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

Achieve Better Results Online Using Sales Boosting Client Testimonials

Are you stuck in a cycle of doing what you’ve always done to attract and retain customers, only to get the exact same results? Most small business owners don’t need to be told that generating new business can be hard. Just trying to keep your business afloat requires 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, ignoring what clients may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!

How To Create Better Results Online Using Compelling Client Testimonials

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

You are also doing your business a great disservice if you are not boosting the positive things your customers are saying about your products and services. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are persuasive ways of helping you promote and market your products and services online and should be included as part of your content marketing.

In this article, we’ll show you how to create better results online using highly effective client testimonials.

Client Reviews

P.T. Barnum, the great, legendary businessman and showman, 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 getting your business promoted. Reviews from existing customers are far more persuasive for drawing new customers than anything you can say about your own products or services.

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

Consumer reviews and testimonials are effective for building credibility for your products or services.

Marketing studies conducted by many leading firms all lead to the same conclusion: adding consumer reviews and testimonials to your sales information helps reduce doubts potential customers may have about products, helps with product selection and helps increase sales.

Here 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, consumer reviews play a significant role in creating an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more consumer reviews per product can translate into a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
  • Web site visitors who interact with both user 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).

(Source: eConsultancy.com)

Adding Client Reviews – Managing Online Reputation

Clearly, you should be adding positive reviews and testimonials from happy customers to your website.

Testimonials and reviews, however, can work both ways and affect your business both negatively or positively.

You see, people may not be saying bad things about your business directly to your face, but they could post disparaging remarks on Facebook, or a discussion group or forum about an unpleasant 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.

Improve Your Sales Conversions With Knockout Client Testimonials

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

Important

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

How To Turn More Visitors Into Prospects Using Standout Testimonials

Tips On How To Create Engaging Testimonials

Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are persuasive ways of helping you promote and market your products and services online and should be included as part of your content marketing. When you include responses from users in your content, you:

  • Show potential customers exactly with similar problems and pains how your products and services can help them.
  • Help visitors identify and address their objections.
  • Help prospects connect with their motivations and aspirations and facilitate moving them closer to a decision to purchase.

Below are some practical tips on how to create engaging user testimonials:

  • Avoid over-editing: Try to use your customer’s actual words as much as possible. Leave little grammatical or spelling errors in the content. This helps keep your testimonials ‘real’.
  • Use photos: Marketing tests show 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 can help increase visitor engagement with your site’s content.
  • Use the power of storytelling: Stories are far more powerful and captivating than providing mere statistical facts. 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 customer support and giving “two thumbs up” product recommendations that all of us have heard a “million times” before.
  • Use it in context: Add customer testimonials to your site copy 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 can create on your visitor’s perception by adding a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution sells for before posting your service pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped your clients solve before discussing the benefits of your products, or testimonials where clients are truly thrilled about your customer service before offering guarantees 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 increasing our revenue by $50,411 in the last fiscal year,” or “XYZ solution definitely helped us grow our business?” Whenever possible, ask clients to specify quantifiable results when submitting testimonials, like how much your solution helped to increase their sales or reduce their costs by in specific percentages or amounts, how many hours 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 testimonial repeatedly throughout your site: Although this can be somewhat difficult when you are just starting out or don’t have many clients, try to avoid displaying the same testimonial repeatedly throughout your site’s pages. Depending on the type of business you run, you could try to obtain more client testimonials by offering limited review copies of your product, or a special discount for 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 best customer 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 appeal directly to your best audience demographic.
  • Reprint across different platforms. If you get a great comment on your Facebook page praising your solution, contact them privately asking for their permission to reprint the content on your site.
  • Never use fake testimonials. Most people can see through sites that employ copywriters to create content. Outsourcing content is fine, but your prospects need to see that the testimonials published on your site are genuine. Don’t compromise your integrity with a ”made up” testimonial.

How To Get Testimonials From Your Customers

Ask For Testimonials

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 requesting testimonials:

  • Contact your clients after 90 days with an email request for a testimonial if you have not obtained one after performing a service.
  • Include a field for testimonials in all client surveys.
  • Pull out your phone next time you visit clients or hand over a finished project and if they are delighted with the results, ask them if they would be happy to record a quick video testimonial/feedback interview. When recording your video, describe to your viewers what you have done for your client and try to capture their positive reactions and feedback.
  • Make it easy and write it 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 written – never put words into their mouth), and use these to create a testimonial, then contact your client and ask them for permission to publish 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 The Source

Offer to publish a link to their website 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.

Add Testimonial Requests To Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages

If you have a list of subscribers, include a request for a testimonial in a regularly-spaced email message. Preferably, this should be done after your customers have had a chance to use your products. Use words like “I need a quick favor” in your email subject and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking users to provide feedback, a testimonial, or a product review.

Use LinkedIn

The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature is a great way to obtain testimonials from other members that become part of your account. With LinkedIn, the process for requesting and providing recommendations is user-friendly and the person providing the recommendation receives a link to their profile. If you get a recommendation on LinkedIn, ask for permission to reprint it on your website (you can offer to add a link back to their website or profile in exchange).

Create A Testimonials Page On Your Site

Create a new section for testimonials and add a “more testimonials …” link to this page wherever you are displaying single testimonials on your site.

Practical Tip

Useful Tip: You can measure how effective customer testimonials are by how long visitors stay on the section of your pages or posts where you have added your testimonial content. A great tool for measuring visitor behaviour on your pages are “heatmaps”.

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

Using Testimonial Plugins

If your site or blog is powered by WordPress, you can use a plugin to add and display testimonials. Some plugins also let you add forms 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), you then send users to your “Testimonials” page.

Check out the testimonial plugins below:

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials - WordPress Plugin

Easy Testimonials is a free plugin that lets you add customer testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed them into posts and pages 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, a logo, etc.

The plugin also can be upgraded to a “pro” version that has additional features and technical support.

Go here to download the plugin:

Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget - WordPress Testimonials Plugin

Testimonials Widget is a free plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, quotes, reviews, or text with images or videos on your posts and pages. 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 makes plenty more features available via a premium version, including built-in options for improved search engine results and technical support.

Visit this site to learn more about the plugin:

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

Testimonials Plugin

This premium WP plugin offers many 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. via a shortcode
  • Styling options (display image on top, bottom, or side of the testimonial, display testimonial in a speech bubble, customized font and background colors, font types and more.

For more information about this plugin, go here:

Important

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

In Summary …

Testimonials and customer reviews are powerful sources of content that help your business in terms of adding credibility, building authority, improving online reputation, and growing 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 on creating effective clients 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 easy-to-digest information and practical tips that will teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your site, save money creating useful content for your visitors and grow your business online using content. 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.