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 Visitor-To-Lead Conversions Using Captivating Client Testimonials

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

How To Get Better Results Online With Sales Boosting Client Testimonials

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

You could be doing your business a disservice if you are not promoting the positive things your customers are saying about your products, solutions, customer training, support, etc. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are powerful when it comes to helping you promote and market your products and services online and should be used throughout your content.

In this article, you’ll discover tips for converting more visitors into qualified prospects using captivating user testimonials.

Testimonials And Consumer Reviews

P.T. Barnum, the great, legendary showman and businessman, once said 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 way of getting your business promoted effectively. Reviews and testimonials from your satisfied clients are far more persuasive when it comes to attracting new customers, clients or users than anything you say about your own products or services.

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

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

Marketing studies conducted by leading research firms all seem to point to the same conclusion: adding testimonials and consumer reviews to your sales information pages eliminates doubts potential customers may have about particular products, helps with product selection and increases conversions of visitors into sales.

Below are just some findings that support this:

  • According to research findings 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 consumer reviews.”
  • According to Reevoo.com, reviews play a significant role in creating an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more customer reviews per product can mean 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).
  • 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 Client Testimonials And Reviews – Managing Online Reputation

You should be adding positive testimonials and reviews from very happy customers to your website.

Testimonials and user reviews, however, are like double-edged swords; they can affect your business both negatively and positively.

People may not be saying bad things about your business, products or services directly to your face, but they could have posted negative comments on a forum about a bad encounter they’ve just had with one of your representatives and this could be costing you business.

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

How To Get Better Results Online Using Captivating 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 to worry about it) may be seriously hurting your business without you even realizing it.

Useful Information

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

Discover How To Convert More Visitors Into Prospects With Sales Boosting Testimonials

Tips On How To Create Testimonials

Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are effective ways of helping you market your products and services online and should be an integral part of your content marketing. When you quote your own client responses in your content, you:

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

Below are some practical tips on how to create powerful client testimonials:

  • Avoid over-editing: Try using your customer’s actual words as much as you can. Leave grammatical or spelling errors in the content. This helps keep your testimonials ‘real’.
  • Use real photos: Research shows that using images of people’s faces will draw the attention of visitors on a web page. Adding photos of your clients next to their testimonials and reviews will help your visitors and potential prospects take notice of your content.
  • Tell a powerful story: Stories are far more effective and captivating than providing mere facts and statistics. The ability to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution came to the rescue will make a far longer-lasting impression on those reading your content than presenting generalized statements about how “excellent” the support was and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that all of us have heard a “million times” before.
  • Use it in context: Add testimonials to your site copy where it best makes 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 mind if you were to insert a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution can be purchased for before posting your 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 before offering guarantees or addressing objections.
  • Quantify your information: Which of the following statements do you think is more powerful… “As a direct result of using your XYZ services, we increased our sales by $98,997 during the previous financial quarter,” or “XYZ solution helped us grow our business?” If possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable results, like how much your solution helped to increase their profits or reduce their costs by in specific percentages or amounts, how many hours of work 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.
  • Use different client testimonials on your site: Although this can be a little difficult if you are just starting out or don’t have many clients, try to avoid displaying the same testimonial throughout your web pages. 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 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 aspire to become is a very 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 wall praising your products or services, contact them privately asking for permission to reprint the content on your site.
  • Only use genuine testimonials. Prospective clients need to believe that the testimonials displayed on your site are genuine. Don’t compromise your credibility with a false testimonial.

How To Get Testimonials

Just Ask

If you have just completed performing a service, or a customer says they are really happy with your product or service, ask them for a testimonial.

Follow these tips for requesting testimonials from your customers:

  • Make a point of contacting customers after a specific period of time, e.g. 14 days with an email request for a testimonial if you have not obtained one immediately after completing your service.
  • Include a text box for entering testimonials in all your client satisfaction surveys.
  • Pull out your phone when you next meet with a client or hand over a completed project and if they are delighted with the results, ask them if they would be happy to record a very brief video testimonial/feedback interview. While recording your video, describe to your viewers what you have done for the client and record their positive reactions and responses.
  • 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 written – never put words into their mouth), and use these to create a testimonial, then contact your client and ask them for permission to quote them on your site. Explain that you have already prepared something 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 Post A Link Back To Their Site Wherever You Quote Their Testimonial

Offer to post a link back to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is often enough of an incentive to get clients to provide you with a testimonial. It also makes the implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are not fake and can be verified.

Include Testimonial Requests In Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages

If you have a list of subscribers, include requests for a testimonial in one of your autoresponder messages. Preferably, this should be timed to reach subscribers just after your clients have had a chance to use 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 them for honest feedback, a testimonial, or a product review.

Use LinkedIn

The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature helps you solicit testimonials 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 their permission to reprint it on your site (you can offer to publish a link back to their profile in exchange).

Create A Testimonials Section On Your Site

Create a new section on your website or blog for client testimonials and add a “read more customer testimonials …” link to this section throughout your site.

Practical Tip

Tip: You can measure how effective testimonials are by how long visitors remain on the section of your pages or posts where you have added your testimonial content. ”Heatmapping” technology is a great way to observing what visitors are doing on your site.

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

Testimonial Plugins For WordPress

If your site or blog is built using WordPress, you can use a plugin to display testimonials. Some plugins also allow you to add forms to your pages where users can submit testimonials.

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

Here are some great plugins you can check out:

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials is a free WordPress plugin that lets you add client testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed them into posts and pages using a shortcode. The Easy Testimonials 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, a logo, etc.

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

Go here to download the plugin:

Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget - WordPress Testimonials Plugin

Testimonials Widget is a free WP plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, quotes, reviews, 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 plugin makes plenty more features available via a premium version, including built-in functions SEO functionality and developer support.

To download this plugin, go here:

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

Testimonials Plugin

This is a premium WordPress plugin that offers a range of great features right out of the box, including:

  • Responsive design that resizes for displaying correctly on any device or browser.
  • Display options for your testimonials in a widget or as slideshows, sliders, grid layout, list layout, etc. by adding a shortcode
  • Styling options (display image at the top, bottom, or side of testimonials, display testimonial in a speech bubble, customize font and background colors, font types and more.

To download this plugin, go here:

Info

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

In Conclusion …

Client testimonials and customer reviews are great sources of content that can 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 site.

Resources

For additional resources on creating engaging testimonials see these articles:

We also recommend subscribing to our Free Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with easy-to-digest information that will teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating useful content for 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 completely FREE!

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"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group

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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.