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The true measure of a website is not whether it sings, dances and looks good on mobile, it’s whether it helps to bring your business enquiries and sales. No matter the type or size of your business you need to justify the expense of a new website by ensuring you get a return on the investment and you get that return by making the website truly work for you.

If your website looks good and describes your product and services that’s a big tick. Your SEO strategies are booming and you’re ranking well on Google. That’s another tick. So why aren’t you winning new clients from your website?

Social proof may sound like the latest buzz-term but it’s as old as the hills. In a market full of BS trumpet blowing, social proof has become one of the most effective ways for potential clients to sort the wheat from the chaff. In the online world social proof is the new ‘word of mouth’.

Social proof is all around us and affects many of the decisions we make during the day. From heading to a popular restaurant with a mile-long queue because of a positive Facebook review (yep, done it) through to booking a 2 week holiday to Thailand because someone you follow on Instagram posted some awesome photos (and, yep, done this as well). Social proof is everywhere and has expanded the benefits of ‘word of mouth’ way beyond our own social circles.

In a market full of BS, social proof has become one of the most effective ways for potential clients to sort the wheat from the chaff.

What Is Social Proof & Why Do You Need Them?

Social proof is simply the evidence that your business is well-received by other customers and is seen as a safe and smart choice to go with.

Now you might be thinking: ‘Isn’t a totally awesome website together with my great product enough?’ No, it isn’t, not today.

When it comes to online buying decisions, especially if you are a small business or looking to scale fast, there are trust barriers that mentally hinder your prospects from taking the next step to enquire more about your service or buy your product.

The reason you might be losing sales and wasting your money on paid advertising driving traffic to your website is possibly because of the lack of social proof. In fact, in-depth research has consistently shown that social proof is critical to your sales success online.

According to a survey conducted, it was discovered that 90% of buyers who read online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions while a study done by iPerceptions revealed beyond 60% of customers are more likely to buy from a website that contains product ratings and reviews.

In this article, we will cover the 5 core social proofs you can immediately implement to turn your website into a conversion success and see those leads begin to pour in!

1. Customer Testimonials

Most savvy marketers and websites today are beginning to use customer testimonials aggressively as social proof and it’s no wonder why:

A study by Nielsen discovered that while over 90% of people trust recommendations from their family and peers, an enormous 70% of people trust recommendations from total strangers!

While having a positive customer testimonial is better than having none, it is important to structure your testimonial to showcase your business in the best light possible.

An unbeatable testimonial combines 3 elements:

A) The challenge facing your customer before using your product or service.

B) The results or benefits they enjoyed after using your solutions.

C) How your product or service specifically helped them.

Let’s take the testimonial that Kissmetrics chose to feature on their website.

It clearly showcases how the specific results they have benefited from together with the various challenges that have been solved making for an effective testimonial that communicates with their target prospects.

Social proof tips 2018

2. Media Mentions & News Features Online

Has your business been featured in the media?

This could include mentions in the newspapers, features in online influencer blogs, unsolicited reviews, and credible industry sites. If you’ve got it flaunt it! A growing number of businesses are investing more into content creation or PR campaigns to get themselves featured in the media.

If your business has been featured, grab the opportunity to leverage this success and turn it into a powerful social proof on your website to showcase credibility and position your business as an authority leader in your field.

Cafebond an online retailer of specialty coffee, smartly uses their media mentions on credible platforms including ELLE magazine and Yahoo news to brand themselves as a leader in their market.

3. Customer Logos (especially if they are big brands)

Every customer you have served can be used as social proof for your website, but the question is how do you decide which customer logos to feature? It’s simple, dive back down to the types of clients you are looking to attract.

If you are a small business selling accounting services to doctors at the local level, you want to be showing customer logos related to medical and professional healthcare industry.

If your business is more enterprise-driven, it is better for you to showcase big corporate giants that trusts and use your products – like how Zendesk below does it.

4. The Number Of Customers You Have Served

Quantity is a quality of its own. If you have a business that has served an impressive amount of clients, you owe it to yourself to feature that success on your website.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be the number of customers you serve, but could also range from the number of subscribers you have to the number of products sold and shipped.

Campaign Monitor, an email marketing software, nails this, using the strength of numbers to their advantage on their website. After all, if they have 200,000 businesses using their service, it’s more than likely an awesome service!

5. A Case Study

One of the most powerful and timeless social proofs out there are case studies.

These are basically a quick feature story of how your customers came to know about your product, why they chose your product and how your product positively impacted them.

Case studies go beyond just a normal customer testimonial, it allows you to connect with your prospect with a story and situation that is similar to their own.

Xero features video case studies on their website, guiding their viewers through the process and reasons for why to choose Xero through heartfelt stories of real business owners solving real challenges.

Looking to integrate social proofs to your current website or looking to establish a compelling web presence from scratch? Contact our team at Start Digital today.

From enterprise companies to professional services, we help showcase the best your business has to offer to the world online!