Social Proofing Your PT Website: Let Your Clients Do The Hard Sell


Social Proof Your Physical Therapy PT Website

What does it mean to be Social Proof? By getting your website social proofed, your testimonials and reviews can do the hard sell by appealing to one of our greatest human traits: trust. 

Social proof isn’t quite what you think. It’s not proof that you are social. You don’t need to find evidence of your social life while bragging about meals out, nights at the opera, and drinking matches within the local tennis club.

Instead, social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon where people copy the actions of others. For example, your friend tells you how great a new product is, so you decide to buy it.

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Another example? You see a queue outside a restaurant, so you conclude it must be serving excellent food, and you really want to go and eat there.

One more? OK, you’re browsing a website, and you see a testimonial from someone like you who already bought the product, so you sign up for the free trial (remember this bit for later on).

Social proof, and the consequent actions, are everywhere and it’s a hugely important part of a successful website. Quite frankly, it’s NOT to be underestimated!

As customers, we buy products and services that make us feel good about ourselves. We purchase products and services that change or transform us. And by using social proof on your website, you can help visitors feel confident about choosing to engage with you, trust you, and the transformation you can bring about for them.

Simply put, you can use social proof to help people make a good decision about their health through your physical therapy website.

Three Main Ways To Use Social Proof

Social Proof Your Website With Client Testimonials

When it comes to your physical therapy website, there are three main ways to use social proof:

Case studies

You might be thinking to yourself: “I already have some testimonials on my website and also have some good Facebook and Google reviews. I’ve got this social proof stuff covered”.

Well, sorry to tell you this, but chances are you don’t have it covered – yet!

Unlocking the power of social proof isn’t particularly difficult. Still, many people get it wrong, and the result is that they fill valuable space on their website pages with content that achieves nothing.

Let’s look in-depth at what social proof can do, and then I’ll explain how you can put it to work on your own website. You may not have realized just how many things social proof can do. For instance, did you know that social proof can:

Counter objections
Substantiate your claims
Reinforce your message
Boost credibility
Answer questions
Reduce stress involved in making a decision
Help people visualize their improved future life
Increase the amount of money people are willing to spend

That’s pretty impressive right? Imagine being able to influence people like that!

How Can Social Proof Do All This?

What Does Social Proof Mean?

The answer is, it’s just the way we humans are – if we perceive ourselves as similar to the people around us, we are more likely to adopt the behavior of these people.

So, to put this into context with your website visitors, they are very likely to perform specific actions if they can relate to the people who performed the same actions before them.

Basically, if you put someone into a situation where they’re unsure of the correct way to behave, they will automatically look to others for behavioral guidance.

Now here’s where it gets really interesting. In order to harness this concept for persuasion and really unlock the power of social proof, you will first need to identify the objections of your potential patients and then overcome those with the appropriate social proof.

What are the most common objections your website visitors have before they take that first step to inquiring about your services?
Is it that they want to use their insurance?
Is it fear that physical therapy won’t work for them?

Perhaps they’ve been given conflicting advice by friends and family, and they’re feeling very confused. Or maybe they’re afraid that they’ll just be given exercises that they could have got from the internet?

Make a list of all the potential objections you can think of – it’s going to be essential when you’re interviewing patients for testimonials!

How do you implement social proof on your website so that it actually has the effect you want?

It would help if you had highly credible “witnesses”. That means you need testimonials or case studies that don’t scream “FAKE!”.

With written testimonials, always, always, ALWAYS use a photo as well as the person’s age group and their location. If you don’t use a photo, nobody is going to believe that this testimonial is real.

And, if you don’t mention the person’s age group and location, you’re losing a significant amount of the potential influence of the testimonial because of one big thing.

Remember – people look for clues on how to behave from those around them who they perceive to be similar. So, give people information to help them perceive similarity!

The same applies with video testimonials – have the person introduce themselves and state their age and where they live and then display that information below the video to entice people of similar age and location to watch.

You will need a selection (ideally 3) of testimonials on each key page of your site. You want these to resonate with your perfect patients, so if your perfect patient is a 50-year-old female, then it wouldn’t make much sense for you to have a testimonial from a 20-year-old male.

Now, remember those objections that people often have before they make an inquiry? How can you get people to address these objections in their testimonials, case studies or reviews?

Simple: ask them!

Just ask them the questions that you KNOW other people want to know the answers to! If you’re shooting a video testimonial, for example, give the person a sheet of questions and let them think about their answers before you start recording.

Social Proof: It’s OK To Use Reminders!

Sending A Reminder For A Testimonial

It’s absolutely fine to “remind” them of things they may have said to you during their treatment sessions. Tell them that they will be helping other people like them to make better decisions about their health. This next bit is important – they’re not doing the testimonial for YOU. They’re doing it to help other people like them!

Once you have a few good testimonials, you can “repurpose” them around your website – they don’t HAVE to be 100% relevant to the page they’re displayed on. So, suppose you have a great testimonial from someone you treated for back pain. In that case, it’s OK to use it on a shoulder pain page until you get some shoulder-specific testimonials.

When you have what you feel is enough social proof, don’t stop mining for it – you should always be gathering it so that you can rotate it and test for the best results.

You will get better at asking questions, and you will get better results with practice. You don’t want tons of testimonials on each page of your website, but you do want a rich library of social proof that you can add to email nurture sequences, landing pages and thanks pages.

What about reviews?

There’s no reason you can’t influence the things people say in their reviews on Facebook, Google, Yelp etc, too.

If you’re asking them to leave you a review on one of these platforms, then ask them by email and include some of the things you’d like them to keep in mind when writing their review. You can even give them a few questions to answer. Chances are you will get a much better result that will help other people decide to engage with you!

What To Do Next

How To Social Proof Your Website

It’s time to take action!

Firstly, think about the objections and uncertainties that your visitors will have. Write a set of questions around these that you can use when requesting a testimonial or review from a current patient.

Secondly, use your social proof strategically. General praise for your service won’t really help you convert. Build up a library of testimonials and select the ones which best support the argument you’re making and the story you’re telling.

Next, use social proof to humanize your website. A two-line testimonial from John S. is meaningless. Put names to faces, list ages and locations because these are real people that your visitors will relate to and be influenced by!


Social Proof Your Website

Social proof is incredibly powerful when used correctly. By now, you will know that a few nice words of praise from John S. isn’t going to cut it.

You need to know the objections you will have to overcome and then start to build a cache of trustworthy, influential social proof.

Planned carefully, you can spark specific emotional triggers that influence customers’ feelings towards your business and help them to feel confident in engaging with you.

And don’t worry if you don’t have any testimonials, case studies or reviews yet – this is a good thing.


Because now you understand how social proof works, you can get writing your questions today and start asking your patients tomorrow if they would spare a few minutes to “help people just like them”!

Want to know more about social proofing? Get in touch with us anytime through our contact page! 

Flemming Arnott

Flemming Arnott

Flemming helps PT business owners all around the world to acquire more new patients by building websites that educate prospects, establish trust and ultimately generate leads. He has worked with Paul Gough for over 10 years and has more than 20 years experience in the industry. Flemming is the "go to" expert for PTs who no longer want to rely on doctor's referrals and who put the patient experience first, with a desire to succeed in the new healthcare world.

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About The Author

Flemming Arnott

Flemming helps PT business owners all around the world to acquire more new patients by building websites that educate prospects, establish trust and ultimately generate leads. He has worked with Paul Gough for over 10 years and has more than 20 years experience in the industry. Flemming is the "go to" expert for PTs who no longer want to rely on doctor's referrals and who put the patient experience first, with a desire to succeed in the new healthcare world.