I often get asked whether testimonials should be included on a clients website. My answer to this, in most cases, is ‘yes’. For two important reasons.
First, testimonials, reviews, star ratings and case studies are all designed to inspire trust and confidence by illustrating a real customer’s experience. Testimonials (which tend to be longer and more formal than reviews) are a powerful way to showcase your credibility, expertise and value to potential customers. They can help you build trust, increase conversions, and boost your brand reputation.
Take a look at these statistics:
Second, including testimonials can help with search engine optimisation by including keywords and phrases that potential customers may type into search engines but are not otherwise included on your website.
How do you use testimonials effectively on your website? The best place to add testimonials on your website depends on your goals and layout. However, some common places are:
You want to select testimonials that are relevant, specific, and authentic. They should highlight the benefits of your product or service, address common objections or pain points, and showcase real results or outcomes. Avoid testimonials that are vague, generic, or exaggerated.
You want to make it easy and convenient for your customers to provide you with testimonials. You can collect testimonials through email requests, phone, social media reviews, survey forms or video interviews. Email has been found to be the most effective way to ask your customers to leave a review with 34% of consumers saying they would be likely to leave a review if requested to do so by email (BrightLocal). 33% of people would likely leave a review if they were asked to in person, during the business experience or transaction (BrightLocal).
It can be a good idea to make it part of your protocol to send out a review request after your business had completed a sale or work with someone. This can be a personalised or automated request. You should also ask them for permission to use their name, photo and company name on your website. This will make your testimonials more authentic and credible. It’s important to remember that not everyone will have time to write a testimonial so be prepared for some to slip by. Offering incentives or rewards for giving testimonials, such as discounts or referrals may help with the uptake.
Try to include at least 10 testimonials. BrightLocal. found that 85% of consumers read up to this number of reviews.
When selecting testimonials to include, consider how keywords and snippets could work for your business. Choosing testimonials with phrases that customers may type into search engines to look for your product or service should help with search engine optimisation. An example for our business would be ‘Experienced website designer’.
Google reviews (that are posted directly on Google, rather than testimonials that you request from the client) are a separate but related topic and I feel worth mentioning. This is because 87% of consumers checked Google reviews (through Google Maps and Search) to evaluate local businesses (BrightLocal). Google is the most trusted review platform across all industries, although Tripadvisor still has its place for accommodation businesses (BrightLocal). Beware it takes an average of 40 online reviews before consumers start believing the accuracy of a business’ star rating so start collecting as soon as you can (BrightLocal).
In summary, testimonials are a great way to increase the effectiveness of your website and grow your business. By asking for testimonials and adding them strategically on your website, you can leverage the power of social proof and word-of-mouth marketing.