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 Using Captivating User Testimonials

Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract customers, only to get the exact same results? Most business owners don’t need to be told that finding new ways of generating new customers can be quite hard. Just trying to stay in business 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 online and social-driven economy, you just can’t ignore the significance of what your potential customers are doing online, especially if they are talking about your business.

Learn How To Improve Your Visitor-To-Lead Conversions With Engaging User Testimonials

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

You are also doing your business a great disservice if you aren’t publishing the positive things your customers are saying about your services and products. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are effective ways of helping you market your products and services online and should be included as part of your content.

In this article, you’ll discover ways to improve your sales using awesome client testimonials.

Testimonials And Consumer Reviews

Legendary American showman and businessman P.T. Barnum is often quoted as having 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 way of getting your business promoted effectively. Genuine reviews and testimonials from existing users are far more persuasive when it comes to attracting new customers than anything you say about your own products or services.

There is a source of untapped opportunities for generating new business that most small businesses simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … user testimonials and reviews!

Testimonials and reviews are fantastic for building credibility for your services or products.

Marketing studies conducted by many leading firms all lead to the same conclusion: adding reviews and testimonials to your sales information pages decreases doubts potential customers may have about buying your product, helps with product selection and increases conversions of visitors into sales.

Below are just some findings that 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 site if it has ratings and user reviews.”
  • According to Reevoo.com, customer reviews play a significant role in creating an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more customer reviews per product can translate into a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
  • Site visitors who interact with both consumer 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 Consumer Testimonials And Reviews – Managing Online Reputation

Clearly, you should be adding reviews from clients who have experienced positive results with your business to your site.

Testimonials and reviews, however, are like double-edged swords; they can impact your business both in a negative as well as positive way.

People may not be saying bad things about your services directly to your face, but they could have posted updates on Facebook or a forum thread about a bad experience they’ve just had with your services 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 an integral part of your business and content marketing strategy.

Learn How To Turn More Visitors Into Qualified Prospects With More Effective Client Testimonials

Misconceptions about managing your reputation online, 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 realizing this.

Important

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

How To Improve Your Sales Conversions Using Sales Boosting Testimonials

Improving Your Sales Conversions With Knockout Testimonials – Useful Tips

User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are effective ways of marketing your products and services online and should be included as part of your content marketing strategy. When you quote responses from users in your content, you:

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

Here are some practical tips on improving your conversions with testimonials:

  • Avoid over-editing: Try to use the actual words used by your customers as much as possible. Leaving grammatical errors and misspelled words in the content helps keep your testimonials sounding authentic.
  • Use photos: Marketing studies show 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 can help your visitors and potential prospects take notice of your content.
  • Tell a story: Stories are so much more effective and captivating than simply providing statistical facts. The ability to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution saved the day will make a more lasting impression on those reading your content than presenting generic statements about how “excellent” the support was and giving “two thumbs up” product recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
  • Use it in context: Add customer testimonials to your web content where it makes the most sense to place them, and where you believe these can most effectively help sell your point. For example, think about the impact you will have on your visitor’s mind if you were to insert a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution sells for before posting price information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before presenting the benefits of your services, or testimonials where customers are genuinely thrilled about your customer service when offering a risk-free guarantee or addressing objections.
  • Quantify your information: Which of the following statements is more powerful… “Since using XYZ solution, we were able to grow our revenue by $17,143 during the previous financial quarter,” or “XYZ software 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 sales or reduce their costs 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 throughout your site: Although this can be a little difficult if you are just starting out or have very few clients, it’s best to avoid using the same testimonial repeatedly throughout your web pages. 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 launch discount for existing clients in exchange for an honest review and permission to publish it if you decide to use it.
  • Appeal to your ideal 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 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 ideal customers.
  • Reprint content across different platforms. If someone posts fantastic feedback on your Facebook page praising your products or services, contact them privately asking for their permission to reprint the comment or post on your blog.
  • Only use real testimonials. Most people can tell if you are employing copy writers to write your content. Outsourcing content is fine, but your potential customers need to see that the testimonials published on your site are real. Don’t destroy your credibility with false testimonials.

How To Get Testimonials From Your Customers

Always Ask For Testimonials

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

Here are some useful guidelines for requesting testimonials from clients:

  • Make it a part of your business processes to contact clients after 30 days with an email request for a testimonial if you have not obtained one immediately after performing a service.
  • Add a field for testimonials in client satisfaction surveys.
  • Take out your phone when you next meet with a client or hand over a completed job and if they are delighted with your services, ask them if they would be happy to record a very brief video testimonial/feedback interview. During the video, describe to viewers what you have done for your client and make sure to capture the client’s positive reactions and responses.
  • Make it easy for them. When a client sends 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 juiciest sections (only use what they have given you – never put words into their mouth), and use these to create a testimonial, then contact the client and ask them for permission to publish it. Explain that you have already prepared something 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 Back To The Source

Offer to add a link 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 A Testimonial Request To Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages

If you have a list of subscribers, include requests for a testimonial in one of your newsletter mailouts. This should be done after your clients have had a chance to measure 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 honest feedback, a testimonial, or a review of your services.

Use LinkedIn

The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature helps you request testimonials from other members for your profile. 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 positive recommendation on LinkedIn, ask for permission to reprint it on your website (you can offer to publish a link back to their website or profile in exchange).

Create A Customer Testimonials Page

Create a new section for testimonials and add a “read more customer testimonials …” link to this section wherever you plan to display new testimonials on your content sections.

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. ”Heatmapping” technology is a great way to understanding visitor behavior on your site.

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

Testimonial Plugins

If you use 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 testimonials.

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

Here are some great WordPress testimonial plugins you can check out:

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials - WordPress Plugin

Easy Testimonials is a free WP 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 publish a list of all your testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include images with testimonials, which is great to add a photo of the testimonial author, their business logo, etc.

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

For more information about the plugin, visit this site:

Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget - WordPress Testimonials Plugin

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 web site. You can insert testimonials via a shortcode, theme functions, or widgets with category and tag selections and specify different display options such as random or specific ordering.

The plugin offers additional features via a premium version, including built-in functions SEO functionality and plugin support.

To download and use this plugin, go here:

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

Testimonials Plugin

This is a premium WordPress plugin that provides many 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. using a shortcode
  • Styling options (display image on top, bottom, or side of testimonials, display testimonials in a speech bubble, customized font and background colors, font types and more.

To learn more about this plugin, go here:

Useful Information

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

In Conclusion …

Client testimonials and user reviews are powerful sources of content that help your business add credibility, build authority, improve online reputation, and grow your sales funnel. Always ask for feedback, reviews, and testimonials from existing customers or clients, and publish positive content about your business on your website.

Additional Info

For additional resources on creating effective testimonials see 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 you how to drive more traffic to your website or blog, 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 detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress to grow your business online at minimal cost with no coding skills required!

Originally published as Building Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews.