitor from taking action. All of these things provide assurance to your visitors that they’re making the right choice to purchase from you.

When creating your FAQ, put yourself in the shoes of your customer and think about what they would want to know. They may be wondering:

  • Is this product/service really right for me?
  • Is this really high-quality?
  • What is the return policy if I’m not satisfied?
  • Is there a guarantee?
  • What is the shipping process and cost?
  • Is there a customer support team I can call if needed?

Guarantee

Similar to your FAQ, a guarantee serves to quell your visitors’ fears or concerns about purchasing. By simply stating that you’ll make it right if they don’t feel you fulfilled your promise, you’re expressing your confidence in your product. This subtly alludes to the mission-oriented content you featured earlier on the page and reiterates that you’re here to support them, not trick them or merely make money off of them.

The guarantee also serves to assure visitors that their decision isn’t going to be regrettable. That knowledge alone is often enough to encourage someone to purchase.

Your guarantee is also a good opportunity to explain your refund and cancellation policy.

Call to Action (CTA)

Your entire page boils down to this. It’s what you want your visitors to do, whether that means making a purchase or signing up for a webinar or consultation call. You’ll pepper your CTA buttons throughout your page, but typically your visitors won’t click until they’ve consumed all the information on your page, believe in the value of your offer, and have faith that you’ll deliver on your promises.

Although it’s often just a word or two, the copy on your CTA button can make a big impact on whether people will click or not. Make sure the tone of your CTA copy aligns with the rest of your content. Avoid drab words like “submit” or “purchase,” and instead opt for energetic phrases like “I’m in!” or “Buy now!” or descriptive phrases such as “Send me my free guide!”

Prior to the final CTA button on your page, you’ll also give a final sell in a sentence or two of copy. This copy should follow the same guidelines as your headline — it should express your promise and the benefits the visitor will receive by following through, without being pushy or scammy. Again, action requires trust and, to gain trust, you need to show that you’re acting with the best intentions.

Payment Security

Buying online is commonplace these days, but that doesn’t mean everyone feels comfortable entering their credit card information on just any site. By the time your visitor has reached your order page or form, you’ve hopefully impressed your trustworthiness upon them enough to encourage them to follow through, but you should provide further assurance by displaying trust seals and security certifications.

This shows your customers that you’re watching out for their best interests regarding their payment. It verifies to customers that your site is legitimate, and their data will be protected.

The most-trusted seals are Norton Secured, McAfee Secure, Verisign and Paypal Verified. You may also want to include your SSL certificate logo to reiterate to customers that their credit card information will be safely encrypted and transmitted to eliminate security risks.

Keep in mind, if you’re using ONTRAPORT Pages to build your order page, your order form is already secure so you won’t need to worry about finding an SSL certificate provider. To improve conversions, try using the seal associated with your payment gateway provider or a custom seal that you create to reflect your money-back or satisfaction guarantee.

Simple Checkout

Your visitors are already slightly insecure about entering their credit card info, so don’t make it harder on them by making the checkout process cumbersome or confusing. One misstep and the trust you’ve built could be gone — and your customer will be quick to close the tab and move on.

Your order page or form should be very simple and clean; don’t clutter it with unnecessary copy or outbound links that can distract buyers and deter them from completing the purchase. Keep your number of form fields to a minimum so as not to deter them from filling them out or make them question why you would need so much information from them — which can raise red flags in the trust department.

Similarly, the level of clarity within the descriptors for your form fields matters. For example, if you’re accepting payments in U.S. dollars, make sure it clearly says that in the “price” field. If you’re offering a subscription service, clearly explain whether the payment amount is per month or per year.

Be sure you don’t introduce any “surprises” at this stage. There’s nothing like getting to an order page and then finding out shipping isn’t really free or that the cost of the product is different than what you displayed on your sales page. Make sure you maintain the same continuity during the order process as you did on the pages leading up to it.

Trust is the prerequisite to moving your visitors along on your landing pages and ultimately to the next step in your customer lifecycle. Every piece of copy and every element of your design should work together to express your value and portray your brand with the utmost level of reliability and authenticity.



About Angela Fornelli

Angela Fornelli is a writer and editor with over a decade of experience covering the healthcare, aviation, and technology industries. A Chicago native, she currently serves as ONTRAPORT's managing editor and has a Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Illinois.