One of the most important functions for a small business is to improve conversions, and considering the crazy amounts of competition there is to deal with, it’s a difficult task to achieve. One significant way to improve conversions is to enhance your credibility — using social proof.
Of course, you’re legit and you provide awesome products/services, but website visitors don’t know that. If a consumer sees that you’ve got some awesome proof of how good your products/services are, they’re much more likely to purchase from your business.
Social proof is the type of credibility that, in this instance, deals with consumers and their perceptions of your business and its offerings. In order to improve conversions on your website, you’ll need some marketing guidance on how to convey social proof to your visitors.
1. Put in a good word
Testimonials are considered the epitome of social proof on your website — they’re the amazing things that other people say about your product/service. Essentially, they’re planting the idea into the visitor’s mind that, “this is what you’ll be saying after using this product/service”.
Testimonials can be anything from what people have said to you directly, to simple things from social media sites (i.e. Facebook reviews, tweets, etc.).
2. Sky full of stars
Reviews and “stars” seem to catch consumers’ attention just like testimonials — they’re each a summary of an experience in a number and a paragraph. Consumers love simple things, and the simplest it can get to summarise a product/service is a couple of stars.
Ensure that your customers leave you a great review if they’ve had a great experience — typically on Google, Facebook, or even Amazon, eBay, etc.
3. I trust you
Certificates, awards, recognitions — if you’ve got ‘em, flaunt ‘em! Visitors love to see that your hard work and quality products/services are officially accredited as being awesome. They attach an extra level of trust to your products/services, which can be highly valued to some consumers.
4. They trust us too
Showcase the notable companies or brands that use or have used your product/services. Consumers identify with certain companies and brands that they know or use, which adds a degree of attachment to your product/service.
5. Numbers, numbers, numbers
People love numbers, simply because they sum up any sort of information in a couple of digits. Add fancy numbers to your profile to summarise the quality of your service and to show that you’re a serious player in this competition.
Certain variables are more engaging than others. In social proof, for example, there’s the number of people served, years running, number of happy employees, bank account + pin number (just joking, don’t show that), or numbers specific to your industry or business.
6. Colour is your best friend
Chiaroscuro is an artistic technique that contrasts dark from light. With this in mind, you can use colours to grab the attention of your visitors. Don’t go all bright and flashy, but stick to a suitable colour scheme and emphasise what you want your customers to see.
Make buttons a catchy colour, or contrast offers and promotions (or even your phone number) from the background colour(s). Try using a certain “action colour” that contrasts from your usual colours, so as to emphasise call-to-actions (buy now, learn more, etc.).
7. Sharing is caring
Social media is a massive influencer in terms of consumer decision-making. Any sort of interaction from your social media (or even blog) posts should be emphasised — use widgets & counters to show the amount of likes or shares you get on different social media sites.
Show your visitors that you’re actually getting social media traction, but be careful, if you’re not getting that traction yet, avoid widgets and counters until you are, otherwise it won’t exactly convey your popularity.
8. The “best” of the best
Consumers react positively to certain phrases and terms, some of the most popular being “best selling”, and “most popular” (see what I did there). Incorporate the phrases to those that actually sell the most or have the highest average reviews/stars.
9. Knowledge is king
Or in this case, statistics and facts. Everyone loves important info, and nothing says important info like statistics. Significant numbers stand out in contrast with letters — find a few stats that convey that what you’re doing is important, and make it known on your website.
10. ¢A$H M0N€¥
There are different methods of approaching how to convey plans and pricing for products/services. The same applies for your website. Try to contrast the low prices with the higher prices, using techniques like gradually changing colours and/or sizes, etc. Experiment and see what works well!
One recommended method: Make consumers’ expectation higher by setting a highest-priced product/service, so the second-best or lower-priced ones seem more affordable.
In a simpler sense, lessen the gap between the two lowest-priced and lengthen the gap between the two highest priced.
11. FOMO (Fear of missing out)
If you’ve got a limited supply, show it! If your sales ends Sunday, let them know! People who are tossing up between purchasing or not purchasing will often go for a leap of faith and purchase if there is a fear of missing out on the product/service.
12. FREE BEER!
Sorry for the false alarm, but I’ve definitely got your attention now! Everybody likes free stuff, so offer free stuff in big bold letters: free samples with orders, free eBook, free trial period, etc. And emphasise the term “free”!