The Need for Social Proof in Website Design
For years, businesses have benefitted from word of mouth referrals to help them gain new customers. As we’ve entered into the digital age, the landscape has changed. Things have also changed when it comes to website design and how we are to gain the trust of people who visit our websites. Some people think that generating traffic to their website is the #1 way to take visitors and convert them into customers. Others believe that design alone is the difference between making a sale and not.
Unfortunately, that’s simply not true. There are many key areas in website design that need to be factored in when attempting to convert visitors into customers. One area of EXTREME importance that many websites are missing out on today is social proof. If you don’t have social proof on your website you are missing out on converting visitors to customers.
People Buy From People They Trust
I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m looking for a service or product, I rely on friends and family to guide me in the right direction. I will ask my friends or family about their experience, and if they would recommend that product to me. Additionally, I listen to them closely if they begin to tell me about all the reasons they will never use that product again.
According to optinmoster.com, 82% of Americans say they seek recommendations from friends and family before making a purchase.
If you are like myself and 82% of Americans, you are going to seek out the people you trust to help you find the service and product you need. This is extremely important in website design. If you are building a website for a client, or if you are a business owner looking for someone to build your website, you want to find somebody who understands the importance of social proof. This is never going to be more important than in this next generation. In a recent survey conducted by trustedpulse.com 91% of millennials trust website reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family. Social proof is necessary to build the trust you need with online visitors.
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Social Proof Proves the Legitimacy of Your Business
The year 2020 has certainly been a tough year. COVID-19 has increased the pace at which people shop online. This trend was already being seen, but COVID-19 has pushed an older generation to seek out online shopping like never before. This trend means that you probably have visitors coming to your website that are looking for services, but what they may not be seeing is the social proof that REAL people use your service or product. Social proof is called proof because it brings legitimacy to your business.
One company that we did a website design for in 2020 was a construction company called GCM. Their old website design did not do a great job of highlighting the several HIGH profile clients they had used in the past. This company was doing business with the likes of McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, etc. You get my point, but if I would have went on their old website, I would have never known that those companies trusted them with their construction needs.
One of the really fun things about their site was we put in a really cool slider to highlight the clientele, and to really bring to the attention of visitors who was trusting their company.
You can see from this video, that we have put a lot of effort into making sure that people know if these companies TRUST GCM, then other companies should as well. This is also a great example of transferring the great reputation many have built offline, and converting it to instant online credibility.
Keep Social Proof Relevant
The world is constantly changing all the time. The online world changes at an even faster rate. One thing that does not change, is the flow of positive testimonials and social proof that needs to be posted on your website.
According to optinmonster.com 85% of consumers think that online reviews older than 3 months aren’t relevant.
When we begin to understand how people view social proof, we begin to understand that our website designs need to include a quick review or testimonials from each of clients. Even if it’s a repeat client, you should try to get a new review from them commenting on the work you performed for them.
Another area to consider keeping relevant are your certifications. People love to see certifications on websites so they know that they are working with professionals. This is very important for certifications that you must update yearly. If you have certifications on your website that you no longer keep up with, or that haven’t been renewed it makes your business look questionable to visitors and makes them wonder if you are even in business anymore. Don’t let that be the reason a visitor doesn’t become your customer.
One of the areas that Empowered has been certified this past year is in data privacy. If you look at the bottom of our homepage in the footer, or in our data privacy protection plan page, you will see the badge we have received for becoming Data Privacy certified. It’s important if you are going to offer a service you are able to show you are qualified to do that. Most companies that you get certified with, will offer a digital badge for your website. If they don’t be sure to ask them to provide you with something you can use online.
Start considering today which clients you may benefit from getting social proof from. Make sure you target those clients. High profile clients can help give you the online authority and credibility you need to be successful online. After that, start asking your best clients for written testimonials.
There are also video testimonial services out there you might want to consider. Most of them do cost money, but they make everything a lot easier. One that I want to recommend today is Magnfi. This really gives you another leg up in the social proof world because not many people are doing video testimonials. Most places use written testimonials.
Either way, start somewhere today. By adding social proof to your website design you will help visitors to choose your great product or service.