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 Convert More Visitors Into Qualified Prospects Using Profit-Boosting Testimonials

Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract and retain new customers, and getting the exact same disappointing results? As most business owners know, that trying to generate new business can be extremely difficult. 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, it’s a mistake to ignore the effect of what potential customers are doing online, especially if they are posting negative comments about your business.

All You Need To Know To Start Getting Better Results Online Using Knockout Customer Testimonials

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

You could be doing your business a disservice if you are not promoting the positive things your clients say about your services, solutions, client training, support, etc. User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are persuasive when it comes to marketing your products and services online and should be added to your content.

In this article, you will learn how to create better results online with engaging client testimonials.

Testimonials And Customer Reviews

The great, legendary businessman and showman Phineas Taylor P.T. Barnum once stated that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”

P.T. Barnum obviously understood the power of “social proof”. Social proof-based content is a powerful and effective way of promoting your business. Quoting testimonials directly from existing clients is satisfied users 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 simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … user reviews!

Customer testimonials and user reviews are effective for building credibility for your business.

Research conducted by many leading marketing research firms all seem to point to the same conclusion: adding testimonials and reviews to your site helps to eliminate doubts potential customers may have about buying products and services, helps with product selection and increases sales.

Below 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 produce an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more user reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
  • Website 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).

(The figures above were sourced from eConsultancy.com)

Adding Consumer Reviews And Testimonials – Online Reputation Management

Clearly, you should be adding positive testimonials and reviews from existing clients to your site.

Testimonials and reviews, however, are like double-edged swords; they can affect your business both positive and negative ways.

You see, people may not be saying bad things about your products directly to your face, but they could be posting negative comments on a discussion thread about a bad 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 important to your success.

Learn How To Achieve Better Results Online With Sales Boosting User Testimonials

Misconceptions about engaging in online reputation management practices, such as the process 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 this.

Important Info

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

All You Need To Know To Achieve Better Results Online Using Sales Boosting Testimonials

Tips For Creating Compelling Testimonials

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

  • Show other users exactly what problems and pains your products and services can help to solve for them and how easily it can do this.
  • Help your visitors identify their objections and address these.
  • Help prospects connect with their motivations and aspirations and this facilitates moving them further along the sales process.

Here are some useful tips on improving your sales conversions with testimonials:

  • Don’t over edit: You should try using the actual words used by your customers as much as possible. Leaving grammatical errors and misspelled words in the content helps keep your testimonials sounding authentic.
  • Use photos of real people: Marketing tests show that using images of people’s faces will draw the attention of visitors browsing 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.
  • Use the power of storytelling: Stories are much more powerful and captivating than providing mere statistical facts. Being able to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution came to the rescue will make a longer-lasting impression on those reading your content than using generalized statements about how “excellent” your support was and giving “two thumbs up” product recommendations that all of us have heard a “million times” before.
  • Keep it in context: Add testimonials in your site copy where it best makes sense to place them, and where you believe these can most effectively help sell your point. 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 pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped your clients solve before talking about the benefits of your products, or testimonials where clients are truly ecstatic about your customer service before offering guarantees or addressing objections.
  • Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think is more powerful… “As a direct result of installing XYZ product, we were able to increase our net profit by an additional $71,076 in the previous financial quarter,” or “XYZ software 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 profits or reduce their costs 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 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 repeatedly throughout your site: Although this can be somewhat difficult if you are just starting out and don’t have many clients, try 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 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 appeal directly to your ideal customers.
  • Reprint testimonials across different platforms. If you get a great comment on your Facebook wall praising your business, send them a message asking for permission to reprint the content on your site.
  • Only use genuine testimonials. Most people can tell if you are employing professional writers to produce your content. Outsourcing content is fine, but your potential customers need to believe that the testimonials displayed on your site are genuine. Don’t compromise your integrity or reputation with false testimonials.

How To Get Testimonials

Just Ask

Getting a testimonial from a satisfied client can be as simple as just asking for it.

Follow these useful guidelines for requesting testimonials:

  • Contact customers after a specific period of time, e.g. 14 days with an email reminder for a testimonial if you did not obtain one immediately after completing your service.
  • Add a field for entering testimonials in your client satisfaction surveys.
  • Pull out your phone next time you 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 brief video testimonial/feedback interview. During the video, explain to your viewers what you have done for your client and record their positive reactions and feedback.
  • Make it easy for them. When clients send you positive written feedback that contains snippets of useful testimonial material interspersed with the rest of their message, grab the juiciest sections (only use what they have given you – don’t put words into their mouth), and use these to create a testimonial, then contact the client and ask them for permission to use it. 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 like before replying with their approval.

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

Offer to post a link 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 not fake and can be verified.

Add A Testimonial Request To Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages

If you have a list of subscribers, include requests for a testimonial in a periodic auto responder broadcast. This should be done as soon as your customers have had a chance to use your products. Use words like “I need your help” in your email subject and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking customers for feedback, a testimonial, or a review.

Use LinkedIn

The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature lets you request testimonials from other members for your account. The process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite user-friendly and the person providing the recommendation receives a link to their profile. If you get a positive recommendation on LinkedIn, ask their permission to reprint it on your website (once again, you can offer to publish a link back to their profile in exchange).

Create A Customer Testimonials Page On Your Site

Create a “Testimonials” page and place a “more client testimonials …” link to this section whenever you plan to display new testimonials on your site.

Useful Tip

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

We have written an article about adding heatmaps to your website to understand 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 forms to your pages inviting users to submit reviews and testimonials.

Once your testimonial plugin is installed and set up (with instructions for adding testimonials via the submission form – if available), you can then refer users to your “Testimonials” page.

Check out the WordPress testimonial plugins below:

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials - WordPress Testimonials Plugin

Easy Testimonials is an easy-to-use free plugin that lets you add testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into a Page or Post using a shortcode. Easy Testimonials 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 to add a photo of the testimonial author, a business logo, etc.

Easy Testimonials also provides users with a “pro” version that has additional features and technical support.

Go here to download this plugin:

Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget - WordPress Plugin

Testimonials Widget is a free plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, reviews, quotes, or text with videos or images on your WordPress site. You can insert user testimonials using a shortcode, theme functions, or widgets with category and tag selections and specify different display options such as random or specific ordering.

Testimonials Widget provides added features via a premium version, including built-in options for improved search engine results and plugin support.

Go here to download and use this plugin:

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

Testimonials Plugin

This premium plugin offers plenty 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. using a shortcode
  • Styling options (display image on top, bottom, or side of testimonials, display testimonials in a speech bubble, customize font and background colors, font types and more.

To download the plugin, go here:

Useful Information

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

In Conclusion …

Client testimonials and user reviews are great sources of content that 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 website or blog.

Additional Info

For additional sources of information and resources about creating effective users 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 actionable information that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your web site, save money creating high-quality content that will add value to your 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 100% FREE!

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