2.9 Testing Social Proof

Remember when you’d do anything to hang with the cool kids and your Mom asked “if they jumped off a cliff, would you jump as well?”

Turns out your Mom was onto something.

If a bunch of people you respect or admire take an action, you’ll likely want to emulate it. That’s the power of social proof, and you can harness it to build trust in your visitors, which can increase conversions.

So how do you add social proof to your landing pages?

There are many types of social proof you can include, such as:

  • Testimonials: Positive descriptions in your customers’ own voices
  • Endorsements: Logos of important press placements or customers with well known brands
  • Social influencers: The number of registrants attending a webinar, for example

You might be wondering about other types of social proof like follower counts from Twitter or Facebook that include social sharing buttons. It’s certainly possible to add social sharing widgets to your pages that include Follower, Share, and Like counts, but it’s usually better to place those on your confirmation pages. That way your visitors still have the chance to share your page, but you’re not interfering with your CTA (and a converted visitor is much more likely to give you social love).

Testing social proof on your page can be as simple as testing the three types against each other, or in combination. You can also test:

  • How many you use – e.g. one main testimonial vs. five
  • Position on the page – is it more important to establish trust right away or can it be an afterthought at the bottom of the page?

An Example Test – Social Proof & Trust

In this example, from VisualWebsiteOptimizer, Chris Muktar from WikiJob.co.uk hypothesized that the additon of customer testimonials to their site would build trust and increase conversons. …And did it ever! Version B with the testimonials produced 34% more conversions!


It’s these types of small changes that can make the difference between confidence and apprehension. The more you can reassure your visitors, the better!