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 User Testimonials And Reviews

How To Improve Your Sales Conversions With Engaging Testimonials

Are you stuck in a cycle of doing what you’ve always done to attract customers, and getting the exact same results? Most small business owners don’t need to be told that generating new business can be confusing, frustrating and hard. 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 online economy, you simply can’t afford to ignore the effect of what your potential customers are doing online, especially if they are posting comments about your business.

Improve Your Sales Conversions Using Awesome Testimonials

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

By the same token, you are also doing your business a great disservice if you are not boosting the positive things your customers say about your services or products. User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are effective ways of helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be added to your content.

In this article, you’ll learn tips for converting more visitors into prospects using standout user testimonials.

Customer Reviews

Legendary American showman and successful promoter Phineas Taylor (Aka “P.T.”) Barnum once said 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 way of getting your business promoted effectively. Reviews from your existing customers are far more persuasive when it comes to attracting new clients, customers or users than anything you say about your own products or services.

There is clearly an untapped source of business growth potential that most small businesses simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … consumer reviews and testimonials!

Testimonials and reviews are effective for building credibility for your business.

Research conducted by marketing research firms all point to the same conclusion: user reviews and testimonials eliminate doubts potential customers may have about buying products, help with product selection and increases the number of sales.

Below are just some of the findings 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 user reviews.”
  • According to Reevoo.com, customer reviews are responsible for producing an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more user reviews per product can result in a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
  • Site 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).

(Source: eConsultancy.com)

Adding User Reviews – Online Reputation Management

You should be adding positive reviews and testimonials from delighted clients to your website.

Reviews and testimonials, however, can work both ways and affect your business both in a negative as well as positive way.

You see, people may not be saying bad things about your products directly to you, but they could be posting negative comments on a discussion thread about a bad experience they’ve just had with your business and this could be costing you business.

This is where online reputation management becomes a vitally important aspect of your business success.

Improve Your Sales Conversions Using Knockout 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 just don’t need it) may be hurting your business without you even realizing it.

Important Info

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

Learn How To Achieve Better Results Online Using Meaningful Client Testimonials

Tips On How To Create Testimonials

User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are persuasive when it comes to helping you market your products and services online and should be added to your content marketing strategy. When you include responses from users in your content, you:

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

Here are some tips on improving your conversions with knockout customer testimonials:

  • Don’t over edit: You should try using the actual words used by your customers as much as you can. Leaving grammatical errors and misspellings in the content helps to keep it ‘real’.
  • Use real photos: Images of people’s faces draw the most attention to your content. Adding photos of your clients next to their testimonials and reviews will help increase visitor engagement with your site’s content.
  • Use the power of storytelling: Stories are much more effective and memorable 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 excellent support and giving “two thumbs up” product recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
  • Use it in context: It’s good to add testimonials in your web content where it makes the most sense to place them, and where you believe these can most effectively help you sell your point. Think about the impact you can create on your visitor’s perception by adding a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution can be purchased for before posting pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before talking about the benefits of your services, or testimonials where clients are genuinely thrilled about your support before offering guarantees or providing content designed to help your readers overcome their objections.
  • Quantify your information: Which of the following statements is more powerful… “Since implementing your XYZ product, we have noticed our sales increase by $59,642 during the previous financial quarter,” or “XYZ solution has helped us grow our sales?” If possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable data, 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 in a recent business quarter, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
  • Use different customer testimonials on your site: Although this can be somewhat difficult if you are just starting out and don’t have many clients, it’s best to avoid using the same testimonial throughout your site. Depending on the type of business you run, you could try to obtain more user testimonials by offering limited review copies of your product, or a special launch discount for clients in exchange for an honest review and permission to publish it if you choose 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 target audience is, providing testimonials from people who your prospects can relate to 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 speak directly to your ideal customers.
  • Reprint content across different platforms. If someone posts a great comment on your Facebook page praising your products or services, contact them privately asking for their permission to reprint the content on your site.
  • Only use genuine testimonials. Your potential clients need to believe that the testimonials published on your site are genuine. Don’t destroy your credibility with false testimonials.

How To Get Client Testimonials

Just 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 useful guidelines for soliciting testimonials from your clients:

  • Make a point of contacting customers after a specific period of time, e.g. 90 days with an email request for a testimonial if you did not obtain one after completing your service.
  • Include a text box for entering testimonials in all your client surveys.
  • Take out your phone when you next meet with 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 quick video testimonial/feedback interview. If they agree, while recording your video, explain to viewers what you have done for the client and try to capture their positive reactions and feedback.
  • Make it easy 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 given you – never put words into their mouth), and shape these into 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 modify 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 add a link back to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is often enough of an incentive to get clients to provide a testimonial. It also makes the implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are not fake and can be verified.

Add Testimonial Requests To Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages

If you have a list of subscribers, include requests for a testimonial in one of your newsletter mailouts. Preferably, this should be done after your customers have had a chance to experience your solution. Use words like “I need a quick favor” in your email subject and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking subscribers for feedback, a testimonial, or a review of your services.

Use LinkedIn

The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature helps you request testimonials for your account. The process for requesting and providing recommendations is user-friendly and the person providing the recommendation gets a link to their profile. If you get a recommendation on LinkedIn, ask their permission to reprint it on your website (and offer to add a link back to their website in exchange).

Create A Testimonials Page On Your Site

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

Tip

Tip: You can measure how useful testimonials are 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 understanding visitor behaviour on your pages.

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

Using Testimonial Plugins For WordPress

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

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

Check out the WordPress testimonial plugins below:

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials - WordPress Plugin

Easy Testimonials is a free WordPress plugin that lets you add testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into posts and pages using a shortcode. The Easy Testimonials plugin also lets you publish a list of all testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include images with testimonials, which can be used for adding a photo of the testimonial author, their business logo, etc.

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

Go here to download the plugin:

Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget - WordPress Plugin

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

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

To learn more about the plugin, visit this site:

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

Testimonials Plugin

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

To download and use the plugin, go here:

Important Info

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

In Summary …

Customer reviews and client testimonials are powerful 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 existing clients or customers, and publish positive content about your business on your web site.

Resources

The articles below are a great source of information on creating engaging customer 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 actionable information that will teach you how to drive more traffic to your site, 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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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

Originally published as Building Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews.