What exactly is “social proof?” Well, you already use it to some degree. It’s any form of credibility-boosting that comes from other people—testimonials, for example.
There are in fact effective and ineffective ways to use this on your website. Let’s examine some of the better ways to put social proof to work for your business.
Many websites dedicate a specific page for these—which is better than not using them at all! However, testimonials can work even more magic for you if you can convince your customers to describe a problem they had followed by the corresponding results you delivered. This works way better than testimonials that merely say, “Awesome! 5-star service! Highly recommended!”
You should also position these in either the right or left-hand column of your website so they appear on every page. If you have an absolutely awesome testimonial, be sure to write it directly into your web page copy.
And remember: the greater the status of the person writing the testimonial, the more powerful it is.
You can display client logos right on your homepage or also in your primary navigation menu so they show on every page: making you look professional and “official,” if you will. If you have served well-known companies in your industry, that’s even better.
If you’re proud of these numbers, it’s important to display them. For example, if you have 300 Facebook followers, this is social proof you’re worth listening to and buying from.
The BBB has a dynamic seal you can place on your website to display your BBB rating. You’ll want to include this somewhere on your homepage so visitors spot it right away.
Google reviews are great to have, but they take a long time and hard work to earn. Thankfully, you can add simple widgets to your services pages that allow customers to review your service right then and there.
When you make customers happy, follow up with them via e-mail and provide a link that will allow them to write a review. When other visitors witness your high ratings and glowing customer reviews, they’re much more likely to buy from you.
It’s true: these things are a lot of work. A case study—a story you write about how your product or service helped a specific customer—requires that you go into as much detail as possible. These are usually PDF documents and run 1000–2000 words or so. Specific detail is very important, and you also must have an eye-pleasing design.
Case studies require a hefty time and financial commitment but do carry a lot of weight in purchasing decisions. After putting so much effort into formulating and writing these, make them easy to find and download from your homepage.
While there’s no perfect way to use social proof, the more of it you strategically place on your website will make it that much easier to sell.