Trust is the cornerstone of any consumer transaction. When internet users are on the fence about whether or not they want to purchase from your website, they’ll look for concrete proof that their purchase will be a smart one.
Not only will this ensure your website makes a good first impression, but it will show users that your products or services are used by real people and can be trusted.
Offering social proof provides concrete evidence that your business is great at what it does. Without it, prospective customers may back out of purchases and move on to a competitor.
Here are five types of social proof you need to showcase on your website for the best results.
1. Simple star ratings that customers can scan quickly and easily
Incorporating star ratings into the design of your website is a great way to add social proof without prospective customers needing to read through a lot of content. These types of reviews work best for product-based businesses or online stores because they make it easier to compare and contrast different items.
Star ratings also offer a visual cue that lets users know which products are well received and which ones may not be for them. This allows them to scroll quickly through a product list or filter search results by their average number of stars. Star reviews also offer a quick and easy way for customers to leave feedback, especially if they don’t want to write out a text review. So, by asking for star reviews as an option, you’re likely to get more feedback.
SnackBOX, a subscription service, displays star ratings, along with the number of reviews a product has received, directly under their product listings. This makes it easy for customers to see which boxes are the most popular and therefore the safest choice.
Strive to secure as many five-star reviews as possible. Reach out to customers and ask them to rate your products. The more reviews you receive, the better your website will be perceived.
Be sure to respond to each review you receive, too. Thank users for leaving a five-star review, and ask for feedback from customers who left a lower star rating. This will show that you care about customer satisfaction, and could improve your retention rate.
2. Longer testimonials that provide more context
Adding longer testimonials to your site can provide more context about your services or products.
Whether they are in video or written form, longer testimonials can offer prospective customers more information to help them make a better purchasing decision. They also improve customer trust by showing that you value your business’s reputation.
To promote their master of teaching primary education online, Victoria University uses a video testimonial, as well as a carousel of feedback and images from students who have successfully completed their program.
Because this service requires a lengthy commitment, the longer testimonials offer peace of mind to the user and social proof that people just like them had great success with the program. If your business is service-based, gather testimonials from your past clients and feature them on a prominent area of your website just like this.
Here at Loganix, we do a great job of offering testimonials from various customers who have used our SEO audit services.
Not only do we infuse customer testimonials into our landing page, but we also have a separate page for longer testimonial videos and case studies, which further support why customers should trust our services. You can use this same approach to highlight customer testimonials while also providing longer testimonials for customers who need a little more information before they make a purchase.
3. Media mentions you’ve received from well-known publishers
Another great form of social proof is mentions you receive from other businesses or reputable publishers. Customers often look to blogs, consumer sites, and influencers to guide their purchasing decisions.
If well-established media outlets have mentioned your business and products or services, it’s worth highlighting this on your website to help build your brand reputation.
Here are some ways you can display these mentions to capture your visitors’ eye:
- Create a press page
- Make “as seen on” badges
- Reference the media mentions in blog posts
When other entities are discussing your business, it drives new leads. New customers will be more likely to trust your brand, as it shows that your company is noticed and supported by media outlets they already view as credible.
4. User-generated content from happy customers
One of the most effective forms of social proof is user-generated content, especially if it comes from satisfied customers using and enjoying your products.
User-generated content will supercharge your business and can take many forms. It can be photos your customers have posted on social media or videos they sent you to show how much they enjoy your products.
You can also use incentives to drum up enough user-generated content to enhance your content strategy. These could include:
- A special mention on your social media pages
- A surprise free gift
- A special feature on your website
- A promotional discount on your products
- Early access to new product launches
Just remember that, before sharing anything that’s user-generated, you should always ask permission to post this content. Create a standard procedure for requesting and obtaining permission. It may be as simple as leaving a comment or sending email, or more complex, like providing a submission agreement form.
Have your team draft a user-generated content agreement that contains ownership details and outlines how you will use the content. Require your users to agree to this document before submitting their posts. This will save you a lot of headaches down the road.
Youtooz, a custom vinyl statue store, uses a carousel of user-generated content at the bottom of their homepage that shows examples of satisfied customers and their custom products.
Not only does this build trust with first-time buyers, but it shows their products being used in real life, which will inspire new customers to make a purchase. And, because the customers are tagging the company in their posts, it drives more traffic to the site.
Encourage your customer base to post images to their social media pages and tag your account. Once you obtain permission, these images will become an essential part of your digital marketing strategy.
5. Relevant awards or qualifications you’ve earned
Depending on the industry you work in, you may want to display your professional awards and qualifications on your website. This will prove that you’ve studied your area of expertise or been awarded for your knowledge and skills.
This type of social proof works best for businesses that offer services requiring specific skills and knowledge, like lawyers, mechanics, and other companies customers look to for a specialized service.
For example, Gina Corena & Associates prominently display the various titles and accolades they have won in their field. This will show potential clients that the firm has been recognized as a leader in the industry, which is sure to win their trust. Gina Corena & Associates know people looking for a personal injury attorney have a lot of options to choose from, and they use their awards to prove their worth and position themselves as a trusted partner.
Choose awards and qualifications that will show you and your brand are qualified experts. Display these accolades in a prominent place and include the specific title you won. These awards will give your potential customers one more layer of proof that your services are legit and will provide them with what they need.
Today’s online market is flooded with products and services from companies that are all competing to win their audience over.
How you represent your product matters, but nothing you post will hold the same weight as what other people say about your business.
Social proof has the power to increase your conversion rate, grow your sales, and deliver a stellar ROI, all while building a loyal following of customers who advocate for your brand. Take the time to incorporate social proof into your website, and you’ll instantly supercharge your brand with credibility.
If you want more information on growing your business, check out WebKu for more great articles. They offer up-to-date information on topics like marketing, sales, and business trends that will help you strengthen your brand.
Adam Steele is COO and co-founder of Loganix, which is an SEO fulfillment partner for digital marketing agencies and professionals. The company provides the SEO services that businesses need to grow and achieve their goals. If you enjoyed this article, you can find more SEO guides and templates on the Loganix blog.