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

How To Create Better Results Online With Engaging Client Testimonials

Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract new customers, only to get the exact same results? As most small business owners know, that finding effective ways to generate new business can be quite hard. 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 media-driven economy, you cannot afford to ignore the effect of what potential customers are doing online, especially if they are posting negative comments about your business.

How To Turn More Visitors Into Prospects Using Effective Testimonials

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

By the same token, you are also doing your business a disservice if you are not promoting the positive things your clients are saying about your services or products. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are effective when it comes to helping you market your products and services online and should be added to your content.

In this article, you will learn tips for turning more visitors into qualified prospects using more effective client testimonials.

Testimonials And Consumer Reviews

P.T. Barnum, the great American businessman and showman, 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. Quoting testimonials from satisfied customers is satisfied users are far more persuasive when it comes to drawing new clients, customers or users than anything you have to say about your own products or services.

There is clearly a source of untapped opportunities for generating new business that most small businesses just aren’t utilizing, or utilizing correctly … reviews from your customers!

Customer reviews and testimonials are a terrific way to build credibility for your products or services.

Marketing studies conducted by leading companies all seem to lead to the same inevitable conclusion: adding reviews and testimonials to your point of sale pages eliminates doubts potential customers may have about products or services that you are trying to sell, helps users select products and helps increase sales.

Below are just some statistics 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 web site if it has ratings and reviews.”
  • According to, reviews result in an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more user reviews per product can mean 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 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).


Adding Customer Reviews – Online Reputation Management

You should be adding great testimonials and reviews from delighted customers to your website.

Customer testimonials and customer reviews, however, are like double-edged swords; they can impact your business both in a negative or positive way.

You see, people may not be saying bad things about your business directly to you, but they could have posted negative comments on Facebook about a bad encounter they’ve just had with you or your business and this could be costing you business.

This is where online reputation management becomes a vitally important aspect of your business success.

How To Get Better Results Online Using Effective Testimonials

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


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

Improve Your Visitor-To-Lead Conversions With Awesome Testimonials

Improving Your Sales Conversions With Testimonials – Useful Tips

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 marketing. When you quote your own user responses in your content, you:

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

Here are some tips on improving your sales with testimonials:

  • Don’t over edit: You should try using your customer’s actual words as much as possible. Leaving little grammatical errors and misspelled words in the content helps to keep it ‘real’.
  • Use photos: Marketing tests show that using images of people’s faces will draw the most attention of visitors on 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 story: Stories are much more powerful and captivating than just providing statistical facts. The ability to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution came to the rescue will make a far more lasting impression on those reading your content than presenting generic statements about excellent service 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 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 can be purchased for before posting your pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before talking about the benefits of your services, or testimonials where customers are genuinely thrilled about your customer service when offering guarantees or providing content that helps your readers overcome their objections.
  • Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think is more powerful: “Since using your services, we have seen our sales increase by $14,602 in the previous fiscal year,” or “XYZ software has helped us grow our business?” If possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable results, like how much your solution helped to increase their market share or reduce their costs 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 during a specific business quarter, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
  • Use different testimonials on your site: Although this can be a little difficult when you are just starting out or don’t have many clients, it’s best to avoid displaying the same testimonial everywhere on your site. 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 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 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 can be a really powerful motivator and influencer. People want to see and buy from “better versions” of themselves, so make sure to include testimonials targeted to your ideal customers.
  • Reprint across different platforms. If you get a great comment on your Facebook wall praising your customer service, ask them for permission to reprint the content on your site.
  • Only use real testimonials. Your potential clients need to believe that the testimonials you provide on your site are genuine. Don’t compromise your integrity with a false testimonial.

How To Get Testimonials From Clients

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.

Here are some tips for soliciting testimonials:

  • Make it a part of your business processes to contact clients after 14 days with an email reminder for a testimonial if you have not obtained one after completing a service.
  • Include a field for testimonials in client satisfaction surveys.
  • Pull out your phone when you next meet with a client or hand over a completed job and if they are delighted with the results, ask them if they wouldn’t mind recording a very quick video testimonial/feedback interview. If they agree, while recording the video, describe to viewers what you have done for the client and capture the client’s positive reactions and feedback.
  • 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 – never put words into their mouth), and shape these into a testimonial, then contact the client and ask them for permission to use it. Explain that you have done this to help them save time and let them know they are completely free to change what you have written however they like before replying with their approval.

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

Offer to post a link back to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is a great incentive to get clients to provide you with a testimonial. It also makes the 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 a request for a testimonial in one of your autoresponder mailouts. This should be timed to reach subscribers just after your customers have had a chance to assess the effect of using your products or services. 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 is a great way to request testimonials from other members for your account. The process for requesting and providing recommendations is simple and 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 (once again, you can offer to add a link back to their website in exchange).

Create A Client Testimonials Page

Create a new page for customer testimonials and place a “more customer testimonials …” link to your main testimonials section whenever you are adding single testimonials on your content sections.

Practical Tip

Practical 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 the testimonial content. A great tool for measuring visitor behavior on your site are “heatmaps”.

We have written an article about adding heatmap analytics to your sites to predict visitor behaviour here:

Useful Testimonial Plugins For WordPress

If your website or blog is powered by WordPress, you can use a plugin to display testimonials. Some plugins also let you add a form to your pages where users can submit testimonials.

Once your plugin is installed and set up (remember 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 a few useful plugins you can check out:

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials is a free WP plugin that lets you add user testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed them into a Page or Post using a shortcode. The plugin also lets you publish 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 business logo, etc.

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

Go here to download and use this plugin:

Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget - WordPress 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 blog. You can insert user 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 has loads of additional features available via a premium version, including built-in functions for better search engine results and plugin support.

To download this plugin, go here:

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

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

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

To download the plugin, go here:


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

In Summary …

Testimonials and customer reviews are great sources of content that can 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 existing customers or clients, and publish positive content about your business on your web site.


The articles below provide useful information about creating engaging customer testimonials and were used when researching information for sections of this article:

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