[This blog post is Part 3 of 5 in the webpage improvement series “5 Key Concepts That Will Convert Your Webpage into a Sales Machine!”]
Goal: Gain your customer’s trust and demonstrate that your product is worth their investment. Did you know 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? (source)
With that kind of power, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be leveraging social proof to build trust and credibility with your audience. If people love you, it’s in your best interest to show it off.
With the success of YELP and TripAdvisor, it’s no surprise that online customers are hungry for social proof. It’s your job to satisfy this craving. By telling readers who your clients are and what those clients are saying about you, you make it much easier for them to quickly size-up your credibility and make a purchase decision.
So far during our series, you’ve learned how to layout a webpage to focus your reader’s attention and how to captivate your audience and showcase a product with great copywriting. Now that you know how to capture peoples’ attention and build interest in your product, it’s time to convince them to take action. It’s time to leverage your social proof!
Use video testimonials to build trust with your visitors and put the spotlight on some of your important product features. Video testimonials should be displayed prominently on the page so they are easily seen. If done well, your video testimonial will act as a catalyst for your sales process by building interest and desire in your product very quickly.
Written testimonials aren’t quite as engaging as videos, but they are still highly effective in building trust with your potential customers. Written testimonials can be done in short hand (blurbs or “sound bites”) or long form write ups. It’s best to save the long form write ups for a designated testimonial page and use the short form blurbs for sales pages.
A great way to implement testimonials is by placing them next to the product feature that that they are related to. This way, your reader will see the direct connection between your product’s function and how it has truly made someone’s life easier— that’s instant credibility. Alternatively, try placing testimonials above or below a banner that displays the logo of clients you serve.
Prominently display your client’s logos to demonstrate who you work with on a regular basis. This technique works best when you have clients that are either a) very reputable or b) similar companies to those you are targeting. Although this method of social proof is less personal than the testimonial, it can work well in elevating your credibility.
Whenever possible, display product ratings and reviews in an easy-to-see place near your product image. This should be a standard practice for any product listing. Alternatively, if you feel that your product rating is one of your best selling points, you should consider including it in your headline or in some supporting text when you showcase your unique selling proposition.
If you have access to customer written product reviews, use them similarly to testimonial blurbs. Implement them as “sound bites” to spark the customers’ interest. If the reviews are too long, put them on a separate page and make them readily accessible with one click.
Pro Tip: If your website receives incoming user reviews, use microdata to get your product ratings displayed in Google search results. Your search listing could look like the one below. Over time, this rich snippet will help improve your click through rate because it draws in more attention than a simple text listing.
Display third party badges and widgets to show off that authority sites have rated you well (i.e. TripAdvisor). Similarly, if your product or service has won some kind of award, you should proudly display this badge on your site where it can be seen by all. This works especially well if the award is from an authority your reader’s are familiar with.
Showcase the number of satisfied customers you have over the time selling your product. In this case, quantity does matter. Think about it from your customer’s point of view: If a company has served 1 million customers, they’re probably doing something right.
Case studies are hard proof that your product provides a great ROI. Whether that ROI is in financial terms or emotional satisfaction, these stories are gold to you. They provide an in depth analysis of a specific problem and how your product was able to deliver the solution. These anecdotes help potential buyers connect with people who have been in similar situations. When new customers see that your product worked for someone else, they are much more likely to believe it can solve their problems and make them happier. Never underestimate the power of a well written case study!
Pro tip: Try linking to a case study page as an alternative CTA. After your customer’s reads this page, they’ll be more likely to trust you enough to buy your product.
For a simple yet effective guide on how to create a quality case study, check out the Hubspot article: The Ultimate Guide to Creating Compelling Case Studies.
After reading this post, you’ve probably realized that you are already familiar with a handful of the ways to display social proof online. By no means is implementing these rocket science; however, you do have to try out the various options to see which ones resonate with your audience. So now let’s get to the question I’m sure you’re all asking yourselves: Where should I start?
As a rule of thumb, product reviews and ratings work well for B2C customers who usually focus on the utility they gain from a product. On the other hand, B2B customers appreciate a great case study as they find it much more tangible in predicting ROI. In saying this, don’t take my words for granted. The only way to truly find out what works is to test, test, test!
Well, that’s it for now. Thank you all for reading. If you enjoyed this post, check back soon for part four of our series where we’ll demonstrate how to create highly effective calls to action. See you soon!