#GettingYourWebsiteDesigned 9 – Website Bling – The Social Proofing Technique

People will ONLY buy from you if they trust you. So that means your website has to build trust between them and you. Why should someone trust you? Well, what about if their friends recommend you, or their peers? We are of course talking about ‘Social Proof’.

If large amounts of people, or someone you know, or someone you look up to recommends a service to you, you are more likely to trust it and thus buy it.

So how do we master this incredible power of Social Proofing to build trust on your website? Here’s our definitive list of such ways…

– Case Studies
– Testimonials with photos
– Testimonials from big names
– Sharing centre stage: Steal credibility from showing yourself on par/with big names in your industry.
– Sold Out signs
– Online Reviews: If you have a place for online reviews e.g. Yelp.com then make sure they get featured on your website, encourage customers to leave good reviews.
– Subscribers: The bigger your list, the more appealing it is to sign up to it. It must be good if thousands of people have already subscribed. If you don’t have a huge list then it won’t be as impressive, maybe make up for it by showing off lots of glowing testimonials.
– Badges/Seals/Certifications/Associations/Accreditations: Whatever you want to call them, they often prove your skills and ability to a certain level. Do you have any accreditation that proves you can do what you do, or are you part of any organisations that show your dedicated nature to your industry?
– Media Logos: The “as featured in” media showcase is a great example of social proof. Can you cite and/or show the news media that has featured, reviewed or mentioned your products?
– Social Connections: It can be extremely impressive to have a large following on social media platforms. You must be interesting if you have thousands of followers/fans/connects etc. If you do then show it off on your website.
– Social Shares: Ever seen those widgets at the side or top of a blog post and it says that the article has been shared ‘x’ amount of times? They’re great for popular blogs.
– Author: If you are a published author in your industry then this gives big kudos.
– Clients: Often dubbed rather crudely, “logo porn” this is a popular website tactic of displaying client logos. The strategy, of course, establishes credibility for the company, allowing the host to show it has big, relevant, exciting, or lots of clients.
– Results: Proof that you are capable of doing what you do. Maybe you have some stats, or maybe you have some examples of successes?

We like to call all this social proof ‘Bling’ because it is there to dazzle, impress, and inspire desire.

However like all bling, sometimes it just isn’t impressive at all…

Think about a restaurant, if it looks empty then you must conclude that something’s wrong here, bad service, poor quality food, overpriced maybe? Either way wouldn’t you much rather go to the restaurant that always looks busy, maybe has a queue or your friend has recommended!

The point being that social proof can also look negatively on your business so do not include any social proof that isn’t impressive.

You wouldn’t put on your website a customer complaint, so why put on a social sharing button that has 0 likes. Just put a sharing icon on without the figures! You need to portray yourself in the best light possible.

Many micro business will not have a large amount of social proof to start with, so it is incredibly important to work on it now so you can start putting proof on your website to build trust. If you can work on all these points above actively, then we guarantee your website conversion rate will improve. For building your credibility in general, check out this article.

ACTION: Go through each of the points above, is there something which you can add to your site straight away?

ACTION: Choose a few to work on right now i.e. invite a few big names to a coffee, try to collaborate, or get their opinion on your product/service.