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 User Testimonials And Reviews

Learn How To Achieve Better Results Online With Knockout User Testimonials

Are you stuck in a cycle of doing what you’ve always done to attract customers, only to get the exact same results? Most small business owners don’t need to be told that finding effective ways of generating new customers can be quite difficult and frustrating. Just trying to survive in business requires a lot of time, money and energy, and sometimes this can feel like it’s just not worth the effort.

In today’s web-based and social-driven economy, ignoring what users may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!

Learn How To Turn More Visitors Into Qualified Prospects Using Effective Customer Testimonials

Ignoring what consumers 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 spreading the positive things your clients say about your products and services. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are persuasive ways of helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be an integral part of your content.

In this article, you will learn tips for creating better results online with more effective client testimonials.

Consumer Reviews

P.T. Barnum, legendary showman and successful promoter, once said that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”

P.T. Barnum understood the power of “social proof”. Social proof-driven content is a powerful way of getting your business promoted effectively. Testimonials from your existing clients are far more persuasive when it comes to drawing new customers than anything you say about your own products or services.

There is a source of untapped business growth potential that most small businesses simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … reviews from your customers!

Consumer reviews and testimonials are a powerful way to build credibility for your services or products.

Research conducted by marketing companies all seem to point to the same inevitable conclusion: adding reviews and customer testimonials to your sales information helps decrease doubts potential customers may have about buying your product, helps users select products and helps increase sales conversions.

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

  • According to research by eVoc Insights, an organization that researches and measures 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 produce an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more customer reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
  • Website visitors who interact with both customer 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 UGC. (Bazaarvoice, Conversation Index, Q2 2011).
  • Consumer 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).

(Above figures sourced from eConsultancy.com)

Adding Consumer Testimonials And Reviews – Managing Online Reputation

Adding positive reviews to your site from clients who are delighted with your services is essential for creating a solid online business reputation.

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

You see, people may not be saying bad things about your products directly to your face, but they could be posting disparaging remarks on Facebook, or a discussion group or forum about a bad encounter they’ve just had with one of your sales or customer support representatives and this could be costing you business.

This is where online reputation management becomes an important aspect of your success.

How To Convert More Visitors Into Prospects Using Standout Testimonials

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

Useful Info

See this article to learn more about a simple yet effective WordPress plugin that lets you legally and ethically manage user feedback:

How To Turn More Visitors Into Qualified Leads With Awesome Client Testimonials

Tips For Creating Testimonials

Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are persuasive when it comes to helping you promote and market your products and services online and should be included in your content. When you quote your own user responses in your content, you:

  • Show prospects exactly what pains and problems your products and services can help to solve for them and how easily it can do this.
  • Help prospects identify and address their objections.
  • Help prospects connect with their motivations and this facilitates moving them further along the sales process.

Below are some practical tips on how to create knockout testimonials:

  • Don’t over edit: Try to use your customer’s actual words as much as possible. Leaving grammatical errors and misspelled words in the content helps to keep it ‘real’.
  • Use photos: It’s a proven fact that using images of people’s faces will draw the attention of visitors on a web page. Adding photos of your clients next to their testimonials and reviews will help your visitors and potential prospects take notice of your site’s content.
  • Use the power of storytelling: Stories are much more effective and memorable than just providing facts and statistics. The ability to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution saved the day will make a more lasting impression on those reading your content than presenting generalized statements about how “excellent” the service was and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
  • Keep it in context: It’s good to add testimonials in your site copy where it best makes sense to place them, and where they can most effectively help sell your point. For example, think about the impact you will have on your visitor’s perception if you were to add a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution retails for before posting your product or service pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped your clients solve before talking about the benefits of your products, or testimonials where customers are truly ecstatic about your customer service when offering a risk-free guarantee or addressing objections.
  • Quantify your information: Which of the following statements do you think is more powerful… “Since using your XYZ services, we were able to grow our profits by an additional $75,246 in the last fiscal year,” or “XYZ product definitely helped us grow our sales?” If possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable data, like how much your solution helped to increase their profits or reduce their costs in specific percentages or amounts, how many hours of work they have saved, how many new leads or new clients they were able to generate, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
  • Vary the customer testimonials throughout your site: Although this can be somewhat difficult when you are just starting out or have very few clients, it’s best to avoid using the same testimonial repeatedly throughout your website. Depending on your business, you could try to obtain more user testimonials by offering limited review copies of your product, or a special launch discount for existing clients in exchange for an honest review and permission to publish it if you decide to use it.
  • Appeal to your target audience: 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 can relate to is a 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 across different platforms. If someone posts a great comment on your Facebook wall praising your solution, send them a message asking for permission to reprint the content on your site.
  • Only use real testimonials. Most people can see through sites that employ copywriters to write their content. Outsourcing content is fine, but your potential clients need to see that the testimonials provided on your site are real. Don’t destroy your credibility with false testimonials.

