How To Use 3rd Party References to Boost Website Conversion Rates

In today's Internet-centric world, it's becoming increasingly common for business websites to act as the first point of contact for prospective customers. This is just one reason to ensure your site is optimized for conversions. 

Regardless of how new or well-known your brand currently is, consumers still tend to take a cautious approach when giving consideration to offering their business to a company that they have never worked with before. As a result, marketers must make an ongoing effort to ensure that their site and its subsequent pages appear professional and credible at all times.

One of the most effective means of building trust with your audience and boosting conversion rates is through the use of third-party references. From customer reviews to recognized trust certificates, everything counts. Here's a look at a few ideas for utilizing valuable third-party references on your website.


Reviews From Satisfied Customers

One of the very first things that a consumer will do before making a buying decision is to check out any customer reviews of your business that may be online. Yelp, Google Help, and numerous other review sites allow users to provide details about their experience with a company and rate it. Although you can't necessarily control what a customer has to say about you, or the rating that they assign, there are ways that you can take ownership of the review site.

First, you should claim your business as your own, or be the one to establish your business's presence on the website. This allows you to ensure that all company information is accurate, to manage reviews, and to encourage satisfied clients to sing your praises by including links on your website, social media pages, and in e-mail newsletters.

Press Mentions

Getting your company and its affiliates in the media spotlight is great for business. Hosting an event? Receive an award? Has your company's owner been listed as a top CEO of the year? Toot your own horn with a press release, or seek out a local journalist or blogger to break the story. Share the coverage in your social media feeds and on your own blog for even further reach.

Community Involvement

Everyone loves a business that gives back. Not only will your company have the privilege to support a charity, little league team, or other cause, but your target audience will also begin to view you as a caring business that is concerned about the wellbeing of its community. Positive mentions and thank-yous from your cause's spokesperson and promoting your cause on your website and social media accounts is a great way to earn the respect and trust of visitors, increasing the likelihood of higher conversion rates.

Guarantee Seals

As people arrive at your website, they want some kind of guarantee that they can trust your business. Because of this, it's wise to make an effort to reach out to reliable organizations like the Better Business Bureau and Angie's List to earn certification seals that you can proudly display on pertinent pages. You might also incorporate certificate symbols that indicate that you've won local business awards, or icons that inform customers that their satisfaction is guaranteed.

Trust/Security Certificates

Do you run an ecommerce website? Does your website include fields that request visitors to fill out personal information? If so, you need to have a way to make customers feel comfortable with completing the necessary data fields. Today's consumers are increasingly fearful of identity theft as a result of security breaches or hackers.

To prove that your site is secure and that their information will be well-protected, it's in your best interest to get certified by recognized trust/security seal organizations. Although there are many different security seals available, recent studies have revealed that Norton, McAfee Secure, and Thawte are the most well-recognized and trusted by consumers. Here are a few links to help you get started with your security certification:

Putting It All Together

Before your target audience can put their trust in your business and become paying customers, you have to take steps to build up your credibility and actually earn that trust. A prospect may have heard of your brand, but that isn't enough to convince them that your products/services are worth their while or that they will be well taken care of should they become a client. Making use of one or two of these suggestions is better than nothing, but taking a holistic approach to outside references is the way to go. Through demonstrating that you provide excellent customer service, care for your community, and can satisfy online security requirements, your target audience will gain confidence in your business faster and send your conversion rates through the roof.