Why You Must Become a 10x Brand

Posted by EricEnge

The past 20 years have seen the fastest rate of change in human history. Breathtaking as that may have been, the reality is, that was just the beginning. In fact, the pace of change is going to continue to accelerate. Because of these changes, I see the need for brands to evolve into what I am calling a 10x brand.

This is an expansion of the concept of 10x Content that Rand Fishkin discussed in a recent Whiteboard Friday video. During this WBF, Rand showed why brands now need to produce content ten times better than anything else showing up in search. In this post, I’m proposing that not only do you need to have 10x content (as Rand called it), but you need to be a 10x brand. In other words, it’s becoming necessary that your brand must be ten times better known, ten times more trusted, ten times more referenced than any of your competitors’ brands.

Because of the three trends I’m about to share with you, just being “better” is no longer good enough. I’ll conclude the post with a set of actionable steps you can take that will help you become such a brand. So get ready, hold on tight, and prepare to enjoy the ride!

Change #1: The rise of the millennials

It’s Duane Forrester that deserves credit for forcing this change into my consciousness. The millennials are the first generation that has grown up in a world with this incredible pace of change:

Image Source: Bloomberg

Don’t skip past the significance of that. Change is the norm for this generation. If you are Gen X, or a baby boomer like me, there was some real stability in the world of tech. Things changed, but not every single year as seems to happen today.

According to the above-referenced Bloomberg article, the millennials in North America stand to inherit $30 trillion in wealth from the baby boomer generation. This will be the largest generational transfer of wealth in the history of mankind, and is in addition to their own earnings. This will give them unprecedented spending power. So yes, you should care about them.

Next, consider the impact of the changes that have already occurred. The two biggest ones of these are:

The practical impact of these two things are:

  1. Nearly all the world’s information at your fingertips
  2. Dozens or hundreds of options to consider in regards to any purchase or action you might want to make
  3. Immediate connectivity with your friends and others for real-time feedback and information

These factors have all led to changes in consumer behavior — not just for millennials, but for any hyper-connected person. Here are some of the key characteristics of this modern consumer:

Demand for high quality

The demand for quality is higher than it has even been before, largely because accessing alternative choices is easier than it’s ever been before.

Engagement or entertainment

They want to be engaged or entertained by the companies they do business with. This expectation has arisen because there are so many progressive brands that are willing to do it, so those that don’t look stale in comparison.

Authenticity

All communications need to be authentic and backed by behavior, because there are so many ways that inauthentic behavior can get exposed.

Impatient

When they want something, be prepared to give it to them now. If you don’t, someone else will.

Short attention span

You will need to work very hard to keep their attention. There are just too many enticing options available to them.

The desire for these things is not new, but the instant availability of alternative options is what has changed. Any failure to deliver on your part, is immediately actionable by the consumer – they get what they want from someone else.

Change #2: The rise of new Internet-connected devices and voice-driven interactions

Forecasts for device sales over the next 5 years show a stunning rise in the sale of new types of Internet-connected devices: wearables, smart TVs, thermostats, refrigerators, and more. This environment has given raise to the phrase “The Internet of Things.”

If you look at the above chart closely, you will see that by 2020 the cumulative installed base of PCs, tablets, and smartphones (all the stuff we actively use today) will be less than 1/3 of the total Internet-enabled devices. The overwhelming majority of the new devices will have no keyboards, and they will instead rely on voice commands for interaction.

For years, people have argued that voice search will be limited because people won’t want to use it in public places, but that concern appears to be becoming less of an issue. A study comissioned by Google in 2014 showed that 55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search at least once a day. It also appears that the times and places where people are willing to use voice search are increasing:

The Google study also shows interesting data on why people use voice search:

In case you think the Google study is biased, data supporting the rise of voice search is available from other sources, such as this one from Economictimes.indiatimes.com:

These two studies show increases in usage of voice search on a smartphone. The trend in this direction, in my opinion, will be rapidly accelerated by the new types of Internet-connected devices. Most of these devices will have no keyboard for input. For example, if you are wearing a smartwatch, or interacting with your refrigerator, voice-driven interaction will pretty much be your only option for most functions.

