Everyone is Local: Using Localized Social Proof to Increase Conversions

Every week I am reminded that I am Canadian by members of our community. Every time I send out an e-mail, I inevitably get notes back complaining about my spelling. Many times there are legitimate corrections (I am a terrible speller) but just as often, they are based on my Canadian spelling. Words like favourite, cheque, labour, etc… are proper Canadian/British spellings but clash with most default spell checkers, and Americans.

The reverse also applies to Canadians reading the American version of words. We notice that it’s coming from another country. The only real difference being that rather than citing the issue, we Canadians typically apologize for being different.

When we use social proof in our business, the exact same issue can make or break our efforts for one simple reason: the more someone is like you, the more you trust what they say. If you know someone is from your same town, or same province/state or same country, you have more in common with them and therefore you are more likely to identify with them and believe what they say. If you see a testimonial and the person making the statement is obviously from a different location, you will inherently trust it less than if they were one of your neighbours (oops – neighbors).

It should be noted that specially in business-to-business marketing, the same is true in terms of the business size and industry but for today, we’ll focus on location.

So what do you do about this? Well luckily, there are relatively simple ways today of detecting where visitors to your web site are coming from. In fact, at no cost you can determine it right down to the province/state and sometimes even the city. A company called MaxMind provides free versions of a tool you can use to determine where a visitor is coming from. The technique is called IP-Geolocation and it just takes a bit of effort on the part of your web developer.

Once you know where your web visitors are coming from, you can then tailor your web content to their location, including which testimonials are shown. For example, if a visitor is from Canada, you can show prices in Canadian dollars and use those testimonials with the Canadian spelling. And to really capitalize on this, include the location of the customer in their by-line (the information that shows who provided the testimonial). That’s way it is clear that the source of the testimonial is someone from the same area – and can be trusted even more!

While this may seem a bit daunting, it can be very simple, especially if you are using Testimonial Director. As you review and approve a testimonial, you can simply indicate where each testimonial is from (using Categories) and Testimonial Director takes care of the rest – showing those testimonials that match the location profile of the visitor. Then just sit back and enjoy your higher conversion rates!

If you want to see the specific steps to implement this, whether or not you use Testimonial Director, make sure to check out our Unleash Webinar on implementing this on your site.

Dedicated to increasing your sales,


One response to “Everyone is Local: Using Localized Social Proof to Increase Conversions

  1. Colleen, this is a very good point. “Localization” is a great way to build trust. However, I also think that after a while, once you gain credibility and have a lot of visitors/clients who tell their relatives/friends about you, being from another country/region/etc. will not diminish their trust and trust of the people that they refer to you.


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