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

How To Improve Your Sales With More Effective Testimonials

Are you stuck in a cycle of doing what you’ve always done to attract and retain new customers, only to get the exact same disappointing results? As most small business owners know, that trying to generate new business can be difficult. 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-driven economy, ignoring what your customers may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!

Improve Your Visitor-To-Sales Conversions Using More Effective Client 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 aren’t publishing the positive things your customers are saying about your products or services. User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are powerful ways of marketing your products and services online and should be used in your content marketing.

In this article, we’ll show you how to get better results online with awesome client testimonials.

Testimonials And Client Reviews

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-driven content is a powerful and effective way of promoting your business. Testimonials quoted directly from existing clients are far more persuasive for attracting new customers, clients or users than anything you can say about your own products or services.

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

Customer testimonials and reviews are a powerful way to build credibility for your business.

Studies conducted by many leading firms all lead to the same conclusion: adding reviews and customer testimonials to your site helps decrease doubts potential customers may have about buying particular products or services, helps with product selection and helps increase conversions of visitors into sales.

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

  • According to a study 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 web site if it has ratings and user reviews.”
  • According to Reevoo.com, user reviews are responsible for producing an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more reviews per product can translate into a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
  • Website 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).
  • 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).

(The figures above were sourced from eConsultancy.com)

Adding Client Reviews And Testimonials – Online Reputation Management

Adding reviews and testimonials to your website from delighted clients is essential for creating a solid online reputation.

Reviews and testimonials, however, can work both ways and affect your business both in a negative or positive manner.

You see, people may not be saying bad things about your business directly to your face, but they could have posted disparaging remarks on Facebook or a forum about a bad experience they’ve just had using your products and this could be costing you business.

This is where online reputation management becomes an essential part of your success strategy.

Achieve Better Results Online Using Compelling 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 to worry about it) may be hurting your business without you even realizing it.

Important

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

How To Improve Your Conversions With Powerful Customer Testimonials

Tips For Creating Awesome Testimonials

Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are powerful ways of helping you promote and market your products and services online and should be used in your content. When you quote your own client responses in your content, you:

  • Show others exactly with similar problems and pains how your products and services can help them.
  • Help visitors identify their objections and address these.
  • Help potential customers connect with their motivations and facilitate moving them further along the sales process.

Below are some tips on creating compelling client testimonials:

  • Avoid over-editing: You should try using your customer’s actual words as much as possible. Leave grammatical or spelling errors in the content. This helps keep your testimonials ‘real’.
  • Use photos: Research shows that using images of people’s faces will draw the attention of visitors browsing a web page. Adding photos of your clients next to their testimonials and reviews will help increase visitor engagement with your site’s content.
  • Tell a powerful story: Stories are so much more effective and captivating than providing mere statistical facts. Being able to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution came to the rescue will make a more lasting impression on those reading your content than using generalized statements about excellent support and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
  • Keep it in context: It’s good to add customer testimonials to your site copy where it makes the most sense to place them, and where they can most effectively help sell your point. For example, 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 your price information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped your clients solve before presenting the benefits of your products, or testimonials where clients are genuinely ecstatic about your customer service when offering a money-back guarantee or addressing objections.
  • Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think is more powerful… “XYZ solution was directly responsible for increasing our profits by $94,625 during the previous financial quarter,” or “XYZ solution has helped us grow our sales?” If possible, ask clients to specify quantifiable results when submitting testimonials, 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 in a recent 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 throughout your site: Although this can be a little difficult if you are just starting out or don’t have many clients, try to avoid using the same testimonial repeatedly throughout your site’s pages. Depending on the nature of your business, you could try to obtain more 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 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 ideal customer is, providing testimonials from people who your prospects aspire to become 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 content across different platforms. If you get great feedback on your Facebook page praising your commitment to customer satisfaction, ask them permission to reprint the comment or post on your blog.
  • Only use real client testimonials. Most people can see through sites that employ copywriters to produce their content. Outsourcing content is fine, but your potential clients need to see that the testimonials displayed on your site are real. Don’t compromise your integrity with a false testimonial.

How To Get Testimonials From Your Clients

Ask

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

Follow these tips for soliciting testimonials:

  • Make a point of contacting clients after a specific period of time, e.g. 90 days with an email request for a testimonial if you have not obtained one after completing your service.
  • Add a text box for testimonials in all client satisfaction surveys.
  • Pull out your phone next time you visit a client or hand over a finished project and if they are delighted with the results, ask them if they wouldn’t mind recording a very short video testimonial/feedback interview. While recording the video, describe to viewers what you have done for your client and make sure to capture their positive reactions and responses.
  • Make it easy for them. When 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 your client and ask them for permission to use it. Explain that you have done this to save them time and invite them to modify what you have written however they see fit before replying with their approval.

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

Offer to publish a link 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 real 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 auto responder message. This should be done as soon as your customers have had a chance to assess the results of using your 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 for feedback, a testimonial, or a review of your services.

Use LinkedIn

The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature lets you solicit testimonials that become part of your account. With LinkedIn, the process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite 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 (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 “more customer testimonials …” link to this section wherever you have displayed single testimonials on your content sections.

Useful Tip

Practical Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of 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 observing what visitors are doing on your pages are “heatmaps”.

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

WordPress Plugins

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

Once your testimonial plugin is installed and set up (make sure to provide simple instructions for adding testimonials via the submission form – if available), all you have to do is refer users to your “Testimonials” page.

Below are a few useful plugins you can check out:

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials - WordPress Plugin

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

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

To download this plugin, visit this site:

Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget

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

The Testimonials Widget plugin comes with extra features via a premium version, including built-in options SEO functionality and developer support.

To download this plugin, go here:

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

This premium plugin offers plenty of great features right out of the box, including:

  • Responsive design that resizes for correct display 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 at the top, bottom, or side of the testimonial, display testimonial in a speech bubble, customize font and background colors, font types and more.

For more information about using this plugin, visit this site:

Info

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

In Summary …

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

Additional Info

For additional resources about creating engaging testimonials refer to the articles below:

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

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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.