Find out how to build your website’s trustworthiness and increase your visibility through social proof.
Social Proof and SEO: Building Trust for Higher Visibility
Author: Paulina Dolatowska, Content Writer
Consumers have been relying on social proof long before online marketing became a thing. Have you ever asked around your friends and relatives before buying a product or service? Probably yes – so you were searching for social proof in its most basic form.
Nowadays, there are more advanced ways to seek recommendations, as we don’t have to limit ourselves to our closest circles. Read on to find out how important building trust for your website and how social proof affects SEO?
What is Social Proof?
The term ‘social proof’ first appeared in Robert Cialdini’s book Influence, published in 1984. It is also sometimes referred to as ‘informational social influence’ and means that people have a tendency to copy the actions others take to achieve a certain aim or deal with a particular situation.
For instance, if someone is experiencing a new social situation, they are more likely to observe people around them and act in a similar way. In this way, they make sure they are fitting in and that they are acting the way they should to avoid any unpleasant consequences.
When it comes to marketing, social proof works in a similar way. When consumers want to buy something, they often first check reviews, comments, and recommendations to find out what other people did when they had to make such a decision and how it ended up for them.
For this reason, numerous online stores ask their customers to review a product after buying and using it. In this way, they can encourage other potential customers to make the same purchase.
Why is Social Proof Important for SEO?
Apart from helping you to convince new customers to benefit from your offer, social proof can also be useful in improving your SEO efforts.
Reviews and testimonials are fresh content, and that’s always welcome, as it’s highly appreciated by search engines. Importantly, they are published on a regular basis, which is an additional benefit for the algorithm ranking your page.
Even if such pieces of content are published on other websites, they will most likely include links that can also boost your SEO efforts. For this reason, it’s recommended to encourage both regular users and experts to express their opinion on your products or services.
Social proof can have a great impact on the site’s authority. No matter if we’re talking about reviews or social mentions, they can be a great help in building a strong brand. It is still not certain whether social signals affect SEO directly but in the case of authority, the influence is undeniable.
For example, when your company releases a new product, you can add customer reviews on your site but also have customers spreading the word about it on their social channels. As a result, your brand gets a lot of mentions, an extended reach and numerous links leading to your website.
Furthermore, if your product is referred to on influencers’ social media, it can additionally boost trust and credibility.
Overall, social signals help you to build authority in your industry, and search engines will also notice its increasing popularity.
Social proof content, including positive reviews, testimonials and rankings, can significantly improve the trustworthiness of your business.
When consumers see that other people use your product or service and are happy about it, they are more likely to perceive you as honest and trustworthy. They can also share their opinion somewhere online, linking to your website and helping you to boost your SEO.
With such competitiveness in the present market, it is important to stand out from the competition in any possible way. Moreover, consumers are now often afraid of fraud, so having a trusted brand will help them to make a safe decision.
How to Use Social Proof to Increase Content Engagement
You can use social proof to improve content engagement in many different ways, showcasing your past satisfied customers to potential customers, making them more willing to interact with you.
One of the best methods to present a successful business transaction that fulfilled your customer’s needs is to publish a case study about it.
A case study is a deep analysis of your successful cooperation with a client, so it’s crucial to have their enthusiastic participation.
There are various ways to present your case study to your audience – you can, for example, publish it on an external blog, offer a downloadable PDF, or publish it to your website.
At SUSO Digital, we have a dedicated case study page where you can learn more about our work and the results we’ve achieved for our clients.
Testimonials & Reviews
Reviews and testimonials are often considered to be the most obvious examples of social proof.
You should allow and even encourage your customers to express their opinions on your website – you can have a separate testimonial page, just like we do at SUSO Digital. Apart from that, you can also allow for rating and commenting on particular products (in the case of an online shop).
It is also good practice to share positive opinions from your social media on your website – you can embed a special code into your website to automate the process.
Ask a renowned expert in your field to provide their opinion on your offerings to help build credibility and trust within your brand. With such confirmation, it will be much easier for a consumer to trust your business without the fear of being misinformed or even deceived.
If your company is mentioned in the media, your brand will become more recognizable and trustworthy. You will no longer be just a random company but a business that is worth enough attention to appear on television, radio, in a newspaper, or elsewhere.
Adding media mentions from reputable sources within your industry is another great way of building social proof.
Here’s an example of such mentions from media outlets reviewing a smartphone by Nothing.
Recognition: Awards & Accolades
Any achievements made by your business can and should be used to your advantage. It can be an award, an accolade, or a top spot on your industry ranking – show them off wherever you can.
To add such achievements to your website, you can collect badge images and add them to your website’s footer or publish them on your homepage to present your company’s outstanding performance.
It can look like this:
Follower / Subscriber Counts
If someone decides to follow or subscribe to your account, it means they genuinely like what you’re doing, and they’re willing to stay up to date, keep in touch with you, and come back to your offer.
That creates strong social proof, highling the fact that people trust you and are happy about what you provide.
For this reason, after managing to get an impressive number of followers or subscribers, don’t forget to tell it to the world
Influencer marketing has been growing in popularity over the past few years, and as social media becomes more and more influential, so do the influencers’ recommendations.
An influencer has great power to convince their followers to make a purchase through a regular review of your product/service or via a paid collaboration.
Logos are eye-catching and easily recognizable, so they can be very helpful in building credibility.
If you have anything to do with well-known brands (whether they are your clients, business partners, featured apps, or anything else), don’t forget to mention that to your audience and add their logos to your site, just like we do:
The Bottom Line
So, what is social proof? It’s the evidence that your offer is worth investing in and your brand is trustworthy, provided by external sources – most commonly, satisfied customers and business partners. Social proof can take various forms, including reviews, testimonials, ratings, expert opinions, influencer endorsements, and more.
Such practices can boost your SEO as they enhance your brand’s popularity, provide fresh content, and help in gaining additional links to your website. Keeping all that in mind, you should always create as many opportunities to get social proof as possible.
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