Change #3: Fundamental changes in advertising models

One of the biggest drivers of Google’s success on the World Wide Web has been their AdWords advertising system. It offered a brilliant model where advertisers paid on a per-click basis, and provided a massive source of revenue to the company. For the most part, this relies on people clicking on an AdWords ad in the search results, or an AdSense ad on third-party websites.

Even with the advent of the smartphone, the screen real estate needed for much of this advertising model has shrunk dramatically. In wearable devices and embedded devices, that screen real estate is gone.

It’s not 100% clear how the new economic models will work in this new world. In a smartphone environment, where we still have some screen real estate, the number of ads that can be shown are greatly reduced. There are many that believe that success in this environment will depend on personalization. For this reason, major advantages come to those who have people actively using apps (where those people stay logged in by default), as they can continuously collect information about you. For reference, here are the most popular apps in 2015 accoring to comScore:

It also matters what types of information those apps are able to collect along the way. Because they know so much about you, Facebook has an extremely strong position in this new world, and Google is arguably playing catch-up. This entire story becomes even more complicated when you get to the world of wearables and embedded devices. For some of these, there may be zero real estate available for ads. This will further complicate the world of monetization, and it may all morph into affiliate models.

How will all this end up? I honestly don’t know, but fundamental change is a given.

(Thanks are due to Mike Grehan for stimulating some of my thinking in this area at Pubcon.)

Why should I become a 10x brand?

The world that Google currently dominates is the World Wide Web, a world which is navigated by the browser. That world is not going to disappear, but its share of people’s attention will diminish over time. Google may still be a huge player in this new world, but they will have significant competition. And, even if Google is the leading player in it, the shape of how digital marketing is done will be substantially different.

In short, the tactics that work for promoting your business in a web-driven world won’t apply. You will need to view this new environment as a massively connected ecosystem. Any, and all, of your imperfections are likely to be found out and exposed. From a content marketing perspective, the landscape will look something like this:

At each corner of the Internet you touch, you have to view what you are doing as visible in every other corner. Your messaging needs to focus on building relationships across the spectrum of all that you do. For that reason, find ways to add value and help others, find ways to engage and interact, and find ways to entertain.

Why do I think this is the case? In a shifting landscape, your best defense (and your best offense) is a passionate audience. People who believe in what you do. People who believe in who you are. And, in a world where personalization is a huge factor in how information is delivered, having that audience that wants to remain connected with you is huge. In short, if a service provider does not make your products and or services available to people who want them, then those people may become dissatisfied with that service provider. What will those people do then? They might switch to another service provider.

The competition between Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and others for the future is ON. They all see it coming, and how this will shake out is not at all certain. This means competing for audiences and securing their own market share. Building your own passionate, connected audience is your clear path for surviving and prospering.

Your goal needs to be becoming a 10x brand. You need to go above and beyond what others do. You don’t want to simply be good; you need to be outstanding.

What does it take to be a 10x brand?

1.) View every touchpoint as an opportunity to build or enhance relationships.

By everywhere, I mean everywhere. That includes offline. Have stores? Then interactions within those stores are an opportunity. Have a customer service function? Use it to build trust and perceived value. And, of course, anything you do in social media, on your site, or through content marketing, as well.

Two brands that do this really well are Whole Foods and Marathon Petroleum. You can read more about how they engage with people both online and offline below:

2.) Solve problems for others via content and interaction.

Do this everywhere you are present online.

Create 10x content that helps users on a regular basis (at least once per month). As mentioned earlier in this article, Rand made a great argument for why 10x content is a requirement.

Publishing great content is an awesome way to add value to the overall market ecosystem in which you live.

10x content is a baseline requirement for a 10x brand.

3.) Stop producing any sub 1x content whatsoever.

