Building Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews

Learn how to build and grow your online business reputation using testimonials and user reviews …

Build Your Reputation With User Testimonials And Reviews

Improve Your Visitor-To-Lead Conversions Using Sales Boosting Testimonials

Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract and retain new customers, only to get the exact same disappointing results? As most business owners know, that trying to generate new business can be confusing, time-consuming and quite hard. Just trying to survive in business 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 media-driven economy, it’s a mistake to ignore the impact of online consumer behavior, especially if they are talking about your business.

All You Need To Know To Get Better Results Online Using Standout Testimonials

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

You could be doing your business a disservice if you are not boosting the positive things your clients are saying about your services and products. User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are powerful ways of helping you promote and market your products and services online and should be included as part of your content.

In this article, you will learn how to achieve better results online using more effective customer testimonials.

Testimonials And User Reviews

Legendary businessman and showman P.T. Barnum once stated 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 promoting your business. Genuine testimonials and reviews from satisfied clients are far more persuasive for drawing new customers, clients or users than anything you can say about your own products or services.

There is an untapped source of business growth potential that most small businesses just aren’t utilizing, or utilizing correctly … reviews and testimonials from their satisfied customers!

Customer testimonials and user reviews are a great way to build credibility for your products and services.

Marketing studies conducted by leading research firms all lead to the same conclusion: adding reviews and testimonials to your sales information eliminates doubts potential customers may have about buying products, helps users select products and increases sales.

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

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

(Above figures sourced from eConsultancy.com)

Adding Customer Reviews And Testimonials – Managing Online Reputation

Adding reviews to your website from very happy clients is important for helping you grow your business online and creating a solid online reputation.

Reviews and testimonials, however, can work both ways and impact your business both negatively and positively.

People may not be saying bad things about your services directly to your face, but they could be posting negative words on Facebook, or a forum or discussion group about an unpleasant encounter they’ve just had with one of your representatives 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 vital to your online business success.

Create Better Results Online With Effective Client Testimonials

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

Useful Info

See this article to learn more about a simple WordPress plugin that allows you to legally and ethically manage customer reviews:

Improve Your Sales Conversions With More Effective Client Testimonials

Tips For Creating User Testimonials

User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are effective ways of helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be included in your content. When you include your own customer responses in your content, you:

  • Show prospects exactly what pains and problems your products and services can solve for them and how easily it can do this.
  • Help your visitors identify and address their objections.
  • Help potential customers connect with their motivations and facilitate the sales process.

Below are some tips on improving your sales with profit boosting customer testimonials:

  • Don’t over edit: You should try to use your customer’s actual words as much as possible. Leaving grammatical errors and misspellings in the content helps to keep it ‘real’.
  • Use photos: Images of people’s faces draw the most attention on a web page. Adding client photos next to their testimonials and reviews will help your visitors and potential prospects take notice of your site’s content.
  • Tell a powerful story: Stories are so much more effective and memorable than just providing facts and statistics. 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 generic statements about how “excellent” your support has been and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
  • Keep it in context: Add customer testimonials in your web content where it best makes sense to place them, and where you believe these can most effectively help to sell your point. Think about the impact you will have on your visitor’s mind by adding a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution retails 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 truly thrilled about your support when offering a money-back guarantee 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 helping us grow our net profit by $86,456 in the last fiscal year,” or “XYZ software definitely helped us grow our business?” 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 by 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, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
  • Use different customer testimonials throughout your site: Although this can be a little difficult when you are just starting out and don’t have many clients, it’s best to avoid displaying the same testimonial everywhere on your site’s pages. Depending on the type of business you run, you could try to obtain more 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 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 testimonials across different platforms. If someone publishes 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. Most people can tell if you are employing copywriters to create your content. Outsourcing content is fine, but your potential clients need to believe that the testimonials published on your site are genuine. Don’t compromise your integrity with false testimonials.

How To Get Testimonials

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.

Here are some useful tips for soliciting testimonials from clients:

  • Make it a part of your business processes to contact customers after a specific period of time, e.g. 60 days with an email request for a testimonial if you did not obtain one immediately after completing your service.
  • Include a text box for testimonials in all your client satisfaction surveys.
  • Take out your phone when you next meet with 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 very brief video testimonial/feedback interview. While recording the video, describe to viewers what you have done for the client and try to capture your client’s positive reactions and responses.
  • Make it easy for them. Whenever 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 written – don’t 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 help them save time and invite them to edit what you have written however they see fit before replying with their approval.

Offer To Publish A Link Back To The Source Wherever You Quote Their Testimonial

Offer to publish a link 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 an implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are not fake and can be verified.

Add A Testimonial Request To Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages

If you have a list of subscribers, include a request for a testimonial in one of your newsletter mailouts. This should be done as soon as your clients have had a chance to use your solution. Use words like “I need your help” 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 is a great way to solicit 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 who provides the recommendation receives a link to their profile. If you get a positive recommendation on LinkedIn, ask their permission to reprint it on your site (once again, you can offer to add a link back to their profile in exchange).

Create A Client Testimonials Section

Create a new section on your website or blog for testimonials and place a “read more testimonials …” link pointing to your main testimonials section throughout your content sections.

Tip

Useful Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of user testimonials 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 measuring what visitors are doing on your site.

We have written an article about adding heatmap analytics to your site to observe visitor behaviour here:

Testimonial Plugins For WordPress

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

Below are some great testimonial plugins you can check out:

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials - WordPress Testimonials Plugin

Easy Testimonials is an easy-to-use free plugin that lets you add user testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed them into a Page or Post using a shortcode. The Easy Testimonials plugin also lets you publish a list of all testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include an image with each testimonial, which you can use for adding a photo of the testimonial author, a logo, etc.

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

Go here for more information about this plugin:

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 videos or images on your pages and posts. 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.

Testimonials Widget comes with extra features via a premium version, including built-in functions SEO functionality and technical support.

For more information about this plugin, go here:

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

Testimonials Plugin

This premium WordPress plugin provides 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. by adding a shortcode
  • Styling options (display image at the top, bottom, or side of the testimonial, display testimonial in a speech bubble, customized font and background colors, font types and more.

Go here to download this plugin:

Useful Information

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

In Conclusion …

User reviews and testimonials 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 testimonials, reviews, and feedback from your clients, and publish positive content about your business on your website.

Additional Info

For additional resources about creating effective testimonials refer to these articles:

We also recommend subscribing to our Free Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive a comprehensive series of training emails with easy-to-digest information that will teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your site, save money creating useful content for 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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"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