Know a good electrician? How about someone to help fix the rather sad roof on our bach? Or even a business who knows the best way to fix a roof rack to Claire’s car? These are just a few situations in which I needed help this month and each one had me asking people around me for some suggestions. In each case it worked. We found just the person to help fix our fuses, mend our roof and strap our bikes safely to the roof of the Mazda.

You have probably done the same yourself. I mean, how else do you tell the difference between electricians – especially when they all look the same – other than by asking others for their experience? Plus, it scared me witless just getting up on my roof to see holes where roof should be let alone spending ages up there poring over the finished product. Nope, I needed to find someone who had re-roofed and not felt the pitter patter of rain on their couch afterwards.

Sometimes, however, I have asked for feedback and got nowhere. This leads me to where most people do their hunting – Google’s search engine. Nowadays, finding a list of possible tradesmen shouldn’t be hard for most industries. I covered this last month in our customer conference call, in which I presented examples from the search term “Adelaide Electrician” – there were a few!

The problem is they all looked the same. That’s where the addition of some “social proof” in the form of a collection of customer testimonials would have been enough to make one stand out from the crowd.

If you are working through our “Grow Conversions – Website Optimisation” service module all this should sound very, very familiar. In fact, if you have been a client of Permission for any length of time then you would have heard me prattle on about this again and again. Nevertheless, for all the air I have expounded, and words I have written, I could count on one hand the number of clients who take it to heart and start to actively gather testimonials and incorporate them into their website marketing strategy.

Yep, it always sounds like a good idea. But that doesn’t mean it gets done. So we continue to politely “nag away” during our review calls, pushing for the testimonials we were promised the month before.

Customers tell us that the problem is not deciding “if” they should ask their clients for feedback – everyone agrees this is a good thing. It’s more “when” this act should occur. Ideally, you would want to pick the time that has the greatest chance of seeking an amazing result. So perhaps for the dentist this could be while the customer is in “the chair” just after their painless cavity has been completed. For the mortgage broker, maybe this occurs once the house has been settled and the client has moved in.

I suggest you trial a few different places within your own sales process and see which one provides the most reliable results. Once you have found your winner, just add the task into your sales process and ensure your team follows the process – again and again. And after make sure to implement those social proofs into your online marketing strategy.

So is all this work worth the effort? Well, I hope the screen shot below kills any doubt.

This snapshot from a client’s Google Analytics “All Traffic” report reveals a 24% increase in conversion rate for their paid advertising campaign with Google AdWords. The main difference between the two sales periods being reviewed was the addition of a steady stream of positive client testimonials. These were not long dissertations either – just two or three lines with the first name of the client and their location, e.g. Chris from Pt Chevalier, Auckland.

So how many of these do you need? I believe that in this case there is never too many. For instance, the team at Agrigarden does a great job of collecting testimonial content to help them sell their Grillo Climber Ride-on Mowers. Their sales page just keeps growing longer and longer as we add more. And as this grows, so does their conversion rate.

Recently, they have been very fortunate to receive a few unprompted video testimonials from raving fans of the product – check them out here It really doesn’t get much better than this.

And the best place to put all this new social proof content? I suggest around the places where your visitors are considering whether to take the next step. So this could be on a form you ask them to complete, or even the order confirmation page of the e-commerce shopping cart. Wherever they could be pondering – “Now is this the best thing to do?” That’s when content like this can be used to reassure them enough to get them across the line.