Quality is far more important than quantity. In your content marketing efforts, stop creating OK content, or 1x content — it’s a waste of your time. It will not help you grow. Note: what you put on product pages will probably be more focused on driving conversion, and is likely to be more basic; the focus here is on what you do in content marketing.

4.) Freely share the best content covering your market, including that created by others.

So many brands are not willing to share great content published by others, but if it’s valuable to your audience, it will help enhance your relationship with that audience. In addition, it will help grow you grow your social media audience.

5.) Build genuine relationships with other progressive industry thought leaders (influencers).

There are so many reasons to do this:

  • Close cooperation with other well-known experts is awesome for your own reputation and visibility
  • It opens doors to a wide range of joint promotional opportunities
  • It can lead to their sharing your content through your social channels
  • Ultimately, these factors all play into improved SEO

6.) Proactively engage with others on social media, including customers and prospects.

It’s great to interact with influencers, but you can’t make it only about them. As noted above, every interaction is a chance to build a relationship. In addition, every interaction in most places online, such as social media, takes place on a public stage.

How you treat others is public information in these environments. Take advantage of the opportunity that represents.

7.) Develop key employees into public faces for your company (what Mark Traphagen calls a PBR, or “personal brand rep”).

Every company has limited funds. Enabling your employee base to participate in building your brand can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your efforts.

This should extend beyond social media and into your offline activities, as well.

8.) Stop any edgy business (including SEO) practices you have been using.

The downside risk of public exposure is way too high:

Questionable business practices designed to get you an unfair edge just aren’t worth it. Just ask Volkswagen about the downside of skirting the rules.

Summary

You may want to argue with me about being a 10x brand, asking why being a 2x brand isn’t enough. There’s merit to the argument, but the challenge for you is that the basic channels for information discovery are shifting underneath our collective feet.

If you are seeing success in today’s channels, this is a threat to you. If you don’t have passionate loyal fans, those new channels have no real need to make information about you available. People won’t miss you if you’re not there.

That’s the key. You need to be in-demand. If some channel does not make it easy to find you, you need people to miss you. That’s why you must behave like an authentic, engaged member of the overall community. Having a great product or service will be a requirement, but that’s just table stakes — you need to be a 10x brand. If you can create this position for yourself, you win.

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Get Local Results Without Google’s Change Location Search Filter Tool

Google has confirmed that the search tool option to filter results by location has been permanently removed. Filtering search results by location is a feature that was underused by regular searchers. SEO’s and other digital marketers used the tool to […]

Post from: Search Engine People SEO Blog

Get Local Results Without Google's Change Location Search Filter Tool

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The post Get Local Results Without Google's Change Location Search Filter Tool appeared first on Search Engine People Blog.

How to Get the Data You Need from Google’s Search Analytics API

Posted by DirkC

When Google launched secure search in October 2011, we all had to learn how to deal with the “Not Provided” in our analytics reports.

My preferred approach for getting the data from Webmaster tools (now Google Search Console) was to use the bookmarklet from Lunametrics.

Unfortunately, on September 1, 2015, Google retired the original Webmaster tools report, rendering Lunametrics’ bookmarklet useless. It’s no longer possible to get the combined data in the same fashion.

The good news is that two weeks prior retiring the original Webmaster report, Google launched the Search Analytics API, which allows you to query the data from Search Console directly. Combining this data with data from the Analytics API allows you to generate detailed ranking reports for a big part of your keywords and all your landing pages

The only downside is that you’ll have to perform some technical work in order to run the reports. Don’t let the technical work scare you, though. If you have ever installed a program on your computer, you should be able to pull this off.

What you should expect

Executing the script will generate four CSV reports. Although Google Search Console has a limit of 1,000 landing pages/queries, the generated reports are not subject to this limitation. Instead, you’ll receive data for all your landing pages and a large portion of your keywords.

