Building Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews

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

Building Your Reputation With User Testimonials And Reviews

Create Better Results Online With Sales Boosting Client Testimonials

Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract new customers, only to get the exact same results? Most business owners don’t need to be told that trying to generate new business can be difficult, confusing and frustrating. Just trying to keep your business afloat requires a lot of 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, it’s a mistake to ignore the impact of what your potential customers are doing online, especially if they are posting negative comments about your business.

How To Create Better Results Online With Standout Testimonials

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

By the same token, you may also be doing your business a great disservice if you aren’t publishing the positive things your clients are saying about your products, services, client support, etc. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are effective when it comes to marketing your products and services online and should be included in your content marketing strategy.

In this article, you’ll learn how to achieve better results online with captivating customer testimonials.

Client Reviews And Testimonials

P.T. Barnum, legendary businessman and showman, once stated 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 and effective way of getting your business promoted. Quoting genuine reviews directly from satisfied clients is satisfied clients are far more persuasive for drawing new customers than anything you say about your own products or services.

There is an untapped source of opportunities for generating new business that most small businesses just aren’t utilizing, or utilizing correctly … client reviews and testimonials!

Reviews and customer testimonials are a fantastic way to build credibility for your products or services.

Research conducted by marketing firms all lead to the same conclusion: testimonials and user reviews eliminate doubts potential customers may have about purchasing your products, help users select products and increases conversions of visitors into sales.

Below are just some findings that 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 reviews.”
  • According to Reevoo.com, user reviews result in an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more customer reviews per product can translate into a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
  • Web site visitors who interact with both user 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).
  • 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).

(Source: eConsultancy.com)

Adding Client Reviews And Testimonials – Managing Online Reputation

Adding great testimonials and reviews to your website from clients who are thrilled with the results they’ve obtained by using your products or services is essential for creating a solid online business reputation.

Testimonials and user reviews, however, can work both ways and impact your business both in a negative and positive way.

People may not be saying bad things about your products directly to you, but they could be posting disparaging remarks on Facebook, or a forum or discussion thread about an unpleasant encounter they’ve just had with one of your staff and this could be costing you business.

This is where online reputation management becomes vital to your online success.

Improve Your Conversions Using Sales Boosting Client 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 it) could be causing damage to your business without you even realizing it.

Useful Information

See this article to learn more about a simple yet effective tool for WordPress users that allows you to legally and ethically manage customer feedback:

Discover How To Convert More Visitors Into Qualified Prospects Using Knockout Customer Testimonials

Tips For Creating Standout Testimonials

User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are powerful ways of helping you market your products and services online and should be an integral part of your content marketing. When you include your own customer responses in your content, you:

  • Show other users exactly with similar problems and pains how your products and services can help them.
  • Help prospects identify their objections and address these.
  • Help potential customers connect with their aspirations and motivations and this facilitates moving them further along the sales process.

Here are some useful tips on improving your conversions with compelling client testimonials:

  • Avoid over-editing: You should try to use the actual words used by your customers as much as possible. Leave little grammatical or spelling errors in the content. This helps to keep things ‘real’.
  • Use real photos: It’s a proven fact that using images of people’s faces will draw the attention of visitors on a web page. Adding client photos next to their testimonials and reviews will help your visitors and potential prospects take notice of your content.
  • Tell a powerful story: Stories are much more powerful and captivating than simply providing facts and statistics. The ability to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution saved the day will make a longer-lasting impression on those reading your content than using generic statements about how “excellent” your customer service was 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 customer testimonials in your web content where it best makes sense to place them, and where you believe these can most effectively help to sell your point. 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 can be purchased for before posting pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped your clients solve before discussing the benefits of your services, or testimonials where customers are genuinely ecstatic about your support when offering guarantees or providing content designed to help your readers overcome their objections.
  • Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think your prospects would find more powerful: “Since implementing your XYZ product, we have seen an additional profit increase of $14,477 during the last financial quarter,” or “XYZ software definitely helped us grow our business?” Whenever possible, ask clients to specify quantifiable results when submitting testimonials, like how much your solution helped to increase their sales or reduce their costs by in specific percentages or amounts, how many hours they have saved, how many new leads or new clients they were able to generate during a specific financial quarter, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
  • Vary the testimonials on your site: Although this can be somewhat difficult when you are just starting out and have very few clients, try to avoid displaying the same testimonial everywhere on your web pages. Depending on your business, you could try to obtain more testimonials by offering limited review copies of your product, or a special discount for existing clients in exchange for an honest review and permission to publish it if you decide to use it.
  • Appeal to your best customer: As every infomercial featuring a celebrity endorsement, subject expert or “busy mom” knows, if you know who your ideal customer 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 ideal customers.
  • Reprint across different platforms. If you get a great comment on your Facebook wall praising your products or services, ask them permission to reprint the comment or post on your site.
  • Don’t use fake client testimonials. Many people can see through sites that employ copywriters to write content. Outsourcing content is fine, but your potential customers need to see that the testimonials displayed on your site are real. Don’t compromise your credibility with a ”made up” testimonial.

