31/10/17 Website Branding

How to Use Social Proof to Increase Sales on Every Page of Your Website

The internet is loaded with skeptics. And it should be, shouldn’t it?

Any random sociopath person can call themselves an “expert” overnight. How do you know you can trust them, instead of someone else?

As you know, internet searchers will do their research. They want to find as much evidence as possible to support their inkling that you’re the best person or company to solve their problem.

And you can build their trust with what’s called “social proof.” This is evidence, which doesn’t originally come from you, that boosts your credibility and shows you can deliver on the promises you make.

How can you include social proof on your website so you aren’t simply just another company or even a good choice, but the obvious choice?

Use these simple ideas:

Case Studies

For SMBs, case studies fly way under the radar. Practically no one uses them. But large corporations do. And they shell out a couple thousand dollars to have them written and designed persuasively.

You don’t need to do that. But case studies work for every customer type. And they work especially well for service-based companies.

A case study is simply a detailed story that shows:

  • What your customer’s life was like before using your solution (the problem)
  • Why they chose you, instead of competitors
  • Additional obstacles they experienced as you understood their situation
  • The solutions you recommended and implemented for them
  • What their life is like after using your service (the positive benefits they now get)

500 words do the job. 1000 – 1500 words offers intimate detail and a highly convincing story.

Don’t mention your company throughout because that makes your case study look like advertising. Make your customer the hero. And then include a 2-3 sentence paragraph at the end.

Case studies are powerful enough to have their own main navigation item which appears on every page of your website.

Testimonials

Every SMB has these. But the way they implement them leaves so much more room for opportunity.

Most go like this:

“John is awesome to work with. Highly recommended.”

*Sigh*

Well, that’s what your website readers do when they see that anyway. They’ve seen testimonials saying exactly the same millions of times.

To get testimonials that do one heck of a lot of convincing and persuading, I recommend Derek Halpern’s “Perfect Testimonial” formula:

  • The customer describes the problem they were experiencing using one sentence
  • The second sentence describes the actions they took or the solutions you implemented
  • The third describes the results they experienced

But customers don’t write testimonials describing that, do they?

So how do you get one?

Two ways:

  • Offer to write the testimonial for your customer yourself. Then, send it to your customer and let them approve it. This works. But it’s not ideal because testimonials are more convincing when customers use their own language. Yours will come across as written by an experienced professional.
  • Do a 15-minute interview. Record it. Write the testimonial and use words and phrases your customer uses verbatim. Then send it to them to revise or approve.

Is this worth your time?

Absolutely!

Other testimonials amount to just putting words on the page. These tell a brief story (just like case studies) which is a powerfully convincing sales tool.

To maximize their effect, place them strategically throughout your website (see our web design services). Don’t bury them on a “Testimonials” page. No one reads those. You might as well not even put them on your website if that’s what you do.

Instead, depending on the message of your testimonials, you could place them:

  • By a contact form
  • Next to a clickable button
  • Throughout your sales page
  • On your home page
  • In your about page

Stay Tuned for Part 2!

Look, the nice thing about the web is that you have nearly infinite opportunity for creativity. So, that means these are just a couple ways to integrate social proof to score more sales.

That also means much more exist.

I have time for just these two today. So stay tuned. More coming soon!

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5 Easy Website Branding Tips (And Why You Should Care)
19/11/14 Website Branding

5 Easy Website Branding Tips (And Why You Should Care)

Remember the last time you received a direct snail mail insurance offer from one of the big companies? Think State Farm, Geico, Aflac, or maybe you got a letter from another one.

What goes through your mind when you see their branding?

Well, before you see the offer, you see the logo. So you immediately have a certain level of trust, and are at least a little willing to learn more.

Then, you check out the offer. They’ll say something like, “Pay no money now and get $100,000 in life insurance” or “Pay nothing down and get car insurance.”

That’s where you have to make a decision based on your circumstances.

But the whole reason they got you reading that far is they established trust with you based on your recognition of their logo.

Now what happens when another company you’ve never heard of has an “incredible, limited-time” offer, but a logo you only faintly remember?

You’re much more likely to toss the mail in the garbage.

The exact same process happens with websites. When used right, branding adds a ton of credibility in your visitor’s eyes.

Instead of moving on to another company, they stick around to find out what yours is all about.

Thanks to website branding, you can be a business of a single person, but appear to be a global corporation.

Here’s how you do it:

1) Get a logo – It’s easy and inexpensive for a graphic designer to make (a few hundred dollars or so).

2) Messaging – Your customers have wants and needs. You should have 3-5 key messages you tell them that cover those needs.

If you’re a contractor, it could be something like, “All calls returned the same day – guaranteed!”

3) Establish a brand voice – What type of language do your customers use and respond to?

Are you B2B? Then you must have a lot of facts to support what you say.

If your focus is a large volume of sales and special deals? Then you have to be exciting and emotional to get consumers buying now.

4) What’s your tagline? – The more specific, the better. It should reflect the biggest benefit your customers want.

If you’re a lawyer, for example, Andrews & Kurth has the tagline:

Straight Talk is Good Business

That’s a nice tagline in an industry where people are very skeptical of what the professionals say.

5) Consistency Across All Channels

If you’re a small company, it’s easy to quickly have all the moving parts become disjointed. You can have a website, blog, 3-5 social media profiles, PPC ads, brochures, fliers, radio and television ads – and a whole heck of a lot more.

Whatever you do, you should have consistent brand imaging and messaging across all of those. Otherwise, you confuse your customers, and they’re not sure if you’re the same company at all those places or not.

And the result?

You guessed it – lost sales.

Even Small Businesses Should Have Website Branding in Place

It’s easy, relatively inexpensive to do, and you build so much long-term credibility and sales as a result.

Do it – your customers will reward you.

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