Keyword report

Contains the full list of keywords from the Google Search Console, including the number of impressions, clicks, and the average ranking position in the SERPs:Keyword Report

Landing page report

This report will give you data using the same metrics as above, but for each landing page (instead of keyword).Landing page report

Keyword-landing page report

For each keyword-landing page combination, you will get data for clicks, impressions, click-through rate (CTR), and the average ranking position in the SERPs:Keyword Landing page report

Global report

This file combines the information from the reports above with data from AdWords and Google Analytics:

  • For each combination keyword landing page: clicks/ search impressions/CTR/avg. position
  • For each keyword: clicks/ search impressions/CTR/avg. position
  • For each landing page: clicks/search impressions/CTR/average position/visits/bounce rate/session duration /avg. pages/visit

Global report

Again, although the Google Search Console has a limit of 1,000 landing pages/queries, these generated reports are not subject to this limitation.

How it works

If you’re not familiar with the Google Search Console, read this guide. It is possible to get detailed information on which keyword is generating traffic for which landing page using the Search Console platform. The process used to do this, however, is quite cumbersome.

When you log into Search Console, you will see this in the basic view:

Search Console

If you want to see the landing page that corresponds with a keyword, the process requires two steps:

  • Step 1: Click next to the keyword to go to the detail for the keyword. On the next screen, select “Pages.”

    Search Console

  • Step 2: The “Pages” view shows you the landing page(s) associated with the selected keyword.

    Search Console

This process is feasible if you want to do this for only one or two keywords, but it’s unworkable if you want to do this for the whole list.

This is where the script comes in:

  • It will first generate a list of all the landing pages (and save this list to a CSV file)
  • Then it will generate a list of all the keywords (and save them to a CSV file)
  • For each keyword, it will then check the landing page(s) and save them to a CSV file

If you use this process, you are still limited to the 1,000 keywords provided by Search Console.

If you have a medium-sized site (with more than 1,000 landing pages), but with a decent URL structure (i.e., domain.com/folder/subfolder/page), you could validate the Search Console for each of your folders/subfolders and run the script for one. Tedious, but it would work. This is not a workable solution, however, if you have a really big site and/or a flat URL structure.

The limit of 1,000 results is not set on the data itself, but rather on the query tool.

You can easily check this for yourself under Analytics > Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels by first selecting “1. Organic Search.”

Organic Search Report

Next, select “Landing Page” as the Primary Dimension.

Page Dimension

Then, at the bottom of the report, go to any page number bigger than 1,000 .

Search Report

Copy the URL of this page in the page filter of Search Console, and you’ll see the associated queries, proving that all the data is available, even if you can’t query it using the Search Console.

As all the landing pages are available and Google provides an API for Analytics, the script will do the following:

  1. Query Google Analytics for the Google landing pages
  2. Use the landing pages from Google Analytics to get the associated query data
  3. Download the top queries/top pages reports from Search Console
  4. Take the unique queries and landing pages from the first report, subtract the top 1,000 queries/landing pages for which the data was already collected, and check the data for the remaining queries /landing pages using the API

Results

I ran the script for three different sites, then compared the results generated by the scripts with the results of the analytics report (on page level) over a two-month period. Results were as follows:

  • At the landing page level, there is a difference of about 2% between the visits reported in Analytics and the Clicks measured in the Search Console. The difference is mainly due to the difference in the way both track visits. Lunametrics wrote an excellent article on where these differences come from.
  • For the combined report (keyword + landing page), typically if a page get 100 clicks, you will find 40% of the keywords generating these clicks. Given the huge number of keywords the script is generating, it remains unclear where the difference is coming from. Google gives some info on the data discrepancies (like privacy issues), but it doesn’t explain the huge differences I found. On the positive site, it’s better to have a view on 40% of your keywords than to have nothing at all.

How to use the script

You simply need to give it some time to run. It can take a few hours, so it’s better to run it during the night.

There are some steps you’ll have to take, however,before you can run the script:

  1. Install Python (the script was developed for Python 2.7.x)
  2. Setup the Webmaster API for Python
  3. Setup the Analytics API for Python
  4. Download the script
  5. Add your credentials in the script

If you’re not a technical wizard, you’ll find a detailed guide here that walks you through the process, step by step.

