The 4 Pillars of Building Instant Trust Online

by Jim Berkowitz on August 23, 2010

Here is a synopsis of a post by @AdamSinger, The Four Pillars of Building Instant Trust Online – Tim Ash Keynote:

Websites and landing pages face very real trust issues – for consumers they can be a scary and uncertain place. Before people will take a desired action, their concerns and anxieties must be addresses. But how can you do this on landing pages when you only have seconds to establish trust?

Tim Ash, SiteTuners CEO and bestselling author of Landing Page Optimization, shared how to effectively use the Four Pillars Of Trust and optimize your online conversion goals.

Here are The Four Pillars of Trust…

1. Appearance

We judge a book by its cover. Appearance is very important and a stand-in for fitness. Standards are rising in web development and it’s not okay to have a site which looks like it’s designed in 1998. There is a level of appearance and professionalism that is required in web development. Have 5 random people look at your homepage and answer: “is this clearly professional or not.”

Don’t get disqualified based solely on how you look. Focus on:

  • Professionalism of design
  • Sparseness and neatness
  • Organization and clarity

2. Transactional assurances

Include trust symbols and don’t bury them below the fold. If you’re paying for them, leverage them appropriately. Relieve point-of-action anxieties before they arise.

  • Forms of payment and deliver
  • Data security and privacy
  • Policies and guarantees

3. Authority

We trust outside experts who provide a layer of authority.  We’ve seen authority symbols (such as “as seen in X or Y media outlets”) increased conversion rate by 40%. Figure out a way to leverage authority on your landing pages to boost conversions significantly.

Borrow trust from better-known brands such as:

  • Reviews and awards
  • Marquee clients
  • Media mentions
  • Trade associations

4. Consensus of peers

We don’t care what everyone thinks, we can’t possibly. We care by what our peers think. Are a lot of people taking the same action and have a positive outcome? Great, but are you sharing it with other users? Show specifics that are relevant to users.

Support automatic compliance by demonstrating social proof:

  • Use objective, large numbers
  • Likeness

Key takeaways

Take off the rose colored glasses and realize your website is ugly. The next step is to get to work and start to improve landing pages to increase conversions.

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