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

How To Achieve Better Results Online With Highly Effective Testimonials

Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract and retain customers, only to get the exact same disappointing results? As most business owners know, that finding effective ways of generating new customers can be confusing, time-consuming and very difficult. Just trying to survive in business takes up a lot of time, money and energy, and sometimes this can feel like it’s just not worth the effort.

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

How To Improve Your Conversions Using Powerful Customer Testimonials

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

You may also be doing your business a disservice if you don’t promote the positive things your clients are saying about your services or products. User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are effective when it comes to helping you promote and market your products and services online and should be used in your content.

In this article, you’ll learn all you need to know to get better results online using knockout client testimonials.

Customer Reviews

The great American showman and businessman 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”. Using social proof as content is a powerful and effective way of promoting your business. Quoting genuine reviews and testimonials directly from existing clients is existing users are far more persuasive for drawing new clients than anything you can say about your own products or services.

There is clearly a source of untapped business growth potential that most businesses just aren’t utilizing, or utilizing correctly … testimonials and reviews from users!

Reviews and customer testimonials are effective for building credibility for your business.

Tests conducted by many leading firms all lead to the same inevitable conclusion: testimonials and user reviews help to eliminate doubts potential customers may have about buying your product, help users select products and increases conversions of visitors into sales.

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

  • According to a study 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 site if it has ratings and customer reviews.”
  • According to Reevoo.com, reviews produce an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more reviews per product can result in 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 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).

(Source: eConsultancy.com)

Adding Customer Reviews And Testimonials – Online Reputation Management

Clearly, you should be adding positive testimonials and reviews from delighted clients who have experienced positive results with your business to your website.

Consumer reviews and customer testimonials, however, are like double-edged swords; they can impact your business both negatively or positively.

You see, people may not be saying bad things about your business, products or services directly to your face, but they could post updates on Facebook about an unpleasant experience they’ve just had using your products and this could be doing far more damage to your business than all the good work you’ve been putting into building it.

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

Discover How To Convert More Visitors Into Prospects With Meaningful User Testimonials

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

Important Info

See this article to learn more about a plugin for WordPress users that can help you avoid the escalation of problem reviews about your business through effective customer review management:

Create Better Results Online With Awesome Testimonials

Tips For Creating Testimonials

Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are powerful when it comes to helping you market your products and services online and should be an integral part of your content marketing strategy. When you include responses from clients in your content, you:

  • Show potential customers exactly what problems and pains your products and services can solve for them and how easily this can be done.
  • Help potential customers identify and address their objections.
  • Help potential customers connect with their aspirations and motivations and facilitate moving them closer to a decision to purchase.

Here are some tips on how to create standout testimonials:

  • Don’t over edit: Try to use your customer’s actual words as much as you can. Leave little grammatical or spelling errors in the content. This helps to keep things ‘real’.
  • Use photos: Research shows 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 increase visitor engagement with your site’s content.
  • Tell a powerful story: Stories are much more powerful and captivating than providing mere facts and statistics. Being able to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution saved the day will make a far more lasting impression on those reading your content than using generic statements about how “excellent” your service was and giving “two thumbs up” product recommendations that all of us have heard a “million times” before.
  • Keep it in context: Add customer testimonials in your site copy 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 mind if you were to present a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution retails for before posting your service pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before presenting the benefits of your products, or testimonials where clients are truly ecstatic about your customer service when offering a money-back guarantee or providing content that helps readers overcome their objections.
  • Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think is more powerful: “XYZ solution was directly responsible for helping to increase our sales by $84,239 in the last fiscal year,” or “XYZ solution has helped us grow our business?” 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 you have helped them save, 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.
  • Avoid using the same client testimonial repeatedly throughout your site: Although this can be a little difficult if you are just starting out and don’t have many clients, try to avoid displaying the same testimonial repeatedly throughout your web pages. Depending on the nature of your business, you could try to obtain more user 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 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 can be a very powerful motivator and influencer. People want to see and buy from “better versions” of themselves, so make sure to include testimonials that speak directly to your best audience demographic.
  • Reprint across different platforms. If someone posts a great comment on your Facebook page praising your solution, contact them privately asking for their permission to reprint the content on your site.
  • Don’t use fake testimonials. Your prospects need to believe that the testimonials published on your site are genuine. Don’t compromise your credibility with a false testimonial.

How To Get Client Testimonials

Ask

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

Follow these tips for soliciting testimonials:

  • Contact clients after a specific period of time, e.g. 14 days with an email request for a testimonial if you did not obtain one after performing a service.
  • Add a field for entering testimonials in all your client surveys.
  • Pull out your phone when you next meet with a client or hand over a completed job and if they are delighted with the results, ask them if they would be happy to record a short video testimonial/feedback interview. If they agree, while recording your video, describe to viewers what you have done for the client and make sure to capture their positive reactions and feedback.
  • Make it easy for them. Whenever clients send 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 best sections (only use what they have written – never put words into their mouth), and shape these into a testimonial, then contact the client and ask them for permission to use it. Explain that you have done this to help them save time and let them know they are completely free to edit what you have written however they see fit before replying with their approval.

Offer To Publish A Link To The Source

Offer to add a link back to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is a great incentive for clients to provide 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 subscriber list, include a request for a testimonial in a periodic auto responder broadcast. This should be done after your customers 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 clients to provide feedback, a testimonial, or a review.

Use LinkedIn

The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature lets you obtain testimonials for your account. With LinkedIn, 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 website (once again, you can offer to add a link back to their profile in exchange).

Create A Testimonials Section On Your Site

Create a “Testimonials” page and add a “read more customer testimonials …” link pointing to your main testimonials page throughout your site.

Useful Tip

Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of your user testimonials by how long visitors remain on the section of your pages or posts where you have added your testimonial content. A great tool for understanding what visitors are doing on your site are “heatmaps”.

We have written an article about a heatmap technology you can add to your website to monitor visitor behaviour here:

Testimonial Plugins For WordPress

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

Once your testimonial plugin is installed and set up (with instructions for using the testimonials submission form – if available), all you have to do is send users to your “Testimonials” section.

Below 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 client 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 add a list of all your testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include images with testimonials, which you can use to add a photo of the testimonial author, their business logo, etc.

The Easy Testimonials plugin also provides users with a “pro” version that offers additional features and developer support.

To download this plugin, visit this site:

Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget - WordPress Testimonials Plugin

Testimonials Widget is a free 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.

The Testimonials Widget plugin has plenty more features available via a premium version, including built-in options for improved search engine results and plugin support.

Go here to download this plugin:

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

Testimonials Plugin

This premium WP plugin 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 slideshows, sliders, list layout, grid layout, etc. via a shortcode
  • Styling options (display image on top, bottom, or side of testimonials, display testimonials in a speech bubble, customized font and background colours, font types and more.

Visit this site to download and use this plugin:

Useful Information

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

In Conclusion …

Testimonials and user reviews are powerful sources of content that can 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 existing clients, and publish positive content about your business on your website or blog.

Additional Info

The articles below provide useful information on creating engaging clients testimonials and were also used when researching 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 actionable information and practical tips that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your web site, save money creating useful content for your 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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Originally published as Building Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews.