So you’ve got customers arriving on your landing page, but they aren’t converting nearly as well as you would like.
The most immediate and simplest way to increase the number of paying customers is to share the (positive) experience of past customers, as social proof of the quality of your products or services.
This might sound obvious, but it’s an aspect of web design that many (usually unsuccessful) business owners gloss over when making their website.
Here are a few basic but actionable ideas to help you source that crucial social proofing:
The most immediately accessible sources for social proofing are your past customers. Ideally, you will want to make sure those reviews are somewhere public and trusted, where the customers are verified to make sure the reviews are genuine. Think of platforms such as Trustpilot.
Every industry has its guru(s). These are tastemakers that everybody looks up to to help them see what’s the latest and greatest in the field, what the innovations are, which products to own and which ones to run away from.
Getting a good review from one of them can significantly increase the trust in your brand or product. After all, something that’s good enough for the guru should be good enough for everybody else.
This is especially important in small, tightly knit industries where everyone seems to know everybody else, and gaining a foothold is a real challenge.
These gurus are highly in-demand and know it, so many of them will only do paid reviews. While it is an upfront cost, having a positive quote from a guru on your website homepage will nevertheless make up for the cost and then some by significantly improving your conversion rates.
This works similar to gurus, only that instead of individuals, your product is featured by a major publication. Usually, it involves industry-specific publications, but on occasion, your product or brand might go viral for some reason and end up on mass-market media such as the BBC or The New York Times.
Ideally, you’ll want these publications to do a dedicated, positive review of your product which you can link to from your site so that potential customers can read for themselves.
If you only get mentioned in passing, then you should consider simply copy-pasting the comment (if it’s positive) alongside the logo of the publication, without including a link. If people want to see if the comment is real, all they have to do is do a Google search.
Finally, if your product gets mentioned but it’s in a neutral tone or presented in a way that isn’t relevant enough to persuade customers, then you can just create a “Featured In” section which lists all the logos of the publications that mentioned your product.
Another useful method for social proofing is showing off how many people use your product. After all, if everybody is using it, then it must be good for something, right?
Whenever possible, try to show statistics and hard numbers regarding how many customers you have.
Besides making it evident that your product is tried and tested, in some cases, it also means that there will be an existing community of users that can provide personal experience, documentation or tips and tricks.
If you’ve built up a community and following around your product or brand, then it can be a good idea to present them to a prospective customer.
How this community might look like can vary from brand to brand. It could be a forum, a subreddit, a mailing list, Facebook group, etc.
Communities tend to form only around passionate people. Users who are indifferent about a product don’t bother to gather up and discuss it.
Besides its obvious utility as a place to directly engage your customers, communities also offer the chance to convince tentative users to jump into your products boat and commit time and money to it.
People trust other people, some more than others. For this reason, adding social proofing to a website is a must to help improve one’s conversion rates, and increase user trust.