Running the script is easy:

  1. Open a terminal screen (Mac) or a command screen (Windows)
  2. Go to your report directory (see step by step) – example
    • Documents > Query reports
  3. Run the report by typing:
    • python notprovided.py 'http://www.mysite.com' '2015-07-01' '2015-08-31' 'xxxxxxxx' 
    • http://www.mysite.com’ – replace by your site
    • ‘2015-09-01’ – start date in ‘YYYY-MM-DD’ format
    • ‘2015-09-30’ – end date in ‘YYYY-MM-DD’ format
    • ‘xxxxxxxx’ :the id of the Analytics View you’re are getting the data from. You can find it under the Admin tab of Analytics:

      Analytics Administration

      • Select the Account – Property – View and then ‘View Settings’

        Account Property Settings

      • The ID is shown under “View ID”

        View ID

Depending on the amount of data, it can take some time before the script is terminated. For example, it took about five hours to complete for a site with 6,000 landing pages and 140,000 keywords.

Important note from author: While your computer will probably not explode running this script, I must confess that I am far from a professional programmer. In fact, I learned Python while creating this script. It handles occasional HTTP errors from the API. Unfortunately, though, on rare occasions the script stops due to unforeseen errors (mal-formatted http errors and non-http errors). If you happen to be an expert in Python and you see some obvious improvements, let me know and I’ll update the script accordingly. The script was tested on both Mac (Yosemite/El Capitan) and PC platforms (Windows 8.1).

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5 Fail-Proof Strategies For Increasing Your Email Open Rate

It’s no secret I’m a MASSIVE fan of email marketing. Email lists simply convert at a higher rate than any other organic channel, and unlike channels such as AdWords or social media, your email list is an asset you will ALWAYS have control over. Unfortunately, an email list isn’t automatic money. What you do with […]

The post 5 Fail-Proof Strategies For Increasing Your Email Open Rate appeared first on The Daily Egg.

Let Data Take the Wheel – Using API-Integrated Reporting Dashboards

Posted by IanWatson

Some say the only constant thing in this world is change — and that seems to go double for the online marketing and SEO industry. At times this can seem daunting and sometimes insurmountable, but some have found ways to embrace the ambiguity and even thrive on it. Their paths and techniques may all differ slightly, but a commonality exists among them.

That commonality is the utilization of data, mainly via API-driven custom tools and dashboards. APIs like Salesforce’s Chatter, Facebook’s Graph, and our very own Mozscape all allow for massive amounts of useful data to be integrated into your systems.

So, what do you do with all that data?

The use cases are limitless and really depend on your goals, business model, and available resources. Many in our industry, including myself, still rely heavily upon spreadsheets to manage large data sets.

However, the amount of native data and data within reach has grown drastically, and can quickly become unwieldy.

An example of a live reporting dashboard from Klipfolio.

Technology to the rescue!

Business intelligence (BI) is a necessary cog in the machine when it comes to running a successful business. The first step to incorporating BI into your business strategy is to adopt real-time reporting. Much like using Google Maps (yet another API!) on your phone to find your way to a new destination, data visualization companies like Klipfolio, Domo, and Tableau have built live reporting dashboards to help you navigate the wild world of online marketing. These interactive dashboards allow you in integrate data from several sources to better assist you in making real-time decisions.

A basic advertising dashboard.

For example, you could bring your ad campaign, social, and web analytics data into one place and track key metrics and overall performance in real-time. This would allow you to delegate extra resources towards what’s performing best, pulling resources from lagging activities in the funnel as they are occurring. Or perhaps you want to be ahead of the curve and integrate some deep learning into your analysis? Bringing in an API like Alchemy or a custom set-up from Algorithmia could help determine what the next trends are before they even happen. This is where the business world is heading; you don’t want to fall behind.

Resistance is futile.

