What is one example of a meaningful third-party validation online, such as testimonials and reviews?
Let’s face it, third-party reviews of your work, whether offline or online, are crucial to gaining credibility. But seeking these out can be confusing. Which ones are important? We reached out to founders and CEOs of businesses to share what they think is the best way to get third-party validation for their work.
Here are 13 examples of how to use third-party validation to your advantage:
- Feed Google With Reviews
- Awards & Accolades
- The Power of Links
- Instagram Stories
- Social Media Comments
- Featured Images
- Video Testimonials
- Leverage Micro-influencers
- Trust Badge
- Google “[your Company/product] Reddit”
- News Media Coverage
Feed Google With Reviews
E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthy) is one of the guidelines that determines what content Google considers high-quality and should be ranked higher. So while E-A-T is not a direct ranking factor, it can have an impact on your overall search rankings indirectly. In fact, Google mentions E-A-T 137 times in their 175 page Quality Guidelines.
Reviews are a great way to demonstrate Authority and Trustworthiness, and even Expertise in many instances. So while the reviews in themselves won’t directly feed one of the myriad of algorithms Google utilizes to determine rank position, they do directly influence many of them. They can lower Bounce Rates, increase Referral Traffic and Time Spent, provide Backlinks, amongst many other positives.
Eric Rutin, Easy Marketing Lessons
Awards & Accolades
Awards and accolades offer valuable third-party validation and social proof that can encourage consumers to engage with your company. They signal the same thing to your audience that high ratings and reviews do: that you’re the best of the best at what you offer. With a little digging, you can discover countless awards and accolades offered within any niche, and at any scale from local to global. Displaying award logos proudly on your website or linking to award webpages offers a boost of authority, credibility, and publicity. Consumers seek third-party validation because it helps them feel secure in their decision-making, and awards are one of the surest ways to foster their trust.
Stephen Light, Nolah Mattress
The Power of Links
Today, websites offer social proof by linking to a source they want their readers to see. There is no better validation online today. When blogs put your link in their content, your credibility goes up. You look credible to the website visitors, to Google, and to people in your industry when you are cited as a source. You may get cited in even more industry trade publications furthering your brand’s influence and authority.
Janice Wald, Mostly Blogging
The Stories feature on Instagram becomes an excellent form of social proof when users share their experience with your product or service with their network. You can re-share their testimonial with your audience and profile visitors, increasing trust and visibility to your business. Another great use of stories for social validation is to share print screens of positive reviews acquired on other platforms.
Rebeca Sena, GetSpace.digital
Social Media Comments
Testimonials and reviews aren’t the only means of third-party validation these days. It seems that consumers are more than willing to share their personal experiences with products and services on their favorite social media channels.
While some reviews on specified forums may initiate some comments, those sites can’t compare to starting a conversation on social media. Before long, one single statement can have hundreds of comments and questions. This presents the perfect opportunity for your social media team to jump in and respond with helpful information.
Lauren Kleinman, The Quality Edit
Trustpilot is a great way for a third-party validation site to integrate into your website and landing pages. This third-party relationship is an easy CRM and cloud service that updates new reviews and testimonials automatically onto your site, saving you time and energy in sourcing new reviews. Overall it is an easy client software application that curates meaningful third-party validations.
Michael Jankie, Natural Patch
One example of a powerful third-party validation technique is to display the logos of the top publications you’ve been featured on. You could have them as tiles or as a carousel on a page, and hyperlink them to the URL that mentioned your response.
Claire Westbrook, LSAT Prep Hero
When people use hashtags surrounding your brand, it can be a strong third-party validation tool. Related hashtags are especially powerful when used by an influencer or industry trade publication. It’s a smart move for businesses to launch a campaign to make a specific hashtag go viral. Not only does it build trust, it increases brand visibility. Hashtags to help spark the beginning of a long-term customer relationship.
Rachel Blank, Allara
Video testimonials are a great example of a meaningful third-party validation online because they provide social proof as well as showcase an example of customer satisfaction. Video testimonials help establish a company’s reputation because people connect more with a video than they do with written words. When a potential customer sees another customer talking about how they like and/or trust your company, product, or service, they’ll be that much more inclined to learn more and become a customer themselves.
Mark Pierce, Cloud Peak Law Group
Stats from Influencer Marketing Hub reveal that leveraging micro-influencers is a powerful third-party validation strategy for 2022. They have smaller followings than big influencers, but their audiences are more engaged and likely to take action. Plus, they aren’t as expensive, so it doesn’t require a big funding source. Social proof is a modern strategy that’s giving businesses more negotiating power. Because influencers are careful not to promote a product or service that would tarnish their reputation, there is a certain level of trust embedded in their endorsements.
Stephanie Venn-Watson, fatty15
A trust badge is a meaningful third-party validation. It’s a seal placed on the website as proof of credibility to potential customers. A trust badge is placed on the checkout process, particularly for eCommerce sites or on the homepage of websites.
A trust badge may come in the form of a secure check-out seal for online businesses that provides a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate to protect shared virtual information. There’s also a trust badge that guarantees free shipping opportunities, or lists down the types of payment accepted for monetary transactions.
A trust badge may even show third-party endorsements to let readers know that an organization is legitimate or established. It convinces people that it’s safe and secure to take advantage of a company’s offerings and do business with them.
Siva Mahesh, Dreamshala
Google “[your Company/product] Reddit”
Reddit has a variety of uses but for business owners, it’s a good way to keep a pulse on how the internet public views your product. You’ll see unfiltered feedback and opinions from ostensible users, who are sharing those opinions with others to influence them. It’s a good pulse check on where you are with your overall marketing efforts.
Nate Tsang, WallStreetZen
News Media Coverage
One example of meaningful third-party validation is getting news media coverage in top media outlets. That greatly increases authority and trust for the business. Customers doing research to find out more about the business would come across these news articles that serve as a highly meaningful form or third-party validation.
Ben Rollins, Axon Optics