To make your WordPress site popular and successful online, only ensuring the elegant blog posts, regular content update and visual appealing overall design are not enough. In addition, you also need to establish the online authority and build a sense of trust and credibility in the mind of your readers. This is especially important for some business sites and e-commerce sites that aim at selling and promoting the services and products.
To achieve this goal, we highly recommend the use of social proof. If you are not familiar with this strategy, you can check this tutorial to know what it is and how to build social proof in WordPress to improve website authority.
The Definition and Benefits of Social Proof
In fact, the social proof can be regarded as the strong evidence that your released contents are truly meaningful and useful, and your offered items and services are absolutely worth trying. The evidence comes from other people who have already used, checked and tested what you offered and have approved of the quality.
In fact, most people are willing to share their opinions about the products they have used, the service they have tried and the blog posts they have read. In this case, if you can maintain the high quality of these things, you can get the great chance to improve your reputation, authority and brand image by leveraging people’s voices.
The benefits you can get from using the social proof are various and obvious. Generally, if people are unsure of the professionalism of your website contents and offerings, most of them are likely to seek for some cues offered by your existing readers and users. These cues are exactly the social proof that encourages these newcomers to have a try. In this case, by adopting this strategy, you can:
- Get more trusts from your new website visitors.
- Increase the page views, online sales and overall profits.
- Become a well-known expert in your niche.
- Build the brand image for business sites and the credibility for blogs and common personal sites.
How to Build Social Proof in WordPress
In fact, there are a lot of methods you can use to build social proof in your WordPress powered websites. Some of them are even the built-in feature since you have finished the process of WordPress installation. Now, you can check the details in the following.
Invite More Website Comments
The comment section is one of the default features of WordPress, and can ramp up your social proof in a significant manner. As researched online, 65% of online users are likely to leave some words in the comment area, expressing their own ideas of your web contents.
In addition, these users are much more likely to comment on your site if they find some others who have already left the meaningful comments and find the valuable discussions between you and your readers. In this case, to build up the effective social proof, you’d better try your best to invite more website comments.
In addition, you can surely use the default WordPress comment system that comes with the most basic features, but we highly recommend you to utilize an advanced one with the enhanced comment management and user experiences by installing the powerful plugins.
The plugin of Comment Evolved, for instance, is a great option to try, with which you can add the advanced ability that allows people to comment via their G+, WordPress.com, Livefyre, Facebook and Disqus accounts.
This way, you do not need to force people to register an account on your site before commenting to avoid the comment spam, and can give them a seamless experience to check the previous comments.
Note that you can decide the order and the label of these comment methods freely in the settings page.
Publish the Case Studies
The case study introduces how your visitors and users have experienced with your website, telling the stories of how they have come to you, how they have viewed your website, what problems they have met and whether they have dealt with their issues after checking your contents or trying your products.
Frankly speaking, even if you have only displayed two or three case studies on your site, they can result in a significant impact on the social proof of your site. After all, the case studies are showcased in a storytelling manner. In this way, people are more likely to bring themselves into the stories and envision the benefits they can get from your site.
Showcase the Customer Testimonials
Another effective technique to build your social proof is by displaying the customer testimonials. In fact, the testimonials are much similar to the case studies, both of which are used to tell your new visitors and prospective clients of how trustworthy and professional you are via some real-world stories. However, the difference is that testimonials are the short stories coming with a few sentences only. Sometimes, you can regard it as the feedbacks or reviews that can boost the confidence and trust in the mind of your website visitors.
It is possible that you do not have enough testimonials to display. In this case, you can ask your current visitors to write some for you. Even, you can encourage them by releasing the giveaway, such as the free trials, private guidelines, e-books and many more.
Once you have a handful of testimonials, you can create a special page to showcase these words. Also, you can add the rotating effect to your testimonials and have them showed in the sidebar section.
Establish a Community or a User Forum
Setting up a user forum simply gives people a public place to talk about your website, services and products. And also, you can get the chance to demonstrate your professionalism and expertise in a special niche by answering the questions or resolving the complicated issues.
To build a forum on your WordPress site, you have a lot of tools to use. Personally, however, we think bbPress is the most user-friendly and functional one.
Build Up the Outside Social Proof
The above-mentioned tips are the on-site social proof strategies. In addition, you also need to consider the off-site proof that is outside our website domain. Personally speaking, we think the online reviews and the integration of social media are two of the main outside social proof strategies you need to consider.
If your website concerns about the online business, the online review can be regarded as the lifeblood of your social proof. For instance, for a product that is listed on Amazon, the more positive reviews it gets, the more likely that you are going to buy it.
In this case, you’d better try your best to set up the online presence on some trustworthy review sites so as to improve the awareness within your niche. Here, you can leverage both the general review platforms like Google Places and the industry-specific review sites.
As compared with your on-site social proof, many people are more likely to trust proof presented on the social media platforms, which are the places where people may hold the most honest and open discussion about your site.
In this case, if you have enough confidence on the quality and professionalism of your website, you can integrate with these platforms tightly for the effective building of social proof.