Once you’ve designed a credible product, you still need to convince others why they should buy it from you.

Here are the 7 elements every trustworthy marketing website must include.

1. Logos of Famous Clients

The pattern of displaying company logos is common for any product that has earned the patronage of trustworthy companies. Big brand companies don’t just do business with anyone, so you become credible by association.

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Photo credit: Campaign Monitor

The application of this pattern follows some standard guidelines. The logos are usually displayed in a row at the bottom of the landing screen, or directly below the scroll. They are also usually grayed out, so they don’t distract from the main content. No explanation is necessary — featuring the logos is clear enough.

2. Specific Testimonials

If you can’t get recommendations from big names, you’ll still find value in specific testimonials from smaller names. Endorsements from previous/current customers gives unfamiliar users a taste of what the product is like from normal people just like them.

  • Testimonials work best in the format of direct quotes.
  • The best practice for testimonials is to attribute the quote to an actual name, job title, and photograph. These extra details make the speaker more human, and thus more relatable to the user.
  • If it’s relevant to the product, the job title also accredits the speaker as an expert.

You can design testimonials in several ways. Some products sprinkle them throughout, with one-or-two per page. Others dedicate entire pages just to testimonials. It depends on the amount, quality, and size of each quote.

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For our Enterprise page, we added a testimonial halfway down the scroll so that the context makes most sense in the narrative. For our smaller plans, our testimonials are situated on an independent page.

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To acquire testimonials, politely ask past clients for one. They’re already familiar with how it works and will be happy to help.

3. Relevant statistics

There’s no clearer way to show popularity by listing the cold, hard statistics — numbers don’t lie. As explained in the free e-book Web UI Design Best Practices, you can list statistics for any field that might help your goals, including:

  • Users/followers (“over 99 billion served”)
  • Downloads
  • Social media followers
  • Social media interactions (Likes, Retweets, Reddit scores, etc.)
  • Social media shares
  • Employees
  • Locations
  • Profits/actionable results

What it comes down to is that people trust hard numbers.

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Photo credit: WWF

The World Wide Fund for Nature doesn’t shy away from bragging about its numbers. They showcase their impressive statistics with the help of a well-chosen graphic — a smart accessory to help convey the facts.

4. Case Studies

Especially pragmatic for portfolio sites, case studies are one of the more detailed strategies for social proof. They require more investment on the user (more text to read), but the payoff is worth it.

In general, case studies explain how the product works — its value to the user — through real examples. Case studies should always be narratives, hooking users with a story and drawing on emotions as well as data.

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Photo credit: John Elison

As stories, case studies should follow a basic, 3-point plot structure, even so far as labeling each section with a subheading (like John Elison’s site, above).

  • They should always start with a problem, specifically one that the reader can relate to.
  • Next, explain the process the product uses to solve the problem; this is the meat of the case study, with the information the user needs to know.
  • Last, explain the successful results, so the reader knows what to expect and give them a reason to use the product.

5. User Reviews/Ratings

User reviews and/or ratings combine several of the above tactics: statistics, testimonials from relatable sources, narratives about product experiences, and popularity by the numbers.

We’ve all seen movie advertisements exclaiming “5 stars” or “10 out of 10.” This method works just as well for sites and apps, especially apps, where stores often have their own rating system.

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Photo credit: Google Play

Complimentary ratings can be displayed in the same manner as testimonials — in fact, positive reviews can even be turned directly into testimonials, with the addition of the rating as well.

6. State prices/cost openly, then justify them

While some sites hide their prices until the last minute, an NNg study shows users prefer to see prices up front.

Price honesty is more than a sales strategy — a product’s price reveals information about its category and quality, allows comparison shopping, and lets users plan financially for purchases. Include the total cost: taxes, shipping, and other additions as well. If you are unable to show specific prices, display a sample price and break it down to give users an idea.

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Photo credit: Amazon

7. Display trustmarks and security badges

Trustmarks like the VeriSign, McAfee, or PayPal Verified logos lets users know they’re private data is protected, and don’t take up too much screen space. Studies suggest these familiar badges can increase sales between 10–36%.

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Photo credit: Best Buy

Conclusion

Remember that transparency only works if your product genuinely does what it promises. Despite all these tips for presenting your product in the best light, remember that credibility always starts in the design phase.

For more practical design advice, check out the free e-book Web Design Trends 2016. Best practices are explained based on analyzing 165 examples from companies like Slack, Apple, Reebok, and others.

This article is an excerpt from the 109-page free e-book The Essential Elements of Successful UX Design.