Building Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews

Learn how to build and grow your online business reputation using testimonials and user reviews …

Build Your Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews

Improve Your Sales With Powerful Customer Testimonials

Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract new customers, and getting the exact same disappointing results? As most small business owners know, that finding new ways of generating new business can be hard. Just trying to stay in business takes a lot of your time, money and energy, and sometimes this can feel like it’s just not worth the effort.

In today’s digital, mobile and social media-driven economy, you cannot afford to ignore the effect of online consumer behavior, especially if they are posting comments about your business.

Learn How To Improve Your Visitor-To-Lead Conversions Using Awesome User Testimonials

Ignoring what customers may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!

By the same token, you are also doing your business a disservice if you are not boosting the positive things your customers say about your services and products. User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are effective ways of marketing your products and services online and should be an integral part of your content marketing.

In this article, you’ll learn tips for converting more visitors into qualified prospects using effective customer testimonials.

Testimonials And Consumer Reviews

The great, legendary businessman and showman Phineas Taylor P.T. Barnum is often quoted as having said that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”

P.T. Barnum obviously understood the power of “social proof”. Social proof-driven content is a powerful and effective way of getting your business promoted. Quoting genuine testimonials and reviews from your existing users is satisfied clients are far more persuasive when it comes to drawing new clients than anything you say about your own products or services.

There is an untapped source of business growth potential that most small businesses just aren’t utilizing, or utilizing correctly … user reviews and testimonials!

Reviews and testimonials are terrific for building credibility for your products and services.

Research conducted by many marketing companies all seem to point to the same inevitable conclusion: adding testimonials and customer reviews to your point of sale pages helps to eliminate doubts potential customers may have about buying products or services, helps with product selection and helps increase sales conversions.

Here are just some of the stats available to support this:

  • According to a study by eVoc Insights, an organization known for researching and measuring user experience, “In general, 63% of users indicate they are more likely to purchase from a web site if it has ratings and consumer reviews.”
  • According to Reevoo.com, reviews result in an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more consumer reviews per product can result in a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
  • Site visitors who interact with both consumer reviews and customer questions and answers are 105% more likely to purchase while visiting and spend 11% more than visitors who don’t interact with user-generated content (UGC). (Bazaarvoice, Conversation Index, Q2 2011).
  • Customer reviews are significantly more trusted (nearly 12 times more) than descriptions that come from manufacturers, according to a survey of US internet users by online video review site EXPO. (eMarketer, February 2010).

(The figures above were sourced from eConsultancy.com)

Adding Consumer Reviews And Testimonials – Online Reputation Management

You should be adding great testimonials and reviews from very happy customers to your site.

Consumer reviews and customer testimonials, however, are like double-edged swords; they can affect your business both negative and positive ways.

People may not be saying bad things about your services directly to you, but they could post negative comments on a discussion thread about a bad encounter they’ve just had with one of your staff and this could be costing you business.

This is where online reputation management becomes vitally important to your online success.

How To Get Better Results Online With Powerful Customer Testimonials

Misconceptions about online reputation management, such as the process being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you just don’t need to worry about it) could be harming your business without you even realizing it.

Important

See this article to learn more about a simple WordPress plugin that allows you to legally and ethically manage customer reviews:

How To Convert More Visitors Into Qualified Leads Using Sales Boosting Testimonials

Tips On How To Create Sales Boosting Client Testimonials

Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are effective when it comes to helping you promote and market your products and services online and should be added to your content marketing strategy. When you include responses from customers in your content, you:

  • Show others exactly with similar problems and pains what your products and services can do for them.
  • Help visitors identify their objections and address these.
  • Help prospects connect with their motivations and aspirations and this facilitates moving them closer to a decision to purchase.

Here are some tips on creating standout user testimonials:

  • Don’t over edit: You should try to use your customer’s actual words as much as you can. Leaving little grammatical errors and misspelt words in the content helps to keep it ‘real’.
  • Use photos of real people: Research shows that using images of people’s faces draws the attention of visitors on a web page. Adding client photos next to their testimonials and reviews can help increase visitor engagement with your content.
  • Tell a powerful story: Stories are far more powerful and captivating than simply providing facts and statistics. The ability to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution came to the rescue will make a longer-lasting impression on those reading your content than using generalized statements about excellent support and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that all of us have heard a “million times” before.
  • Keep it in context: It’s good to add testimonials in your web content where it best makes sense to place them, and where you believe these can most effectively help sell your point. For example, think about the impact you can create on your visitor’s mind by adding a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution retails for before posting your price information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before talking about the benefits of your services, or testimonials where customers are genuinely ecstatic about your customer service when offering guarantees or addressing objections.
  • Quantify your information: Which of the following statements do you think is more powerful: “As a direct result of installing your XYZ solution, we were able to increase our revenue by an additional $33,237 during the last financial quarter,” or “XYZ software helped us grow our business?” Whenever possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable results, like how much your solution helped to increase their profits or reduce their costs in specific percentages or amounts, how many hours you have helped them save, how many new leads or new clients they were able to generate during a specific financial period, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
  • Avoid using the same testimonial throughout your site: Although this can be somewhat difficult if you are just starting out or don’t have many clients, try to avoid displaying the same testimonial everywhere on your web pages. Depending on the nature of your business, you could try to obtain more client testimonials by offering limited review copies of your product, or a special discount for clients in exchange for an honest review and permission to publish it if you choose to use it.
  • Appeal to your ideal customer: As every infomercial featuring a celebrity endorsement, subject expert or “busy mom” knows, if you know who your target audience is, providing testimonials from people who your prospects aspire to become is a really powerful motivator and influencer. People want to see and buy from “better versions” of themselves, so make sure to include testimonials targeted to your best audience demographic.
  • Reprint testimonials across different platforms. If you get a great comment on your Facebook wall praising your commitment to customer satisfaction, contact them privately asking for their permission to reprint the comment or post on your site.
  • Only use genuine testimonials. Most people can tell if you are employing professional writers to produce your content. Outsourcing content is fine, but your potential customers need to believe that the testimonials provided on your site are genuine. Don’t destroy your reputation with ”made up” testimonials.

