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 Testimonials And User Reviews

How To Improve Your Sales Conversions Using Meaningful Testimonials

Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract customers, only to get the exact same disappointing results? As most business owners know, that finding new ways of generating new customers can be quite hard. Just trying to remain in business 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, mobile and social media-driven economy, it’s foolish to ignore the effect of what potential customers are doing online, especially if they are posting negative comments about your business.

Discover How To Turn More Visitors Into Qualified Leads Using Sales Boosting Testimonials

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

You may also be doing your business a disservice if you are not promoting the positive things your clients are saying about your services and products. User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are persuasive ways of helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be added to your content marketing strategy.

In this article, you will learn how to turn more visitors into qualified leads with effective customer testimonials.

Testimonials And Customer Reviews

P.T. Barnum, legendary American businessman and showman, once 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. Quoting genuine reviews and testimonials directly from satisfied clients is existing users are far more persuasive when it comes to drawing new customers than anything you 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 from their clients!

Customer testimonials and reviews are terrific for building credibility for your business.

Studies conducted by leading marketing firms all lead to the same conclusion: user reviews and testimonials help to eliminate doubts potential customers may have about purchasing your products or services, help with product selection and increases the number of sales.

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

  • According to research findings by eVoc Insights, a company 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 Reevoo.com, reviews result in an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more user reviews per product can translate into a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
  • Web site visitors who interact with both customer 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 User Testimonials And Reviews – Managing Online Reputation

You should be adding reviews from extremely satisfied customers to your website.

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

People may not be saying bad things about your business directly to your face, but they could have posted disparaging remarks on a forum about a bad encounter they’ve just had with one of your employees 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 a vital aspect of your business success.

Improve Your Sales With Effective Client Testimonials

Misconceptions about engaging in online reputation management practices, such as being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you really don’t need it) may be hurting your business without you even realizing this.

Important

See this article to learn more about a simple plugin for WordPress users that lets you legally and ethically manage user feedback:

How To Create Better Results Online With Highly Effective Client Testimonials

Tips On How To Create Testimonials

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

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

Below are some useful tips on creating testimonials:

  • Avoid over-editing: Try to use the actual words used by your customers as much as possible. Leaving little grammatical errors and misspelled words in the content helps preserve your testimonials’ authenticity.
  • Use photos: Images of people’s faces draw the most attention to your content. Adding client photos next to their testimonials and reviews will help increase visitor engagement with your content.
  • Use the power of storytelling: Stories are so much more effective and captivating than just providing facts and statistics. Being able to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution saved the day will make a far longer-lasting impression on those reading your content than presenting generic statements about excellent customer support and giving “two thumbs up” product recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
  • Keep it in context: Add customer 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. For example, 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 your product pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before presenting the benefits of your services, or testimonials where clients are genuinely thrilled about your support when offering a risk-free guarantee or providing content that helps your readers overcome their objections.
  • Quantify your information: Which of the following statements do you think your prospects would consider to be more powerful: “XYZ solution was directly responsible for increasing our profits by $32,954 in the previous financial quarter,” or “XYZ product definitely 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 market share 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 during a specific business quarter, 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 somewhat difficult if you are just starting out or have very few clients, it’s best to avoid using the same testimonial throughout your website. 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 choose 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 ideal customer is, providing testimonials from people who your prospects aspire to become can be a 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 someone publishes a great comment on your Facebook page praising your customer service, send them a message asking for permission to reprint the content on your blog.
  • Only use real client testimonials. Most people can tell if you are employing copywriters to write your content. Outsourcing content is fine, but your potential clients need to believe that the testimonials displayed on your site are real. Don’t compromise your integrity or reputation with a ”made up” testimonial.

How To Get Testimonials From Customers

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 useful guidelines for requesting testimonials:

  • Make a point of contacting customers after 90 days with an email request for a testimonial if you have not obtained one after completing a service.
  • Include a field for testimonials in your client satisfaction surveys.
  • Pull out your phone when you next visit clients or hand over a completed project and if they are delighted with your services, ask them if they would be happy to record a very short video testimonial/feedback interview. If they agree, while recording the video, explain to viewers what you have done for your client and capture the client’s positive reactions and feedback.
  • Make it easy for them. If 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 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 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 Post A Link Back To Their Site

Offer to publish 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 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 autoresponder broadcasts. This should be timed to reach subscribers just after your customers have had a chance to assess the results of using your product, service or solution. Use words like “I need a quick favor” in the subject of your email and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking users to provide honest feedback, a testimonial, or a review.

Use LinkedIn

The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature allows you to request testimonials that become part of your account. The process for requesting and providing recommendations is user-friendly and the person who provides the recommendation gets a link to their profile. If you get a positive recommendation on LinkedIn, ask for permission to reprint it on your site (once again, you can offer to publish a link back to their website in exchange).

Create A Testimonials Page

Create a “Testimonials” page and place a “read more customer testimonials …” link pointing to your main testimonials section wherever you plan to display new testimonials on your content sections.

Practical 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 the testimonial content. ”Heatmapping” technology is a great way to observing what visitors are doing on your pages.

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

WordPress Testimonial Plugins

If you use WordPress, you can use a plugin to display testimonials. Some plugins also let you add forms to your pages inviting users to submit 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 clients to your “Testimonials” page.

Below are some WordPress 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 customer testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into your pages and posts using a shortcode. The Easy Testimonials plugin also lets you insert a list of all your testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include an image with each testimonial, which is great for adding a photo of the testimonial author, their logo, etc.

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

Visit this site to download the plugin:

Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget - WordPress Plugin

Testimonials Widget is a free plugin that lets you add random or selected portfolios, reviews, quotes, or text with images or videos on your pages and posts. 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.

The plugin comes with extra features via a premium version, including built-in options for improved search engine results and plugin support.

To download and use this plugin, visit this site:

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

Testimonials Plugin

This premium WP plugin provides a range of great features right out of the box, including:

  • Responsive design that resizes for displaying correctly on any device or browser.
  • Display your testimonials in a widget or as sliders, slideshows, list layout, grid layout, etc. by adding 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 using the plugin, visit this site:

Info

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

In Summary …

User reviews and testimonials are powerful 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 your clients or customers, and publish positive content about your business on your site.

Additional Info

The articles below are a great source of information on creating engaging testimonials and were helpful in providing research and information for sections of this article:

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 show exactly how to drive more traffic to your web site, save money creating high-quality 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 100% FREE!

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now