The possibilities of real-time data analysis are numerous, and the first step towards embracing this new-age necessity is to get your first, simple dashboard set up. We’re here to help. In fact, our friends at Klipfolio were nice enough to give us step-by-step instructions on integrating our Mozscape data, Hubspot data, and social media metrics into their live reporting dashboard — even providing a live demo reporting dashboard. This type of dash allows you to easily create reports, visualize changes in your metrics, and make educated decisions based on hard data.

Create a live reporting dashboard featuring Moz, Hubspot and social data

1. First, you’ll need to create your Mozscape API key. You’ll need to be logged into your existing Moz account, or create a free community or pro Moz account. Once you’re logged in and on the API key page, press “Generate Key.”

2. This is the key you’ll use to access the API and is essentially your password. This is also the key you’ll use for step 6, when you’re integrating this data into Klipfolio.

3. Create a free 14-day Klipfolio trial. Then select “Add a Klip.”

4. The Klip Gallery contains pre-built widgets for your whatever your favorite services might be. You can find Klips for Facebook, Instagram, Alexa, Adobe, Google Adwords and Analytics, and a bunch of other useful integrations. They’re constantly adding more. Plus, in Klipfolio, you can build your own widgets from scratch.

For now, let’s keep it simple. Select “Moz” in the Klip Gallery.

5. Pick the Klip you’d like to add first, then click “Add to Dashboard.”

6. Enter your API key and secret key. If you don’t have one already, you can get your API key and secret ID here.

7. Enter your company URL, followed by your competitors’ URLs.

8. Voilà — it’s that easy! Just like that, you have a live look at backlinks on your own dash.

9. From here, you can add any other Moz widgets you want by repeating steps 5–8. I chose to add in MozRank and Domain Authority Klips.

10. Now let’s add some social data streams onto our dash. I’m going to use Facebook and Twitter, but each of the main social media sites have similar setup processes.

11. Adding in other data sources like Hubspot, Searchmetrics, or Google Analytics simply requires you to bet set up with those parties and to allow Klipfolio access.

12. Now that we have our Klips set up, the only thing left to do is arrange the layout to your liking.

After you have your preferred layout, you’re all set! You’ve now entered the world of business intelligence with your first real-time reporting dashboard. After the free Klipfolio trial is complete, it’s only $20/month to continue reporting like the pros. I haven’t found many free tools in this arena, but this plan is about as close as you’ll come.

Take a look at a live demo reporting dash, featuring all of the sources we just went over:

Click to see a larger version.

Conclusion

Just like that, you’ve joined the ranks of Big SEO, reporting like the big industry players. In future posts we’ll bring you more tutorials on building simple tools, utilizing data, and mashing it up with outside sources to better help you navigate the ever-changing world of online business. There’s no denying that, as SEO and marketing professionals, you’re always looking for that next great innovation to give you and your customers a competitive advantage.

From Netflix transitioning into an API-centric business to Amazon diving into the API management industry, the largest and most influential companies out there realize that utilizing large data sets via APIs is the future. Follow suit: Let big data and business intelligence be your guiding light!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

8 Simple Ways To Use Social Proof for Higher Conversions

Whether you run an eCommerce store, a community for cat enthusiasts, or whether you’ve built the next big app to take the world by storm – one of your three biggest priorities is to boost engagement, and consequently, increase conversions.

Nowadays, businesses are increasingly using the concept of social proof for just that – increasing positive customer engagement around their products or services. At the end of the day, it’s not just about driving traffic to your site; you have to keep them there as real customers. And to achieve that, businesses have to understand what social proof’s all about, and how it can be used in the right manner for their marketing strategy.

So What is Social Proof?

Humans are driven by a lot of different factors. One of the most prominent ones is opinion, and taking one’s peers’ decisions into account, when making a related decision. This is hard-wired in our psychology.

Social Proof - 70% Consumers Trust Reviews Posted Online

Source: Social Proof – The Art of Influence Marketing

However, in the marketing arena, social proof is all about using the idea of human masses and their views, to create positive connections around your brand. What you’re essentially doing is taking the human urge to connect with other people, and using their views about your brand, to promote what you do. It’s a lot like social media – but beware, social proof is more than just social media!

