6 Ways of Using Social Proof to Boost Website Conversions

Published on 18 October, 2022 | 639 views | 3 minutes read

Visitors are more likely to purchase from a website if they feel someone they trust has already done so.

Squeezing every last drop of value from a website's traffic can be the difference between profitable success or merely getting by. This means doing whatever you can to boost the number of visitors who become customers, a process known as website conversion optimization.

There are many ways of doing this, some fairly straightforward and some a little more obscure, but one of the most important techniques is to use the concept of social proof.

What Is Social Proof? 

In essence, social proof is the idea that people will trust their peers more than a faceless company, and this can be leveraged into boosting sales. Visitors are more likely to purchase from a website if they feel someone they trust has already done so, But crucially, in today's online world, that trusted someone needn't necessarily be a person they actually know. Here are six ways you can harness the power of social proof on your website.

1) Testimonials 

The power of the testimonial should be no surprise to anyone with retail experience, but it remains one of the best tactics even in the digital arena. However, a little finesse is required to make testimonials work. Instead of creating a page packed with outlandish claims and gushing praise, use short product-specific sentences in among your product pages to add a little spice to your marketing copy.

2) Customer Reviews 

The venerable testimonial technique can be updated neatly for the internet age by allowing customers to post reviews of your products. Positive yet believable reviews can give a powerful conversion boost, but it's important not to be too controlling - censoring poor reviews can backfire in two ways.

Firstly, if all published reviews are entirely positive, they'll tend to lack credibility. Secondly, if someone's negative review is deleted, it's all too easy for the disgruntled writer to publicize this fact via social media. It's far more effective to respond reasonably and constructively to a bad review than it is to sweep it under the carpet.

3) Influencer Marketing 

The conversion optimization process doesn't need to be confined to your actual site - it can be started during the traffic generation process. Influencer marketing relies on finding a trusted figure in your niche who has a good reach on social media. Gaining a low-key endorsement, a review, or simply a mention from them adds a generous pinch of social proof before a visitor even hits your site.

4) Peer Endorsements 

Showing website visitors how popular a product is can provide that final push toward a conversion. Ordering products by sales rank is an effective way of doing this - people will have greater trust in an item that's clearly a hit with other buyers.

5) Peer Recommendations 

In the same way, showing related products ordered by sales rank is also helpful. Telling a potential customer that buyers of the product they're viewing also bought a secondary product is far more compelling than simply listing items from the same category.

6) Social Sharing 

Lastly, your website should make it easy for existing customers to share your pages or products via the major social media platforms. Not only will this increase exposure, but if you include a counter showing how often the page has been shared, a high figure will lend significant credibility.

A small jump in a website's conversion rate often has a larger effect on revenue than an increase in traffic. Adding a sprinkling of social proof to your marketing efforts could make a surprisingly strong impact to your bottom line.

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Last updated on: 18 October, 2022