Using Social Proof for Conversion Rate Optimization (with Examples)

Nowadays, conversion rate optimization (CRO) professionals and marketers alike use social proof, such as testimonials, user reviews, and logos for a simple reason: it builds trust and credibility.

But despite knowing this, a critical question remains: How much does social proof influence user behavior? How significant is its impact?

To explore this, I want to share my story of an experiment that reshaped my understanding of social proof’s effectiveness.

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A Career Defining Experiment

Early in my A/B testing days, a client asked if we could test moving their “As Featured In”—representing various logos—higher up on the homepage. Specifically, right below the hero section but still above the fold.

I was doubtful, believing that such a minor adjustment wouldn’t really make a substantial impact on their conversions. After all, we weren’t changing copy, updating colors to grab attention, or creating any big shifts on the page. But I was curious to see if the change would have any effect. (Note: Social proof wasn’t a widely known concept at that point.)

Turns out, the change not only had an effect—it had a hugely positive impact on revenue! The results of the A/B test revealed the version with the top-placed logos far outperformed the version where the logos were much further down on the page.

This significant uplift in conversions from a simple relocation of existing elements proved to be a turning point in my career and made me believe in the power behind social proof.

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Social Proof Best Practices

From this test, I learned:

It’s not just what, but where

If you’ve got it, flaunt it! Whether it comes in the form of review ratings, company logos, or testimonials, placing positive social proof up high, in a visually prominent area of your website, like above the fold is key in creating an immediate sense of trust and credibility.

The reason behind this is because when you see logos or images of people you recognize, your brain lights up. You feel a sense of comfortable familiarity, reducing anxiety especially at the point of purchase. This positive feeling helps foster conversions.

So whenever you can, if you’ve got some great reviews, don’t be afraid to use them, wherever you can.

Social Proof Example - Above the fold

Place social proof near key CTAs

When they’re put right near your key Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons, this placement infuses a subconscious association between the button and the credibility of your website.

Uncertain visitors – who might not even fully realize they see the logos – seem to feel more certain about the site and how much they can trust it. After all, if all these big-name brands endorse the site, it must be good.

Social proof near key CTAs

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Examples of Social Proof That You Can Use

1. Client Logos

Reach out to your clients if you can showcase their logos on your website. It’s a win-win for both parties (in most cases).

See how Mouseflow displays their clients’ logo on their homepage. Doing so, they immediately convey expertise and professionalism, building trust the moment a visitor lands on their homepage.

Example of how Mouseflow uses Social Proof

2. G2 reviews, Google reviews, other reviews

Let’s own it, we are suckers for what other people have to say. Whether you’re trying to look for a restaurant, a new book, or even a recipe for tonight’s dinner, we look for reviews. By showcasing real-life use you would significantly influence their purchasing decisions. So get as many human generated reviews as possible.

Pro tip: You can try to incentivize your customers to leave reviews. Works like a charm with happy customers.

3. Media logos

You can use services such as HARO or HAB2BW, provide insights to writers and reporters – and enjoy being featured on cool sites. Comes with backlinks that you’d enjoy from the SEO standpoint too.

4. Customer Quotes

Have a good relationship with your customers? Ask them if they can give you a quote which you could feature on your website. This adds a more personal touch than merely showing logos.

Example of how Mouseflow uses Social Proof - Customer Quotes

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Today, the importance of social proof in conversions is widely recognized. Most marketers know, 82% of users seek recommendations from friends and family before making a purchase. And 88% of consumers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendation.

Yet, still many sites don’t flaunt their testimonials, reviews, star ratings, or as featured in logos as much as they should. In my opinion, every single site should flaunt their social proof.

Today, when I work with clients, one aspect I urge is to make their social proof highly visible and exceedingly prominent. Social proof converts.