5 Types of Social Proof Source: Buffer

The underlying notion behind using social proof for your marketing arsenal is that at the end of the day, people want to fit in with a community and its opinions, as long as the community exists. Statistical studies show that when it comes to hearing peer reviews about a product/service as opposed to a company’s description about the same product and service, consumers are 12x more likely to buy. That’s a massive multiplier.

There are a lot of different techniques that you can incorporate into your product, in order to leverage the potential of social proof for your conversions. These techniques are actually quite simple to work with, which is probably what makes them all the more powerful! Read on and find out what these are.

#1 Building a Community with Comments

For instance, think about a scenario, where you have a comments section on your landing page, for prospective leads to talk to you — and others — about your product/service. That’s a ridiculously simple way to engage with people interested in doing business with you. Remember, nothing sells better than the consumer knowing that other people are talking about your product in a positive manner, and it influences their decision to a large extent.

At the same time, you must make sure that you — the business — respond to customer comments. What makes it a community isn’t just customers, but you engaging with them, answering their queries, accepting feedback. That gives you greater street cred, and proliferates the positive things people have to say about you.

#2 Product Reviews

Take Amazon, for instance. One of their best features is the idea of customer reviews for every product. Unsure about whether you want to checkout that new lawn-mower, because you’ve never heard of the brand before? Well, you can always check out what ratings other customers have given to the product, and that’s enough to clinch the deal. Customer reviews are a great way to boost conversions.

Screen grab of customer reviews on Amazon.comSource: Amazon

Now let’s look at mobile apps. App stores take the concept of social proof a step further, by using app ratings to decide in what order apps are listed. The same holds true for search results – if I’m looking for an app to help me learn Romanian, apps with higher ratings will show up at the top of my search result, which is automatically an incentive for me to open them up, and maybe even, hit download!

Product reviews is the voice others want to hear. Tweet: 8 Simple Ways You Can Use Social Proof for Higher Conversions. Read more at https://vwo.com/blog/8-techniques-to-use-social-proof-for-conversions

However, it’s also very important to make sure you ask your users to rate your app, without being a pain — and that’s something a lot of apps don’t manage to get right. Make sure you provide a great user experience, to make the user feel good about using your app, before you ask them, nicely, for a rating.

#3 Social Media

Then, there’s social media too – imagine the kind of impact your brand can make in the minds of prospective leads, when you mention your fan following on Facebook and/or Twitter! Displaying those numbers actually lead to better conversions.

Social media share count - great way to let people know others like you alreadySource: Unbounce

Along with that, it doesn’t hurt to have buttons to help people share your product with their network, and of course, providing options to follow you on different social networks is critical too. You can never have too many channels of communication.

Screengrab Of Tripadvisor Using Facebook Network to Spread Word Among Personal Networks - Another Kind of Social Proof

Source: Tripadvisor

Of course, the underlying assumption here is that your social media presence is optimized to a large degree, which may not always be the case. Displaying low stats can actually hurt you, because people tend to use that as a measure of how much they can trust your product. But it’s definitely a route you should think about taking, if you push your social media outreach enough.

#4 Using SEO as Proxy for Social Proof

Believe it or not, optimizing your position in search results is actually another way of having a social proof-driven strategy. The idea here is that higher search rankings automatically lead searchers to believe that you have enough traction and enough trust, to get there. And that’s when they click.

Another interesting point to note here is that SEO rankings and social stats go together. The more social activity you garner, the higher your search position jumps. The higher your position jumps, so do your conversions, which ultimately, also contribute to greater social engagement. It’s a nice cycle out there that you can use for your benefit.

