Marketers are known to go chest-deep into analytics and metrics to determine why certain web pages are performing well (or poorly).

This type of due diligence to data is what makes marketers so valuable. They don’t just pitch ideas and campaigns based on feelings or hunches. They have hard data to back it all up.

Not only does that prevent you from investing in campaigns that are a waste of time, but it also helps you enjoy a much higher return on investment.

But there are times when the reasoning behind an underperforming web page can’t be uncovered by black-and-white statistics.

Sometimes, the issue is lack of trust on a widespread level.

If any of your web pages are underperforming, and you can’t determine why, then your website as a whole may not be doing a good job of establishing trust with your target market.

Establish Trust with Transparency

company-cultureTransparency is one of those buzzwords in marketing, so we use it with some trepidation here. Buzzword or not, transparency is appealing to not only your customers but to your employees, vendors and more.

“Privacy is on the decline, and transparency is the new virtue du jour.” – Fast Company

A few years ago, social media tool Buffer decided to make it a rule to fully disclose the inner workings of the company. This included salaries, methodologies and more.

To this day, it’s not uncommon for the company to publish a post like “What Our 3 Biggest Successes and 2 Biggest Failures Taught Us About Company Culture.

These types of posts help connect Buffer to their audiences. This messaging attracts people to the Buffer product, and helps them feel good about paying for that product, because they’re supporting a culture they believe in.

There’s something simply raw and assuring about hearing how even successful companies fail and stumble. Buffer knew it early on and has built its business on this premise.

Think about it beyond the brand-customer relationship. Who would you trust more, someone who keeps most of his ideas and experiences close to his chest, or someone who’s willing to open up to you and expose his vulnerabilities?

We all want to fill our lives with trustworthy people, brand or not. Transparency is one of the easiest steps to make that happen.

In what areas can your business be transparent?

Consider these options:

  • Pricing
  • Guarantees
  • Business mistakes and successes
  • Unsatisfied customers (in other words, don’t try to hide complaints)

Don’t Lack for Social Proof

Today’s consumer isn’t ignorant. He knows that you spent a lot of time, energy, and dollars crafting your online message.

Sure, that tagline on your landing page might capture his attention, but that ancient reptilian part of his brain is still holding some doubt. Even if he’s on the verge of converting, the tiniest doubt is enough to send him packing.

That’s why instilling some third-party social proof, at the right time, can be the deciding factor between conversion and “see you later.”

But what types of social proof will help your business?

Trust seals are a good start. The Better Business Bureau seal packs a lot of punch, but you might also want to look into more industry-specific seals as well. Even a local Chamber of Commerce seal has proven to ease the doubts of a potential consumer.

You can also establish trust without these seals. Again, it comes down to placement and timing. On a landing page, for example, just before your prospect is about to hit that call to action button, consider adding a quick testimonial from a past client that raves about the results of your product or service.

Your best bet might be to combine this testimonial with some quick-form statistic. Consumers make decisions based on emotional responses, but they justify these decisions with data.

Honesty. Ethics. Understanding. The Building Blocks of Trust

employeesIt’s not uncommon to assume that in order to build trust, you have to make your company look its absolute best.

The theory behind that is no one will trust a company that is imperfect.

But humans are imperfect, meaning your customers are imperfect. While we all strive to be better, we relate more to Peter Parker than we do to Spiderman.

Your prospects want to feel like they’re understood and that your company can relate to their struggles and triumphs.

That means adapting the messaging of your entire website – and digital presence – to ensure this level of trust is supported.

Even the best designed and handcrafted landing page will underperform if your company didn’t do its job of establishing trust along the customer’s journey.

Consider how you can build that trust with not only your static pages but with every piece of content you send out, from social posts to an automated email campaign.

Once your prospects trust you and feel like they know who you are, they’ll have a much harder time resisting the urge to do business with you.