How to Use Testimonials and Reviews on Your Small Business Website
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Why Use Testimonials In The First Place
Testimonials and reviews can be powerful motivators for potential clients—but do you know how to use them to maximum effect on your website?
Well-presented and properly deployed testimonials can be used to build trust, nudge the hesitant to act and even get people excited about your small business. Simply put, you need them on your website.
Here are a few tips on how to get great testimonials from your customers and use them to make your website more effective. Let’s start from the beginning with…
First off, Who to Get Testimonials From
Obviously, very satisfied clients are the people you want testimonials from, and those who represent your client base well are great ones to include. If you mostly work with people in a certain industry, profession, or location, include those above all others.
It’s important that potential clients can relate to those giving the testimonials.
The key to a trustworthy testimonial is that it comes from a real person and that they seem credible. Include a full name and a photo, if possible, along with location, company and professional titles where applicable.
A link to a case study about the work you did for them or a video will boost the trust factor even more.
How to Get Testimonials You Can Use for Your Business Website
Ask Clients for Personal Testimonials
Getting a happy customer to write you a great review or recommendation can be as simple as asking politely when the job is done. Make sure the testimonials you select sound good, and then make them look good on your site. You may need to do some light edits for grammar and clarity, but be sure to clear any changes beforehand.
You may want to offer something in exchange for your clients’ time and trouble, including discounts, reciprocal testimonials for their services, etc. However, some professions forbid or frown on offering even small discounts or gifts in exchange for reviews, so be aware of that. Paying for reviews is always a big no-no, of course.
Always Get Permission!
Make sure you ask for clear permission to use client testimonials and get it in writing. When asking for a review, explain that it may be used on your website and/or in marketing materials for current or future use.
Never copy/paste reviews from review sites, as most sites prohibit it. Linking to review sites is also forbidden in most cases. The best reviews to use on your website are therefore those you solicit directly from your clients to be used for that express purpose.
Choosing/Creating Good Testimonials to Use on Your Website
Whether you’re trying to pick a testimonial to include or drafting/producing a written or video endorsement from a satisfied client, you’ll want to make sure it’s good one. Here are some do’s and don’ts for impactful testimonial content.
- Very positive feedback.
- Specifics about the experience of working with your company. Details like:
- People who helped them (“John knew exactly what to do”).
- Concrete numbers (Experienced a 50% uptick in sales, tripled my conversions, etc.)
- Stories (“They helped me look better so I could feel more confident.”)
- Reviews that address common client concerns.
- A problem solved
- First time using a service like this or skeptical about trying it
- Affordability, clear pricing and/or great value.
- Vague feedback like “Five stars.”
- Poorly-identified customers.
- Those who had “mixed” experiences.
- Testimonials that sound too “sales-y”—they need to sound unbiased and real.
Where to Include Testimonials on Your Website
- Home Page
This is often the first place people land on your site and the one with the most traffic, so you want to have a few glowing reviews prominently displayed here for everyone to see. A slider can be a good way to show several without cluttering the page.
- Common Landing Pages
The home page isn’t always the main way people come to your website, so use analytics tools to see all the places people are landing. Putting testimonials on all the most commonly visited pages can build trust as people explore your site. It’s good practice to naturally weave them into the page content, too.
- Testimonials Page
Having a dedicated testimonials page with a range of positive reviews can help people get to know more about your company. People often look for these pages as part of their research, and reading through the different customer experiences can help them decide if you’ll be a good fit.
- Products/Services Pages
Use targeted testimonials where possible to enhance each page’s content. A Services Offered section with a testimonial about what a great job you did on this particular service will be more effective. Or, a positive product review on a Products or Where to Buy page can spur an instant purchase.
- Sidebars, Headers or Footers
Don’t neglect any opportunity to include testimonials wherever they might draw eyes. Putting them neatly above, below or to the side of each page’s main content ensures your potential customers will see them—without being bombarded—at every turn. Include testimonials on a select few pages or have them display this way on every page of your website.
- Contact Page
Showing testimonials on your Contact page or near calls to action can be great way to overcome last-minute doubts and urge potential customers to get in touch.
Ready to Put Testimonials to Work For Your Small Business?
We can help. Talk to a marketing specialist about reworking your existing site or building a new one that works for you. Fill out our Contact form or call (800) 692-4037 for a free consultation.
By Marc Apple
Marc Apple is recognized as a leader in the marketing industry and has 20+ years of experience helping businesses of all sizes improve their digital marketing. He specializes in website design, SEO, social media, and paid search programs. He is a frequent contributor to other marketing websites and speaks regularly about marketing to small business owners and startups. To learn about Marc and to contact him, visit his author bio page.
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