As a PPC marketer, I’m always trying to better understand my clients’ users. Who is their target audience? What problems do they have, and how can we solve them? When I started embracing this mindset, my copy writing changed from keyword-focused to writing for the user. I now try to figure out how to hold their hand and guide them to the next step in the buying funnel. Getting users to continue in the buying process is nearly impossible if they don’t believe what you’re saying or make them comfortable in the moment.
This post is going to take one ad example (from an outsider’s perspective) and show how we can implement trust building from our ads to the landing page experience. I also want to show it is okay to stop being the used car salesman shouting, “Buy now” all the time and start building trust that leads to lifelong customers. Let’s get started talking about the first ad I saw when I searching for, “family insurance.”
First let’s take a step back and try to understand the ad’s industry a little bit more. Admittedly I’ve never worked with an insurance client before, but l’m thinking of the user experience here. I have kids. I know the stress of buying family insurance. Many thoughts run through your head during this period in your life.
- How much will this cost?
- Is this the best option for my family?
- Will this plan give my family everything they need in case something happens to me?
The list could go on for a while. As a potential buyer, I don’t want someone who’s screaming at me to, “buy now” or “get a quote.” I most likely don’t know you because I’ve never had to buy family insurance before. Make me comfortable first, and this ad does the trick.
The first thing I noticed is the headline showing me exactly what I want to do which is protect my family. Remember the first question I asked above about costs? Their description in the ad takes trust-building one step further by calming the fears people have about money. The ad message doesn’t explain what they do. Why? Because people looking for insurance most likely know what you do. Users need to understand why they should choose you.
What’s also important to note is my search query is not in this ad at all. Their target keyword is nowhere to be found, but this ad was still in first position when I searched for it. I’ve tested ads many times without using keywords. If your marketing message connects perfectly with your audience, you might not need keywords in your ads. Sometimes you might have to risk quality score to do what’s best for the user. Yes the ad relevance portion of your quality scores may suffer, but your CTRs could be phenomenal if new ads appeal better to your audience.
Ad Extensions as Extra Proof Points
We already know ad extensions have a direct, positive effect on your ad rank, but it doesn’t mean advertisers should use them just for this purpose.
Just like the ad’s headline and description, we don’t see any content explaining what SafetyNet does. This particular ad showed two types of AdWords extensions: Callout Extensions and Structured Snippets Extensions. Both of the extensions in this ad (understanding the same extensions won’t show up every time the ad is served) work to build trust and confidence in the user in hopes to get the desired click.
- Compassionate Support – Building comfort with the user
- Immediate Approvals – Giving the user a sense of safety knowing results can come quick
- Quick Claim Payments – Saving the user time so they can be on their way
- Easy Sign Up Process – Telling the user the process will be effortless
Structured Snippet Extensions
- Affordable – More comfort in letting the user know this insurance is achievable for them
- Simple Process – Paraphrased from the “Easy Sign Up” callout
- Immediate Approvals – Exact repetition of a callout extension
- Fast Payments… – Paraphrased from the “Quick Claim Payments” callout
While the two extensions are different, they work together to push almost the same trust elements. It’s safe to assume SafetyNet is trying to make the user feel comfortable, assure the user SafetyNet has the insurance plans they need, and make the user understand the process will be easy. These are all trust elements giving the user confidence to click on the ad. After a click occurs, the trust has to continue with the user along their buying journey.
Cementing Earned Trust on Your Landing Pages
Your ad connected with the user. You’ve built confidence and made the user feel comfortable enough to visit your site. It’s now up to your landing page to finish the job. The user clicked on your ad for a reason. The same experience you gave them in the ad must be duplicated on your landing page to avoid any disconnect. Let’s take a look at the ads again and see how SafetyNet parallels their trust-building ad message on their landing pages.
The landing page headline is a nearly identical copy of the ad’s description line. The message again recognizes a main concern for their target audience before letting them know help is right in front of them. The ad headline itself of, “Protect Your Family” is not on the landing page. The design, however, shows a mother hugging her child. This visual is a direct, image translation of a mother protecting her child. The ad headline is still brought over to the landing page and will still connect with what the user is going through. Let’s take a look at the rest of the ad elements.
We already talked about how the two sets of ad extensions mirror each other pretty well. The value messages they used in their extensions are called out on the landing page in almost identical order in which they appeared in the ad. The landing page takes the trust elements one step further by giving a deeper explanation of each value message. Everything the user liked about the ad is clearly visible on the landing page to avoid any confusion or disruption in the buyer’s journey. If the user wasn’t fully on board with all the trust elements seen in the ad, SafetyNet takes it one step further. We see them answer questions like what is SafetyNet or why SafetyNet. Every piece of content on their site doesn’t focuses on building user trust and explaining why SafetyNet is the right choice.
Finally, I want to take one last moment to go over the landing page layout. In the two landing page images we’ve seen already notice how the main trust elements I highlighted are immediately before the call-to-action button. SafetyNet understands that if all the trust elements do their job, the next step a user will want to do is reach out to them. Make the user feel good in their decision before encouraging them to reach out.
I don’t have stats on how this account performs. I can’t confirm if their landing page converts amazing or not. What I do know is their ad and landing page won me over. They gave me a sense of trust that was wonderfully passed on from PPC ad to landing page. Nowhere did we see unnatural keyword stuffing or pressure-selling content. It’s clear their marketing focus is purely on winning the user. The focus on building trust with their users is well executed.
My goal with trust-building marketing is to not only get the conversion now, but also to build lifelong customers. If users feel they can’t trust you, they’re not staying. Start implementing trust elements into your PPC ads and especially your landing pages. Potential customers will connect better with your brand and your conversion rates will show it.