Do you run Google Ads? Do you want to improve your results?
If you’re not already using the platform, now might be a good time to start.
According to data published in 2018, Google Ads received 65% of clicks for search terms with buying keywords, while organic results only got the remaining 35%.
But if you want to maximize your clicks and conversions, the answer might be to include some social proof in your ads. It’s well known that social proof is a powerful selling tool.
We tend to like what others like, so to increase sales, just mention that others think it’s a good idea, too. Advertisers have used this strategy for centuries.
But how can we do the same thing in our ads?
Today, you’ll learn exactly how to include social proof in your Google Ads.
By the end of this article, you’ll understand exactly how to leverage this powerful technique to increase clicks, conversions, and sales.
We’ll cover a few different methods. A few of them are built into Google Ads, and the rest are smart marketing techniques for creating an appealing ad funnel.
Include seller ratings
Let’s start with a strategy for your Google Ads that combines the power of visual storytelling with a strategic method to leverage social proof in marketing.
It’s the seller ranking you can add to your promotional messages to increase clicks and set yourself apart from competitors. It’s represented by a five-star display showing your current rank.
The five-star image speaks volumes. We’re used to seeing it on just about everything, from movie reviews to Amazon products. Adding it to your site boosts credibility immediately.
According to Google itself, ads with seller ratings get a click-through rate that’s 17% higher than equivalent ads without the feature enabled.
Another study done by a third party found conversions increased as much as 50% when adding the seller rating feature.
The best part? Adding this is completely free.
As long as you have at least 30 live reviews written in the last 12 months (10 in Google’s interface language), and you have an average of at least 3.5 stars, you can include this feature.
If you aren’t there yet with your reviews, keep encouraging customers to rate you around the web.
It helps your marketing overall, and once you hit the threshold you can add it to your Google Ad campaigns.
Improve your landing page
The first impression users get when they see your ad is only the beginning of a successful sales funnel.
Once they click the ad, they’ll likely be directed to your own landing page. And the best way to convert on that landing page? You guessed it—include social proof on your website.
There are a few ways to add social proof for maximum impact.
First, include the logos of companies you’ve worked for or that have employees using your product. You can also add media logos of newspapers or TV stations that have featured you.
Next, you can include customer testimonials. These are most powerful with real names (first and last if possible) and a photo of the person.
If you can’t do that, however, just including direct quotes from anonymous customers can help as well.
And finally, listing statistics on how many people use your tool can be powerful selling messages.
Statements like “helping thousands of business owners” or “9 out of 10 doctors recommend” have helped major companies for decades. Use them on your own site.
Add consumer ratings
We already mentioned seller ratings, which are the golden stars that show how highly your business is ranked by users and customers around the web.
A related but separate feature for Google Ads is consumer ratings. These are provided by Google automatically (but you can disable them if you like in case they don’t help you).
This is done through the Google Consumer Surveys platform. Users who click on your ad are asked a few questions about your business, and those results appear at the bottom of your ad.
Unlike seller ratings, they don’t have stars. Instead, they’re shown on a scale of one to ten, with ten being high.
A simple consumer ratings spot might say “Fees 9/10 – Selection 8.5/10” and so on. If your ratings don’t reflect well on your brand, of course, you can disable the feature.
But if you’re consistently getting high ratings (ideally 8+, though 7+ is probably okay depending on your industry and competitors) you should keep them.
Like most of the other options on this list, they’re completely free to include.
And one of the best parts? You don’t have to encourage people to leave the reviews or rate you, since Google handles it all for you.
Revise your ad copy
Google has a lot of options for including extensions on your ads. But just because a social proof element isn’t a built-in extension doesn’t mean you need to leave it off your ad.
Instead, include it in the copy—that is, the specific words in the ad itself. Here are some great ways to include social proof.
Showcase your experience
If you’ve worked with customers for decades, you probably know what you’re doing. Otherwise, why would people still buy what you’re offering?
Use phrases like “providing solutions since 1994” or “we’ve helped over 10,000 customers” to get this type of social proof going.
While we trust others just like us for unbiased reviews and recommendations, there’s a certain sway for those with authority.
If experts recommend your product or service, mention it in your ad copy. You can also mention official sponsorships or partners.
For example, say “used by 400 of the Fortune 500 companies” or “official energy drink of the NBA.” While simple, these statements immediately add credibility by association.
And they don’t need to be overly impressive.
If Fortune 500 companies or the NBA aren’t possible, a local chamber of commerce or softball league can be just as effective—if not more so—for converting local prospects.
Refer to positive reviews
Sometimes, you just don’t have reviews in the right place or don’t have the right type for Google to automatically include them in your ad.
While not ideal, you can still let people know by directing them to the right place.
A few examples might be “200+ five-star Amazon reviews” or “the most popular NYC gym on Facebook.”
If you’re going to use this strategy, it’s a good idea to mention those external pages on your landing page again, or at least show proof that they exist.
Include a review extension
Last but not least, you can add review extensions to your ads.
This is an especially interesting way to extend the quality of your ad and even get more words into Google’s notoriously short character limit—for free.
And since social proof is the secret to magnetic marketing, it’s not just going to get clicks.
You can generate a positive association with your brand from the outset and convert better down the road.
Now, this strategy has a few special requirements—more than some of the others we’ve mentioned earlier. And it only works if you have a great review from a credible source.
But if that’s the case with you, it’s a simple process to get a review added. You’ll want to find a short snippet from a credible third-party site (not your own).
This might be something like Consumer Reports or a smaller, credible review site in your niche. The review needs to be written within the last year.
And finally, you need to include ellipses (…) if you trim anything, and you’ll need to ensure it doesn’t repeat your business name in the review itself.
If all those pieces are in place, you can get this snippet included at the bottom of your ad. And again, it’s free—you just pay the normal cost of clicks on your ad.
If you’re looking to improve your ads, adding a little bit of social proof might just be the answer.
By including Google’s seller ratings, you can add a visual display to show how your product or service is rated. It can help your ad stand apart from competitors.
When it comes to the performance of your ad, a big piece of that is in the landing page. By including different types of social proof—like brand logos or customer testimonials—you can add credibility to your offering.
Next, you can add consumer ratings. While it sounds similar to seller ratings, it indicates you as a seller. Are you easy to work with? Do you have a good selection of options?
Frequently, purchase decisions aren’t based on the actual products, but these experience issues. By providing a rating for this, you can encourage those extra sales.
While writing your ad copy, remember the power of social proof. You don’t need to include it in everything, but a quick mention of your popularity can go a long way.
And finally, include positive reviews around the web to show your credibility before the first click.
How will you include social proof in your Google Ads?
About the Author: David Rodnitzky is CEO of PPC Associates, an SEM agency in Silicon Valley. Follow him on Twitter @rodnitzky or contact him at [email protected].
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