How To Get Testimonials

Always Ask For Testimonials

Getting a testimonial from a satisfied customer can be as simple as just asking for it.

Here are some useful tips for requesting testimonials from your clients:

  • Contact customers after 14 days with an email request for a testimonial if you have not obtained one immediately after performing a service.
  • Include a text box for entering testimonials in client satisfaction surveys.
  • Take out your phone next time you visit clients or hand over a finished project and if they are delighted with your services, ask them if they wouldn’t mind recording a very short video testimonial/feedback interview. While recording your video, describe to viewers what you have done for the client and try to record the client’s positive reactions and feedback.
  • Make it easy and write it for them. Whenever a client sends you positive written feedback that contains snippets of useful testimonial material interspersed with the rest of their message, grab the juiciest sections (only use what they have written – don’t put words into their mouth), and use these to create a testimonial, then contact your client and ask them for permission to use it. Explain that you have already prepared something to help them save time and invite them to change what you have written however they see fit before replying with their approval.

Offer To Publish A Link To Their Site

Offer to post a link back to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is a great incentive to get clients providing you with a testimonial. It also makes the implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are real and can be verified.

Add Testimonial Requests To Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages

If you have a list of subscribers, include a request for a testimonial in one of your newsletter broadcasts. This should be timed to reach subscribers just after your clients have had a chance to assess the results of using your products or services. Use words like “I need your help” in your email subject and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking them for honest feedback, a testimonial, or a review of your services.

Use LinkedIn

The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature allows you to request testimonials from other members for your account. The process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite user-friendly and the person providing the recommendation receives a link to their profile. If you get a recommendation on LinkedIn, ask their permission to reprint it on your site (once again, you can offer to publish a link back to their website in exchange).

Create A Client Testimonials Page

Create a “Testimonials” page and place a “more testimonials …” link pointing to this section whenever you add small blocks of testimonials on your content sections.

Useful Tip

Useful Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of user testimonials by how long visitors stay on the section of your pages or posts where you have added the testimonial content. ”Heatmapping” technology is a great way to observing visitor behaviour on your pages.

We have written an article about a heatmap analytics technology you can add to your website to observe visitor behavior here:

WordPress Testimonial Plugins

If your site or blog is powered by WordPress, you can use a plugin to add and display testimonials. Some plugins also allow you to add forms to your pages inviting users to submit testimonials.

Once your plugin is installed and set up (with instructions for adding testimonials via the submission form – if available), you can then refer customers to your “Testimonials” section.

Here are some WordPress testimonial plugins you can check out:

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials - WordPress Testimonials Plugin

Easy Testimonials is a free plugin that lets you add user testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into a Page or Post using a shortcode. The Easy Testimonials plugin also lets you insert a list of all testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include an image with each testimonial, which can be used to add a photo of the testimonial author, their logo, etc.

The plugin also comes with a “pro” version that offers additional features and technical support.

To learn more about using this plugin, visit this site:

Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget - WordPress Testimonials Plugin

Testimonials Widget is a free WP plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, reviews, quotes, or text with images or videos on your blog. You can insert customer testimonials via a shortcode, theme functions, or widgets with category and tag selections and have multiple display options such as random or specific ordering.

The Testimonials Widget plugin has loads of additional features available via a premium version, including built-in functions for better search engine results and technical support.

Go here for more information about this plugin:

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

This is a premium WP plugin that offers plenty of great features right out of the box, including:

  • Responsive design that resizes to display correctly on any device or browser.
  • Display options for your testimonials in a widget or as sliders, slideshows, list layout, grid layout, etc. via a shortcode
  • Styling options (display image at the top, bottom, or side of testimonials, display testimonials in a speech bubble, customized font and background colors, font types and more.

For more information about using the plugin, go here:

Useful Info

To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:

In Conclusion …

User reviews and client testimonials are great sources of content that help your business in terms of adding credibility, building authority, improving online reputation, and growing your sales funnel. Always ask for feedback, reviews, and testimonials from your clients, and start publishing these on your website or blog.

Additional Info

For additional resources on creating engaging customer testimonials see these useful articles:

We also recommend subscribing to our Free Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with actionable information and practical tips that will teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your website or blog, save money creating high-quality content for your site visitors and grow your business online using content. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!

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"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

Originally published as Building Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews.