I am always amazed at how many businesses not only have “Reviews” or “Testimonials” missing as a main button in their website navigation, but have zero testimonials on their website altogether. This is a big mistake for obvious reasons as well as some reasons many businesses have not considered. If you don’t have this feature on your website, get cracking! This isn’t an optional component of a business website if lead generation is your objective. It is mandatory. I have heard clients actually tell me, “Customers don’t read those things” and “Nobody trusts testimonials”. Big mistake. Not only are testimonials read on websites, but often the testimonial page is the 2nd or 3rd most landed on. I have 5 critical reasons why this is important and how to make them an even more effective tool to increase website conversions from website visitors into solid leads for your business.
- 1) Increased Trust
- A visitor to your site (especially those who came via web searches like Google) does not know you or your business. They have multiple options where to spend their money and it is important that they know that you know what you are doing and that they are not going to be your guinea pig to experiment on. A few testimonials of past clients will help alleviate this fear especially if they feel the testimonials are authentic (more on this later). The more the business is in the “trust” services professions, the more important the testimonials are to the website. For instance, for a lawyer or doctor, testimonials are vital whereas for a boat rental business may be less critical. Personalized businesses or services that enter the home should always have at least 5 to a dozen solid testimonials on their site.
- 2) Relevant Content
- Testimonials add content to a site. Yes indeed! Google loves content and the more the details of your business get discussed on your website, the better. Those words add up to weighted pages and if they are refreshed and maintained often, a robust testimonials page will help with your search engine rankings. Google not only likes relevant content, it also likes updated content. So, if once or twice per month, you update your website with a testimonial or two, it shows that your content is fresh and this is also a plus in Google’s eyes.
- 3) Distinguishes your business from competitors
- As stated earlier, many business owners do not put testimonials on their websites. Bad for them, but good for you! Every chance you get to separate yourself from your other competitors at a low cost… DO IT! There are many ways to do this, but testimonials are definitely one of them.
- 4) Variety of Scope
- Most businesses do not perform only one service. They often perform multiple tasks and the scope and variety of the testimonials show to potential customers that you are not one dimensional and can work with a variety of customers and situations. What about the manner in which the service was delivered? The actual service may be done properly, but was it on budget? On time? What about customer service? Was your team professional? etc.. These are items that may not show up somewhere else in your website’s content, and would seem self-serving if not put in someone else’s words. Testimonials reveal much about your company that potential clients want to know about but may have a difficult time asking you directly.
- 5) Demonstrates Customer Appreciation
- Before a job begins, it is good to know that the business welcomes feedback and is emotionally attached to the job they perform. It shows that the business cares about what their customer says and this sets the tone from the beginning and establishes credibility.
Ok, so now we know that testimonials are important, how can we make them more effective?
The most effective testimonial is a video testimonial. A video testimonial does not have to be fancy or expensive. A simple video taken on a smart phone will work so long as the person being filmed communicates what you did or how you helped them in an authentic way.
Always put these at the top and the written testimonials below. To enhance the effectiveness of written testimonials on your website, a photo of the client or job you performed place next to the testimonial is also very effective. Video testimonials and photo’s displayed next to the written testimonials will authenticate all the rest of the written testimonials on the page below.
This is an easy, low cost strategy that will improve every website’s results.