In theory, we all know that trust and credibility signals are important to encourage users to engage on-site, consider our brand for purchases and ultimately convert but rarely do we use them effectively!
In today’s competitive marketplace, trust and credibility play a vital role in influencing customer purchasing decisions. And so are key considerations in conversion optimisation. As customers are bombarded with a plethora of options, they need assurance that they are making the right choice.
This is where trust and credibility signals come into play, acting as beacons that guide customers towards making confident buying decisions. 57% of shoppers say that lack of trust is their main reason for not completing a purchase (Baymard Institute) so the impact on your business could be massive.
What are Trust and Credibility Signals?
In more traditional offline sales, word-of-mouth, especially from those close to us, is one of the biggest influencing factors in the customer buying journey. 92% of buyers trust recommendations from peers over advertising (Nielsen), highlighting the importance of word of mouth and social proof!
The good news for online businesses is that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations! (BrightLocal)
- Trust and credibility signals are elements that give confidence to potential customers regarding a brand, product, or service. They serve as indicators of reliability, authenticity, and quality. These signals can take various forms, including:
- Testimonials and Reviews: Statements from customers who have had experience with a product or service.
- Case Studies: In-depth analyses of successful projects or implementations, showcasing the effectiveness and benefits of a product or service. Over 70% of consumers say case studies influence their buying decisions (Demand Gen Report).
- Social Proof: Metrics such as user counts, subscriber numbers, or follower counts, which demonstrate a strong and engaged customer base.
- Trust Badges: Icons or badges that indicate secure payment methods, data encryption, or other security measures.
- Industry Awards and Recognitions: Acknowledgments from reputable organisations that validate a brand’s excellence in a particular field.
Whilst many of these can be added to a website to enhance the buying experience giving potential customers what they need, 85% of consumers consider the quality of a company’s website as a trust signal in itself (Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab.). So, a professional, user-friendly website is crucial to building credibility.
How to Effectively Use Testimonials and Case Studies
- Authenticity Matters: Ensure that testimonials are genuine and attributed to real customers. Avoid using generic or fabricated endorsements.
- Diversity of Voices: Showcase testimonials from different types of customers. This could include testimonials from various industries, demographics, or geographic locations.
- Specificity is Key: Encourage customers to provide specific details about their experiences. Specifics highlight the tangible benefits they derived from your product or service.
- Visual Testimonials: If possible, use photos or videos of satisfied customers alongside their testimonials. This adds a personal touch and enhances credibility.
- Update Regularly: Keep testimonials fresh. As your business evolves, so will your customer experiences. Regularly reach out for new testimonials to reflect current satisfaction levels.
- Outline Challenges and Solutions: A good case study should always start with the problem or challenge the customer faced and then detail how your product or service provided a solution.
- Quantify Results: Use data and metrics to highlight the impact of your solution. Tangible results add weight to your case study.
- Visual Elements: Incorporate visuals like charts, graphs, and images to make the case study more engaging and digestible.
- Customer Quotes: Include direct quotes from the customer involved. These quotes provide a personal touch and add authenticity.
- Highlight Long-term Benefits: Emphasise not just short-term gains, but also the enduring benefits that the customer continues to experience.
Writing case studies in this way also works directly within the EEAT framework which has become so vital for positive SEO results.
Take a look at our range of case studies from different services and industries.
The Impact of Negative Reviews and How to Reduce Them
Negative reviews, while inevitable, can have a significant impact on consumer trust.
However, handling them effectively can turn the situation around:
- Respond Promptly: Address negative reviews promptly and professionally. Acknowledge the issue, offer a solution, and demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction.
- Learn and Improve: Use negative feedback as an opportunity for growth. Identify patterns in the criticisms and take steps to rectify the underlying issues.
- Encourage Positive Feedback: Actively seek out positive reviews from satisfied customers. The more positive reviews you have, the less impact a negative one will have.
- Provide Excellent Customer Service: Consistently delivering exceptional customer service can help prevent negative reviews in the first place.
- Transparency is Key: Be transparent about any challenges faced and the steps taken to rectify them. This transparency can actually enhance trust in the long run.
Businesses that respond to reviews earn 33% more revenue! Engaging with customers and addressing their feedback can have a significant positive impact on revenue (ReviewTrackers).
Here are just a few easy ways to include trust signals in your marketing strategy:
Feature testimonials and reviews in ad copy
Directly including customer feedback in your ad assets reassures potential customers right at the start of their journey.
Whether your strategy includes Paid Social or other PPC advertising, including real customer feedback in copy and assets not only encourages trust but also helps you speak to potential customers in a way which resonates with them as it’s coming from real experiences.
Highlight awards and recognitions
Industry awards, and mentioning them in ad copy and on website pages helps instantly your credibility and expertise.
Showcase customer success stories
Create an ad campaign centred around case studies or customer success stories, this is often an effective funnel step to engage customers. Highlighting real-world examples of how your product or service has solved problems can be incredibly persuasive.
Optimise landing pages for trust
Ensure that the landing pages are well-designed, user-friendly and include elements like customer testimonials, trust badges, and clear contact information. Finding the most effective way to showcase these signals can be done through CRO testing.
Pull out customer ratings and social proof
If your product or service has received positive feedback on review platforms, incorporate this information into your marketing material. Consumers often look to the experiences of others for validation.
Share content demonstrating expertise
Create and promote high-quality content that showcases your knowledge and expertise in your industry. This can be in the form of blog posts, videos, webinars, or whitepapers.
In conclusion, trust and credibility signals are the bedrock of a successful customer buying process.
By leveraging testimonials, case studies, and other forms of social proof, and effectively managing negative feedback, businesses can build strong and enduring relationships with their customers. This not only leads to increased sales but also fosters a loyal customer base that will advocate for your brand.