How To Get Testimonials

Ask

When you complete a service for someone, or a customer says they are really happy with your product or service, ask them for a testimonial.

Here are some tips for soliciting testimonials from clients:

  • Contact customers after 14 days with an email request for a testimonial if you did not obtain one after completing a service.
  • Include a text box for testimonials in your client surveys.
  • Take out your phone when you next visit a client or hand over a completed project and if they are delighted with your services, ask them if they wouldn’t mind recording a very quick video testimonial/feedback interview. While recording the video, explain to your viewers what you have done for your client and make sure to record their positive reactions and feedback.
  • Make it easy for them. If a client sends you a positive email thanking you for a great job that contains snippets of useful testimonial material interspersed with the rest of their message, grab the juiciest sections (only use what they have given you – never put words into their mouth), and use these to create a testimonial, then contact the client and ask them for permission to quote them on your site. Explain that you have already prepared something to save them time and invite them to change what you have written however they like before replying with their approval.

Offer To Post A Link Back To Their Site Wherever You Publish Their Testimonial

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

Include Testimonial Requests In 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 done after your customers have had a chance to measure the impact of using your products. Use words like “I need a quick favor” in the subject of your email and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking customers to provide feedback, a testimonial, or a review of your services.

Use LinkedIn

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

Create A Testimonials Page

Create a “Testimonials” page and add a “more customer testimonials …” link pointing to your main testimonials section throughout your content sections.

Practical Tip

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

We have written an article about a heatmap analytics software you can add to your site to track visitor behaviour here:

Using Testimonial Plugins For WordPress

If you use WordPress, you can use a plugin to add and display testimonials. Some plugins also allow you to add a form to your pages where users can submit testimonials.

Once your plugin is installed and set up (make sure to provide simple instructions for using the testimonials submission form – if available), you then send customers to your “Testimonials” page.

Here are a few useful testimonial plugins you can check out:

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials is a free WordPress plugin that lets you add client testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into your pages and posts using a shortcode. Easy Testimonials also lets you insert a list of all your testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include an image with each testimonial, which is great to add a photo of the testimonial author, their logo, etc.

The Easy Testimonials plugin also can be upgraded to a “pro” version that has additional features and plugin support.

To download this plugin, visit this site:

Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget is a free plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, reviews, quotes, or text with videos or images on your pages and posts. You can insert 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 offers a range of additional features via a premium version, including built-in functions for better search engine results and plugin support.

To download this plugin, go here:

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

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

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

Go here for more information about this plugin:

Info

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

In Summary …

User reviews and testimonials are great sources of content that can help your business add credibility, build authority, improve online reputation, and grow your sales funnel. Always ask for testimonials, reviews, and feedback from your clients or customers, and start publishing these on your web site.

Resources

The articles below are a great source of information about creating engaging testimonials and were also helpful in providing research and information for sections of this article:

We also recommend subscribing to our Free Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with easy-to-digest information and practical tips that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your web site, save money creating high-quality content for your site visitors and grow your business online using content marketing strategies. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also completely 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.