Building Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews

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

How To Build Your Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews

Learn How To Improve Your Visitor-To-Lead Conversions Using Compelling Testimonials

Are you stuck in a cycle of doing what you’ve always done to attract customers, and getting the exact same disappointing results? As most business owners know, that finding effective ways to generate new business can be quite difficult. Just trying to keep your business afloat 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-driven economy, ignoring what your clients may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!

How To Convert More Visitors Into Qualified Prospects With Knockout User Testimonials

Don’t ignore what your clients may be saying online about your business!

You may also be doing your business a great disservice if you are not boosting the positive things your clients are saying about your products and services. User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are persuasive ways of helping you market your products and services online and should be added throughout your content.

In this article, you’ll discover how to create better results online with more effective customer testimonials.

Consumer Reviews And Testimonials

The great American businessman and showman Phineas Taylor (Aka “P.T.”) Barnum is often quoted as having stated that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”

P.T. Barnum obviously understood the power of “social proof”. Social proof-based content is a powerful and effective way of promoting your business. Testimonials and reviews quoted directly from satisfied users are far more persuasive for attracting new clients, customers or users than anything you say about your own products or services.

There is an untapped source of opportunities for generating new business that most businesses simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … customer reviews!

Testimonials and consumer reviews are great for building credibility for your business.

Studies conducted by marketing firms all lead to the same conclusion: adding customer testimonials and reviews to your sales information eliminates doubts potential customers may have about products or solutions that you are trying to sell, helps with product selection and helps increase sales.

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

  • According to research findings by eVoc Insights, a company known for researching and measuring user experience, “In general, 63% of users indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has ratings and customer reviews.”
  • According to Reevoo.com, reviews play a significant role in creating an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more customer reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
  • Site visitors who interact with both 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 – Managing Online Reputation

Adding reviews and testimonials to your site from customers who are delighted with your services is essential for growing your business.

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

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

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

All You Need To Know To Start Getting Better Results Online Using Compelling Client Testimonials

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

Useful Information

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

How To Improve Your Visitor-To-Sales Conversions Using More Effective Testimonials

Tips For Creating Powerful User Testimonials

Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are persuasive when it comes to helping you market your products and services online and should be used 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 solve for them and how easily it can do this.
  • Help visitors identify their objections and address these.
  • Help prospects connect with their aspirations and motivations and this facilitates moving them further along the sales process.

Below are some useful tips on creating sales boosting testimonials:

  • Don’t over edit: Try to use the actual words used by your customers as much as you can. Leave little grammatical or spelling errors in the content. This helps keep your testimonials ‘real’.
  • Use real photos: It’s a proven fact that using images of people’s faces will draw the most attention of visitors on a web page. Adding photos of your clients next to their testimonials and reviews can help your visitors and potential prospects take notice of your site’s content.
  • Tell a powerful story: Stories are far more effective and captivating than simply providing facts and statistics. Being able to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution came to the rescue will make a far more lasting impression on those reading your content than using generalized statements about how “excellent” the service has been and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
  • Use it in context: Add testimonials in your web content where it best makes sense to place them, and where they can most effectively help to sell your point. Think about the impact you can create on your visitor’s perception if you were to present a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution sells for before posting pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before discussing the benefits of your products, or testimonials where customers are genuinely ecstatic about your support before offering guarantees or providing content that helps your readers overcome their objections.
  • Quantify your information: Which of the following statements do you think your prospects would find more powerful: “Since implementing XYZ solution, we were able to increase our net profit by $12,462 in the last financial quarter,” or “XYZ solution definitely helped us grow our sales?” If possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable results, like how much your solution helped to increase their market share or reduce their costs by 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 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 client testimonial repeatedly throughout your site: Although this can be a little difficult when you are just starting out and have very few clients, try to avoid displaying the same testimonial everywhere on your website. 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 existing clients in exchange for an honest review and permission to publish it if you choose 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 aspire to become is an extremely powerful motivator and influencer. People want to see and buy from “better versions” of themselves, so make sure to include testimonials that appeal directly to your best audience demographic.
  • Reprint content across different platforms. If someone posts fantastic feedback on your Facebook page praising your products or services, ask them for permission to reprint the content on your site.
  • Never use fake testimonials. Many people can see through sites that employ copywriters to create content. Outsourcing content is fine, but prospective customers need to see that the testimonials provided on your site are real. Don’t destroy your reputation with a ”made up” testimonial.

How To Get Client Testimonials

Ask For Testimonials

If you have just completed a service for someone, or a customer says they are really happy with your product or service, ask them for a testimonial.

Follow these tips for soliciting testimonials from your clients:

  • Contact customers after a specific period of time, e.g. 60 days with an email reminder for a testimonial if you have not obtained one immediately after performing a service.
  • Add a text box for entering testimonials in all your client surveys.
  • Take out your phone next time you meet with a client or hand over a finished project and if they are delighted with the results, ask them if they would be happy to record a very quick video testimonial/feedback interview. If they agree, while recording your video, explain to viewers what you have done for your client and try to record your client’s positive reactions and responses.
  • Make it easy for them. If clients send you positive written feedback that contains snippets of useful testimonial material interspersed with the rest of their message, grab the best sections (only use what they have given you – don’t put words into their mouth), and shape these into a testimonial, then contact your client and ask them for permission to publish it. Explain that you have already prepared something to save them time and let them know they are completely free to change what you have written however they like before replying with their approval.

Offer To Post A Link Back To The Source

Offer to publish a link back to their site in exchange for their testimonial. This is a great incentive to get clients providing you with 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 a request for a testimonial in a regularly-spaced email broadcast. This should be done after your customers have had a chance to experience your products. 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.

Use LinkedIn

The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature lets you obtain testimonials that become part of your profile. With LinkedIn, the process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite simple and user-friendly and the person providing the recommendation gets a link to their profile. If you get a positive recommendation on LinkedIn, ask for permission to reprint it on your website (tip: offer to add a link back to their website or profile in exchange).

Create A Testimonials Page

Create a new page for testimonials and add a “more client testimonials …” link to this section whenever you have displayed new testimonials on your content sections.

Useful Tip

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

We have written an article about adding heatmap analytics to your site to track visitor behaviour here:

WordPress Plugins

If your website or blog is powered by WordPress, you can use a plugin to add, edit and display testimonials. Some plugins also allow you to add a form to your pages where users can submit reviews and testimonials.

Once your plugin is installed and set up (make sure 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 - WordPress Plugin

Easy Testimonials is a free WordPress plugin that lets you add testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed them into a Page or Post using a shortcode. The plugin also lets you publish a list of all testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include an image with each testimonial, which is great for adding a photo of the testimonial author, their company logo, etc.

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

To learn more about using this plugin, go here:

Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget - WordPress Plugin

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

Testimonials Widget comes with extra features via a premium version, including built-in functions SEO functionality and technical support.

Go here to download the plugin:

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

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

  • Responsive design that resizes for displaying correctly on any device or browser.
  • Options to display your testimonials in a widget or as slideshows, sliders, list layout, grid 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 download the plugin:

Useful Info

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

In Conclusion …

Client testimonials and customer reviews are great sources of content that 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 publish positive content about your business on your web site.

Additional Info

For additional information 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 easy-to-digest information 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 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.