The most effective ads for your business aren’t what you might think. It’s not a big expensive billboard, a flashy website, or a new and catchy jingle. It’s your satisfied customers. They give your business credibility, increase your trustworthiness to prospects, and can be powerful advocates. And the best way for your business to harness this power for all your potential customers to see? That’s by including customer testimonials on your website.
What are Website Testimonials?
Every business website should make good use of customer testimonials. These are real accounts from your happy customers about how your company has helped them solve a pain point or increase their happiness.
Testimonials serve several purposes. In a world saturated with ads making big promises, consumers have become increasingly skeptical of marketing. They won’t just accept your word that your products or services are great – of course you would say that about your own business.
Real Reviews from Real People
What convinces prospective customers to make a purchase from you instead of another company is hearing that real people like them have purchased and loved your product. Those satisfied customers don’t have a financial stake in praising your brand. They do it because your company has made a difference in their lives.
Website testimonials are a bit different than product reviews. Reviews focus on a specific product they have purchased and offer more detail about how that product matches up to expectations. Testimonials, on the other hand, are about your company as a whole. They tell potential customers how your company is trustworthy, customer service-oriented, has strong values, or has other positive attributes. They’re about strengthening your brand, not just selling one product.
How to Make Website Testimonials Work for You
Incorporating testimonials into your website design involves a few steps. You want to balance offering plenty of social proof from detailed testimonials with thoughtful user experience. If you don’t offer enough testimonials, you won’t get the results you want. But if most of your home page is covered in wordy accolades, prospects will struggle to find the actions you need them to take.
Every business is different. There’s not one testimonial formula that works for all. But there are a few key principles that you should follow no matter your industry or company size.
The most effective testimonials are specific – they offer numbers, details, and other concrete content. Avoid using vague content that sounds too good to be true – “this changed my life! “Best company ever!” That sounds too much like an ad. Potential customers will be more likely to trust data like figures. Did your service save a customer 50% by avoiding a common issue? Did your customer service fix a big problem in just 24 hours? Specific details make you appear more trustworthy.
You also want to be sure to be as specific as possible about those happy customers providing testimonials. Include names and any other details where appropriate. For B2B companies, providing the job titles and company names of your testimonial providers adds more credibility.
The Rule of Three
You should have a testimonial page on your website, if it works for your business and you have enough testimonials to make it compelling. If you’re just starting out in business though, you can wait to launch that page until you have a few more satisfied customers.
But all businesses should follow the Rule of Three on their homepage: exactly three testimonials from happy customers. Three is enough to draw in casual visitors who have found your home page – they need a little authority to convince them you’re a real and trusted business. It offers just enough proof without drowning your home page in content.
It’s just a fact: testimonials are more convincing when it’s clear they’re coming from a real person. On the internet, that can often be hard to tell. But there’s a way you can make those customers reviews more real for your audience – include a high-quality picture of each happy customer next to their testimonial. This helps make it clear these are real, satisfied people who love your brand and not just a brainstorm from the marketing department.
How to Get Testimonials for Your Business
Knowing how to set your website up for maximum testimonial effectiveness is great – but you also need to know how to get good testimonials to include.
For New Businesses
If you’re just starting your business, getting testimonials is even more critical. It’s also more difficult – how can you get praise from satisfied customers when you’re just starting to get customers? But there are a few ways to jump-start the process. If you have a product or service, you could offer a free sample or quick trial to a few trusted people in your network in exchange for feedback. Or be proactive in asking your first customers for feedback and use that as your first testimonials.
For Established Businesses
Companies that have been around longer certainly have an advantage in gathering testimonials. Think about your customers – do any stand out as particularly loyal, satisfied, or active? If you send out feedback surveys using a system like the Net Promoter Score scale, you can find customers who loved your product there.
If they have already provided useful feedback, great! Just make sure you check with them before using their name and picture on your site. But if you’d like more specific content for your testimonial page, reach out to them with specific and targeted questions. Don’t just ask if they like your products or recommend your company. Ask instead if your service has made a difference in their life, or what your product or company has allowed them to do – solve a problem, evoke an emotion, provide pleasure? The more specific your questions, the more useful their answers will be.
Creative Testimonial Tips
Having testimonials on your home page and as a page on your website is a great start. But maybe you have a big pool of satisfied and loyal customers and you want to feature even more proof of how your company delivers excellence. You can start to get a little creative to expand on your testimonials and how you share them with the world.
Social media is a great place to start. User-generated content can provide testimonials for your product without much effort on your part if it happens naturally. And if you’d like to encourage more social sharing of testimonials, you can encourage your followers to post about their experiences with your company using a specific hashtag. Then feature the best content on your own feed, crediting the user. This is great social proof at a very low cost to your business.
You can also use the power of content marketing to showcase more testimonials. This is especially effective if your business is in a very specific niche or is more complicated to use. Feature an article or create a series about how your company is making a difference for your customers – how you help them solve a common problem or achieve a goal. Interviews can be a very effective format for this kind of content.
If you’re really looking to get creative, creating video testimonials as part of your content strategy – interviews with satisfied customers, or showing how your product works for a real person – can give you even more credibility. There’s nothing like seeing how a product works in real time to give your prospects peace of mind about what you offer.
Don’t forget about the credibility a press review can offer either. If you’ve had the chance to be featured in a local news article or in a post from a credible online news source, share it on your website and your social channels. It’s all about establishing you as a trustworthy business – and a press review can help with that.
Get Website Testimonials Right and Get Results
Website testimonials are a critical part of your overall digital marketing strategy. But as a business owner, it can be difficult to find the time to get every piece of your marketing aligned and working together for optimal growth. That’s why you need to schedule your free business review with ContentFirst.Marketing. We’ll evaluate what you do well, where you could improve, and come up with a plan to get you measurable results from a digital marketing strategy designed for your unique business. Don’t wait and miss out on growth – call us today.