How To Get Testimonials

Ask For Testimonials

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

Here are some useful guidelines for requesting testimonials:

  • Make a point of contacting clients after a specific period of time, e.g. 90 days with an email reminder for a testimonial if you have not obtained one immediately after performing a service.
  • Include a field for testimonials in all client surveys.
  • Take out your phone next time you meet with a client or hand over a finished job and if they are delighted with your services, ask them if they wouldn’t mind recording a very brief video testimonial/feedback interview. If they agree, while recording the video, describe to viewers what you have done for your client and try to capture your client’s positive reactions and responses.
  • Make it easy and write the testimonial for them. Whenever a client sends you a positive email thanking you for a great service that contains snippets of useful testimonial material interspersed with the rest of their message, grab the best sections (only use what they have written – don’t put words into their mouth), and shape these into a testimonial, then contact your client and ask them for permission to quote them on your site. Explain that you have done this to save them time and invite them to modify what you have written however they like before replying with their approval.

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

Offer to publish a link back to their site in exchange for their testimonial. This is often enough of an incentive to get clients providing a testimonial. It also makes an implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are not fake and can be verified.

Include A Testimonial Request In Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages

If you have a list of subscribers, include requests for a testimonial in a scheduled email broadcast. Preferably, this should be done after your clients have had a chance to experience your services. 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 clients to provide honest feedback, a testimonial, or a review.

Use LinkedIn

The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature helps you obtain testimonials from other members that become part of your account. The process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite 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 (once again, you can offer to add a link back to their website in exchange).

Create A Testimonials Page

Create a “Testimonials” page and add a “more client testimonials …” link to your main testimonials page whenever you are adding single testimonials on your content sections.

Practical Tip

Practical 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 your testimonial content. A great tool for measuring visitor behaviour on your site are “heatmaps”.

We have written an article about adding heatmaps to your website to analyze visitor behaviour here:

Useful Testimonial Plugins For WordPress

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

Once your plugin is installed and set up (remember to provide simple instructions for using the testimonials submission form – if available), you can then refer users to your “Testimonials” section.

Check out the testimonial plugins below:

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials is an easy-to-use free plugin that lets you add user testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into your pages and posts 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 for adding a photo of the testimonial author, their business logo, etc.

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

Visit this site for more information about the plugin:

Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget - WordPress 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 pages and posts. You can insert customer testimonials via a shortcode, theme functions, or widgets with category and tag selections and specify different display options such as random or specific ordering.

Testimonials Widget provides a range of additional features via a premium version, including built-in functions SEO functionality and plugin support.

To download this plugin, go here:

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

Testimonials Plugin

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

  • Responsive design that resizes for displaying correctly 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 the testimonial, display testimonials in a speech bubble, customized font and background colors, font types and more.

Visit this site to learn more about the plugin:

Info

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

In Conclusion …

Customer reviews and client 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 customers or clients, and start publishing these on your website or blog.

Additional Info

For additional sources of information and resources about creating engaging testimonials see these 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 show exactly how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating useful content that will add value to 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 100% FREE!

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. 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.