Build Trust on Your Website Through Social Proof

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Online is ultimately a game of trust.

The business that can build the most amount of trust through their website is most likely to get the lead or enquiry.

And what is the best way to build trust?

Through social proof.

Proof that other people have had a great experience and outcome when working with you.

Social proof works so well on a basic human psychology level because as humans we have ‘faith in people’. A belief that other people are honest and reliable and are likely to share their experience.

Google have built a tremendous system of social proof into their “Google My Business” directory listings. Their review system quickly and easily allows a visitor to see what other people have to say.

It is largely honest, reliable and can’t be easily gamed or manipulated.

Take for example the generic search phrase – “day spa gold coast” (Side note, my wife just happens to own this business!)

Earth and Skin Day Spa

The star ratings & volume of reviews give an indication as to what the quality of the customer experience is likely to be.

The top result listed is “Earth and Skin”

Earth and Skin Google Listing

Click on the listing and you will see a map view with the location of the business:

Day Spa Google Maps Search

When clicking on the reviews, the majority of the reviews are very favourable:

Earth and Skin Google Reviews

So ask yourself, would you send your mumsie there for a bit of pampering?

Hell yeah!

She will be well looked after and you will be the golden child in the eyes of your mother.

So as a business owner, building trust is a two pronged approach:

  • Gather the reviews from your clients
  • Promote the reviews on your website
Gathering The Reviews

Gather the reviews in the location which will get you the most amount of leverage. That means asking your clients for feedback.

But don’t just get them to send you a testimonial by email.

Get them to input direct into the Google ecosystem. This will give you the best bang for buck.

Other visitors will see it instantly through the Google Maps / My Business ecosystem (good and bad reviews).

For a detailed article on gathering the reviews, click here.

Promote The Reviews

You now have wonderful feedback from your clients – check!

It’s now time to sing it from the rafters.

To tell all other prospective clients out there that you are the provider of choice.

Obviously they will see this in their travels through Google.

But what happens when they land on your website?

In comes this nifty badge which can be embedded on any WordPress website:

Google Reviews Widget for WordPress

See this sitting in the footer?

Google Rating WordPress Widget

When you click on it, it will dynamically pull in all your Google reviews like this:

Google Ratings Widget Expanded

Pretty cool huh?!

So even after a visitor has come through to your website, you can demonstrate and show the social proof that you are the provider of choice.

The plugin is called “Google Reviews Business” and can be found here.

It is a paid plugin that costs $65 USD (well worth the investment).

The other awesome thing it does is automatically insert rich snippets into your site such as the following:

Rich Snippets via Google Rating Widget

This increases the number of visitors to your site as your results include the star rating via “rich snippets”. They see the 5 stars and are more likely to click on your listing.

Other great features include a multitude of different theme options such as sliders which can easily be embedded on your site:

Google Review slider embedded on WordPress website

The great thing about capturing all these reviews is they can be repurposed in other marketing that you do such as:

  • Proposals
  • Portfolios
  • Brochures
  • Tenders
Embrace the feedback!

Assuming you are delivering a great product in the marketplace then don’t fear negative reviews. Get amongst it and chase that feedback from your customers.

In summary:

  • Ensure your Google My Business listing is full and complete
  • Ask your clients for reviews
  • Promote these reviews on your website
About the author
Jon Hollenberg
With over 20 years experience within the web industry, Jon is an expert in online marketing and online growth strategies. Over the last ten years he has worked with iconic brands such as Qantas, Jeep and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary plus hundreds of other businesses Australia wide. Jon is a published author of "Love at first site - How to build the website of your dreams".
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