Without social proof, there is only so much the design of your landing page can achieve when it comes to influencing people’s decisions to purchase your product or sign up to your service. Because webpages are such ‘static’ environments, they rarely account for the concerns that go through consumers’ minds in the real-working world before making that kind of commitment. After all, your visitors aren’t just clicks, they are real people with genuine thoughts and opinions.
An individual’s purchasing decision is fraught with any number of reasons not to purchase – namely, making the ‘wrong’ decision – and that depends primarily on trust. Integrating social proof into your landing page is a great way of establishing that much needed trustworthiness every visitor will be looking for when they land on your page.
How Does Social Proof Work?
Otherwise known as informational social influence, social proof relies on the concept that people will conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of correct behavior.
In other words, it’s a mentality; if other people are purchasing it – and people trust other people – then that validates the individual’s decision to purchase.
The degree to which visitors are influenced by social proof depends on three factors:
- The level of ambiguity presented (ambiguity)
- The number of people performing the action (scale)
- How similar the visitor perceives those people to be to themselves (similarity)
Examples of Social Proof in Landing Pages
Testimonials are one of the most commonly used forms of social proof out there. Providing positive feedback from customers and existing users is an effective way of establishing trust, and removes any ambiguity the visitor may have about your offer. This is generally known as ‘user’ social proof. Other examples might include case studies, reviews, or recommendations.
However, even if a testimonial is one-hundred-percent-true, it doesn’t necessarily make it believable – reason being, people require more than just a person’s validation in order to make a decision, there’s too much anonymity and not enough supporting evidence for it to be so easily trusted. The kinds of testimonials that work best are typically ones accompanied by pictures, so use images of people alongside your social proof to help reduce doubt and build trust. Used in conjunction with any of the other following examples of social proof, your landing page conversion rate can skyrocket.
Image: Social Proof That Can’t Be Argued With From Conversion Rate Experts
Integrating social media into your landing page, such as Facebook Likes, embedded Tweets and Google Plus, is an ideal way of expanding social proof on a much larger scale. This is generally known as ‘wisdom of the crowds’ social proof. This means that the visitor’s decision to purchase is validated by the approval of multiple sources rather than just one.
Utilizing social media also allows visitors to observe whether or not their friends and contacts approve of their decision to purchase. This is generally known as ‘wisdom of friends’ social proof. This relies on the concept that when valuing opinion, people place more weight on those of the people they deem most similar.
Where to Use Social Proof in Your Landing Page Design
The best way to use social proof to increase conversion is to first identify where users are most likely to react to this form of influence.
Start by examining the course of conversion (the journey each visitor takes toward completing conversion) stage by stage, and determine at which point the decision to act is made more difficult by unfamiliar information or choices. This is likely to be the phase during which the benefits of your product or service are put forward, but are either confusing or poorly understood.
In other words, you’re trying to find the point where making the decision to purchase becomes most ambiguous. This is the point where you should introduce your social proof in order to reduce that ambiguity, build trust and ultimately validate their purchasing decision.
Split Testing And Segmentation Is Key
As always with landing page marketing, testing provides the key to your success. There are many elements that can be tested when it comes to social proof and it follows that you should also segment your traffic.
In other words, if a visitor is referred to your internet marketing services company landing page by AdWords using the keyword ‘SEO Services’, display the testimonials that are raving about your SEO service and not your generic ‘internet marketing’ testimonials.
These are just a few examples of ways you can use and take advantage of social proof to help increase your conversion rate. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask in the comments below.