4 Ways to Use Social Proof to Increase Conversion Rates

Wikipedia defines social proof as “a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.” Essentially, it’s a persuasion tactic that helps increase conversion rates by influencing and easing your audience into clicking that ‘subscribe’ button or making that purchase.

Translated into the real world context, it basically means a company will create demand for a product or service based on whether others buy and use it. For digital marketing, here’s how it comes into play and how you can use it…

It’s Not What You Say About Yourself, It’s What Other Say About You

The objectivity of testimonials is a valuable addition to your website.

But you have to be careful about this. Do not simply create a section on your site dedicated to testimonials. While it may lend a bit of credibility, at the end of the day, no one will really head to your website with the intent of just reading through your testimonial page.

My suggestion is for you to work it into your main pages. Here’s a good example from job posting site, www.jazz.co.

As a potential employer, you go to this website to see if you could possibly hire someone. But before you sign up for it and give valuable time and information, you’ll want proof that it will be worth your while; which is why the site offers testimonials from industry professionals right on the main page.


Make sure the testimonials are brief, concise and relevant. It makes it easy to read and faster for your users to absorb.

Let Numbers Do The Talking

If you have a service or product patronized by many, it’s may be enough to spark interest and spur conversions.

Basecamp, a project management app, leverages on their impressive numbers by reassuring potential users of the sheer number of users that use the service.

Social Proof - Basecamp

Embrace Star Power

Make it easy for your users to provide you with social proof for other customers. This is especially useful for selling or service sites where you need to solidify the quality of what you are offering.

Remember the attention spans of your online audience. Once they zero in on a product they see online, it’s likely that will want proof of whether or not they are getting their money’s worth. The easiest way to do that is to offer quick visual proof, such as star ratings, driven by other users who have shown the same interest in the product..

Take this example from brand L.L. Bean…

Social Proof - Review

The 4.7 star rating for the product shows that it is indeed a popular product and lends more credibility to the description they have at the bottom, which raises the probability of potential buyers hitting that ‘add to bag’ button.

Keep Them Talking

The popularity and credibility of a website can be seen not only through numbers, testimonials or ratings…engagement is also important.

Encourage your readers and users to leave questions and comments…the more there is, the more proof you have that your users are interested in what you’re selling (in the case of selling sites) and what you’re saying (in the case of blogs.)

Social Proof - Comments

That said…be sure that you are ready to take on the questions and comments that come your way. If you can, try to reply to your users. Not only does this help build your relationship with your users, it helps establish yourself as an authority when you are able to give them relevant answers and provide excellent customer service, making it more likely for users to hit that subscribe button or respond positively to your call-to-action.

Studies also show that conversions increase when you support your sites with social proof…

According to this study

  • Overall, products with reviews have a 12.5% higher conversion rate than those without.
  • Products with 20+ reviews have a 83.85 higher conversion than those products without reviews.
  • Products prompting the most reviews tend to be the best sellers and thus are generally higher converting.


Be smart about using social proof for your sites. Too much and it might be off-putting, too little and it might not work at all. You’ll want a good balance of what you want to offer, supported by proof that it has good value so that it will lead to conversions.

If you have any questions or comments, as always, just leave it in the comment section below and I will be sure get back to you. And if you found this post useful, take the time to hit those share buttons.

– Mercer

About The Author


Chris Mercer, who typically goes by "Mercer", has a sales and marketing background that stretches over 20 years. He began his online marketing career in 2009 and has become a sought after analytics & conversions expert, helping other top-marketers to improve their own offers and sales funnels. Now decades of real-world experience are brought to you post-by-post as he delivers Seriously Simple Marketing tips that you can use to build your own business!