3 Tips to Using Testimonials on Your Site

Web Design

Do you have customer testimonials prominently displayed on your website? If not, you should probably start. Glowing reviews from existing clients are an easy way to provide social proof on your site, and evidence points to the fact that content sourced from customers is more compelling than any other kind of content.

According to a study conducted by TechValidate, a whopping 94% of surveyed users considered content in the voice of the customer to be either “very effective” or “extremely effective.” Compare that to 54% who found content written in-house. With numbers like those it’s hard to make excuses for not utilizing testimonials on your site.

Not all testimonials are created equal, however. If you want to get the most out of them (and why wouldn’t you?), then here are three guidelines tips to get you started.

How You Should be Using Testimonials on Your Website

The Difference Between a Good Testimonial and a Great One

Why settle for good when you can have great? While any positive feedback is good, the best testimonials are not only positive but specific. General praise doesn’t speak as directly to a prospective customer’s questions as does a targeted quote about the product or service they are evaluating.
Imagine that you are coordinating an event that is fast approaching and your usual widget vendor has fallen through. Searching around the web you find the website for the Wonder Widget Co. and they have a testimonial placed on their bulk ordering page. Which would do more to convince you that WWC could address your specific needs?

  • Good – “Working with the Wonder Widget Co. was a joy, I would recommend them to all of my family friends!”
  • Great – “Wonder Widget Co. really came through when I needed a large rush order, not only did they have all the widgets I needed in stock but they were delivered ahead of schedule!”

Contrived as it may be, the same idea applies to whatever business you are in. Whenever possible use testimonials that speak specifically to your products, services, and specialties.

Saying More With Less

So you have compiled all your testimonials. They are glowing. They are specific. They are… long. While we should all be so lucky as to have such effusive clientele, but when using testimonials on your site brevity trumps verbosity.

When it is possible to do so without changing meaning, trim longer testimonials down to no more than two or three sentences. Much longer than that and they can start to detract from your website’s copy instead of reinforcing it.

It is very important to note that there is a world of difference between editing for length, and editing for content. Never edit someone else’s words to the point where their original meaning is changed or lost. If ever in doubt, either use it unedited or don’t use at all.

Maximizing Effectiveness with Intelligent Placement

You followed the tips on how to get great testimonials from your customers, and you’ve edited them for clarity and brevity, but now where do you put them?

Let’s revisit the Wonder Widget Co. site for a moment. You were looking to purchase a large number widgets and you needed them fast. It was no mistake or coincidence that you found the highly targeted testimonial on the bulk ordering page – it was very purposefully placed there where it would communicate to the customer type it matters to most.

Sure enough, this method applies to real businesses with real products and services as well. A real life example would be a company that services residential and commercial clients. Sort out your testimonials and place them in the relevant section so they better reach the appropriate segment. Extend this basic principle to anything! (Well, maybe not widgets.)

Wrapping It Up

By now you’re a veritable testimonial rock star: confident in asking your customers for their reviews, know the difference between the good and great testimonials, and know exactly where to put them to maximize their effect.

About the Author

Nick Footer

Nick Footer is an entrepreneur and founder of Intuitive Digital, a national award-winning digital marketing agency in Portland, Oregon. With over 15 years of experience, he has helped hundreds of businesses improve their online presence through search engine optimization, paid advertising, and website design.

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