Big claims without proof don’t work. In order for someone to buy from you, they have to genuinely believe that you can help them. And the strongest kind of proof is social proof. People want to see other people just like them who’ve used your product and succeeded. On an even deeper psychological level, people’s behaviors tend to match their peers – so if a lot of people like a product, they’re more inclined to like it as well.

Adding social proof to your website can give you a big boost in conversions. How do you add social proof to your site?

Testimonials: Sometimes Effective, Sometimes Not

Testimonials are a common type of social proof. They can work extremely well when used right. Otherwise, they can actually hurt.

Testimonials should seem authentic. They should have emotion. They should be imperfect, meaning they sound human rather than rehearsed. They should be specific.

Marketers that try to coach their clients into writing testimonials – or, even worse, write them themselves – generally churn out testimonials that sound flat. It sounds like it was written by a marketer, because it was. Avoid these kinds of testimonials. Use genuine testimonials from real customers.

Video, audio and images can significantly improve your testimonials. A video testimonial is the most powerful form of testimonial, followed by audio. A before and after photo or a demonstration photo can work wonders on the believability of a testimonial.

Media and Blog Appearances

Another way to add social proof is to showcase your media and blog appearances. Have you ever been on radio or TV? Show those shows’ logos, or show screenshots of clips of you on TV. Have you been mentioned, written for or been featured on major blogs? Show their logos on your site. Have you written for a journal, magazine or publication? Include their logos as well.

Facebook and Twitter Widgets

Use Facebook and Twitter widgets to show off how many fans you have. Adding a widget showing 50,000 people liking your page is a powerful way to demonstrate social proof.

Manage Your Reviews

According to research by Google, people are increasingly doing searches for product reviews before they make purchase decisions. In other words, before someone buys your product, there’s a strong chance they’ll Google it first.

What comes up on the front page of Google when someone types in your product name, or your product name plus “review”? It’s essential that you manage and cultivate the pages and reviews that appear at the top of Google for your brand searches. If there are no reviews, consider giving a few bloggers in your space free products, or even paying them to write a review post (just be wary of pay per post offers, they can get you in trouble with Google).

Humans are inherently social beings. Crowd mentality can be a strong driver of behavior. That’s why stock market bubbles can form and crash – people tend to do what others are doing. Use this to your advantage by learning to incorporate social proof into your sales process.

Your Assignment

  • Add some social proof to your website.
  • Email your buyers and tell them you’d love to hear how your product has worked for them.
  • Turn the feedback into new testimonials.
  • Add any media features to your website and contact a few bloggers to see if they’d be interested in reviewing your product.
  • Add Facebook and Twitter widgets to your website if appropriate.

What We’ve Covered

Day #1: Examine Your Audience and Your Core Offer
Day #2: Optimizing Your Call to Actions
Day #3: Improve Your Lead Forms and Increase Signups
Day #4: Your Headline – Your Page’s Most Important Sentence
Day #5: Keep Attention With Strong Transitions
Day #6: Web Design Tips for Better Conversions
Day #7: Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment by Improving Your Checkout
Day #8: Boost Conversions by Managing Expectation and Relevance
Day #9: Master the Art of Creating Urgency
Day #10: Use Video to Boost Trust and Conversions
Day #11: Add Social Proof to Your Sales Process

Coming Up Next

Day #12: Accessibility Makes You Real (and Improves Sales)
Day #13: Tailoring Your Guarantee and Return Policy
Day #14: Getting Started With A/B Split Testing
Day #15: More Ideas for Better Conversions