#5 Displaying Statistics on Product Adoption

As mentioned earlier, social media numbers go a long way – and in the same manner, displaying numbers about your product work wonders. For instance, having a simple element on your landing page that displays how many users have signed up for your product helps a lot (like we did it here when we launched VWO SmartStats). It’s a powerful pointer for other people to see how many people trust your product. Another thing you could try, is showcasing how many people use your product on a regular basis, it builds greater social proof that potential users can trust, sign up and jump onboard.

Displaying Product Adoption Stats as Social Proof - VWO Smartstats Page

Like social media stats, the same disadvantage exists here – if your product has just launched, displaying a small number won’t really help much. On the contrary, displaying short testimonials here would have much greater effect (see the Personal Stories section below) – you can always display numbers once you have them on your side.

Check out how Nuzzel nailed it –

Nuzzel Displays Short Testimonials as Positive Social Proof

Source: Nuzzel

#6 Logos – Whom Do You Already Work With?

If you’re an enterprise-facing brand, displaying client logos is probably more cut out for you. That lends greater credibility to your work, instead of just focusing on plain numbers.

Brands like to see what other brands are using.Tweet: 8 Simple Ways You Can Use Social Proof for Higher Conversions. Read more at https://vwo.com/blog/8-techniques-to-use-social-proof-for-conversions

The same applies when you work with other companies as partners. Even if they aren’t your clients, showcasing the fact that you work with them, goes a long way in convincing customers you’re worth investing time and money in.

#7 Media Mentions

Being featured in media publications is a great way to showcase your product, and it also serves as a very effective marketing tool for a launch. But at the same time, it’s a great way to provide social proof – after all, you’ve been featured in a media outlet, and that counts for something, right? It’s a simple matter of tracking publications that talk about you, and displaying logos linked to those write-ups on your landing page.

It can be as simple as:

Flaunting Media Mentions as a Type of Social Proof

Source: Adpushup

#8 Personal Stories For Users To Relate With

I like to think that this category is a rather broad one, incorporating elements like case studies, testimonials, customer videos the like. Let’s break them down:

Case studies

If you’re an enterprise brand, case studies are an utterly fabulous way to showcase how your products/services have helped your customers. It gives a glimpse into how you can help them change their game too. Be sure to backup your case studies with actual data, and also, define a clear-cut problem statement in your case study, and how your product solved that problem. Nothing like a bit of structure to help leads make up their minds! For instance, at VWO, with our case studies, we employ a structure that takes readers through

  • The company that tested
  • The setup of the test
  • Test results and,
  • Finally a portion on why the winning variation actually won.

Here’s one such from our archive: Split Testing between Standard Search Box and Drop-Down Search Increased Leads by 57.25%

Real experiences outweigh everything else. Tweet: 8 Simple Ways You Can Use Social Proof for Higher Conversions. Read more at https://vwo.com/blog/8-techniques-to-use-social-proof-for-conversions

Testimonials

Testimonials are a tremendous tool. They’re the best sort of recommendations you can have to promote your brand. Usually, the kind of testimonials you could get from an industry leader using your brand, is the best. Alas, it’s also a bit of a unicorn. But that’s no reason to dump testimonials – they can boost conversions by as much as 37%! They can be rather tricky to get right, but you can follow some pointers:

  • Generic testimonials don’t get much traction. Ask customers or well-known industry experts to provide a short testimonial describing how exactly your brand delivered value for them.

    Screengrab of an Chris Goward's Testimonial for VWO Smartstats

  • While you would include the names of testifying users, including their photos would be a notch above. However, do remember to check with them if it’s alright to do so.
  • You could also think about including short video testimonials, to drive the point home. This may or may not be feasible, depending on customer willingness, but it’s worth the effort.

The best part about social proof techniques is that they are fairly simple to implement. They don’t require a lot of effort to be put up, and certainly not much investment in terms of cash. You can always use a couple of well-defined A/B tests to see what techniques work best for you, and of course, experiment with, say, different types of testimonials to see what yields the best conversion rates. Once you’ve hit upon the ideal mix of social proof items to use, sit back and watch your conversion graphs rise!

GIF Showing Social Proof for Conversions

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