Boost Website Conversions With Testimonials

Good morning internet fans, it’s Ryan Perry, Simple Biz Support. Today is June 18, it is a Thursday, therefore it is Internet Marketing Thursday. I have Virginie Dorn with Business Website Center on the other side. Good morning, Virginie.

Virginie Dorn: Hello, Ryan and everybody whose watching us from Petaluma, California. How are you?

RP: I’m doing wonderful. You’ve got quite the glowing tan going on this morning.

VD: It’s so nice in California, I try to spend time outside as much as I can. As you know.

RP: Very good. Today while we’re inside though, we’re going to be talking about testimonials, and really the power of testimonials on websites. Because, for me when I look at a website and I talk to my clients about their website it’s really about building trust and credibility, and I firmly believe that the sooner you can build trust and credibility on your website the more likely somebody’s going to make a phone call, make a inquiry, buy a product, whatever the purpose is of that website. Testimonials are really an easy way to generate more credibility quickly. One, I think when done right, and two just by doing it and it really doesn’t cost you anything.

VD: You are correct, it truly build that trust. It’s especially important for the prospective buyers that know nothing about you, maybe they found you online and they need that human reassurance. Since you cannot have eye to eye contact with them because it’s a digital world, I think those vivid, powerful testimonial are great, and they can push them over the edge and make that purchase from you. It’s free to get a testimonial, a lot of your customers are very pleased with your services, why don’t you ask them for a testimonial, ask them if it’s okay to put it on your website. And today we’re going to discuss different ways you can integrate them onto your website to make them, again, a very powerful marketing tool and increase that conversion rate.

RP: For those people that are a little nervous or unsure how to ask for a testimonial. I always recommend using the help method. I need to… I’m updating my website and I need some help in order to create more credibility and a testimonial would be great. Because, the reality is as human beings we love to help other people. So, instead of asking, like I’m just asking for something, when you ask for help people are more likely to incline, and the reality is if they’re a good client of yours they want other people to know to use your services because there’s probably a number of other places out there that have really bad services, and I would rather have my friends go to a good place than a poor place.

VD: You’re correct again. If you’re an owner it’s difficult, because it’s a personal thing. It’s your company, it’s difficult to say, “Oh can you give me a testimonial.” If you are lucky enough to have employees, put them in charge of that. Say, “You know what? We kind of need more testimonials. Is this something you can handle?” That’s what I did about a year ago when I redid my website. It was difficult for me, even though I have a great relationship with all of my customers, to pick the phone and say, “Hey Bob, and hey Sue, can help me here?” But, for my employees it was totally easy and one of them will say, “Virginie hates to ask you, so I’m calling you, is that okay?” And, everybody said yes, we didn’t get one person to turn us away. Do that, delegate it to someone on your team.

RP: The other thing before we go into the details of where to place testimonials, I like to use testimonials as a sales tool also. One of the things that I like to do when I’m talking to business owners is ask them what are some of the objections that people have? Is it time? Is it price? Is it complexity? Whatever it may be that typically is a pinch point in the sales cycle that you know you’re going to have to overcome one of these objections, create a testimonial. Think back on your client base and go, okay maybe it was time, people were concerned that it was going to take too much time to do X, Y, Z.

RP: Go to that client that had a really good experience and let them know that you’d like a testimonial about how you thought it was going to take too long, but the end result worked out perfectly. That way, not only for yourself if you’re a sole entrepreneur, but if you have a sales team you can now use those testimonials when people come across that objection. “Oh, yeah, you know what we used to have this client Joe from last year, he had the same concerns. Here’s the testimonial from Joe,” And now you’re not having to sell the person on why that’s not an issue. We’re letting social proof, or somebody else that’s actually been through the experience let people know it’s going to be okay.

VD: Yes, that’s actually one of my points today, is answering those objections even before they come up. And, if you can even be more specific. For instance, if you have a price list on your website, and pricing could be one of those objections, could that testimonial then address that issue or that benefit onto the pricing page, right there at the top, easily readable and visible for the visitor.

RP: Right, yeah. And, the other thing is, for me, been, get really big on videos. Anytime you can get a video testimonial from a client, and you don’t have to send somebody out, if your client has a smartphone they can shoot their own testimonial just doing the old selfie. “Hey Joe, had a great experience,” Blah, blah, blah. They could email it to you and you can upload it to the website. There’s a lot of different ways you can incorporate testimonials. And is now a good time to start doing the screen-share, or did you want to tackle a couple other points first?

VD: No, let’s talk about the video testimonial. There’s nothing more powerful than someone there that is not truly related to your company that are highlighting all the benefits and why they chose you, and how satisfied they are with your services or product. If you can’t have a video, at the very least see if you can use their photo, have a little thumbnail of their photos, that makes that even more human and relatable next to their testimonial. But again, video would be my number one choice if you can make that happen.

VD: There’s other few things you could do is… I put some list here, like, “be very specific,” try to, well it’s not your testimonial but maybe ask the person and say, “Hey! Sure, I’ll do a testimonial. Exactly which area do you want me to focus on?” The more specific the better. General testimonial like, “Oh, they were great and it was fantastic customer service,” that’s too general. If they can really specify the situation, “We didn’t have enough time, our secretary could never finish her task but then, thanks to buying such and such software, now she’s ahead of schedule two hours a day.” As specific as possible.

VD: Another thing too, I want to… First of all, I like it when it’s heartfelt. So it doesn’t look like a robotic testimonial, something truly from the heart, using adjectives. So asking the people doing the videos to do that for you because most likely they’ll say yes, and then they’ll ask you, “What kind of testimonial do you want?” ’cause they’re more than happy to help you.

VD: The best testimonial always will be at the top of your page, the older one at the bottom. There’s all kinds of little tips and tricks you can use. One thing to me that is also important, before we go in to the display is to just make sure it’s in the same tone of voice that your target audience uses. And by this, let’s go to an good example. Let’s say, senior citizens are your target audience. You really don’t want to want hip words and hip kind of testimonial. You want something that they can relate to. So you will want a testimonial from another senior citizen. And even taking it a step further, in that situation, perhaps you could put the age of a person presenting the review. Maybe it’s John Smith, and he is 79… Something really that then connects to your target audience. Those kind of testimonial always works best.

RP: Yeah. And if you have a client who’s willing to do a testimonial but they don’t know what to write about, it’s okay to write the testimonial for them and put those adjectives in there, make sure you’re targeting an objection if you can overcome objection. And then essentially, you just send it to that person and go, “Hey Betty, this is what I came up with, make any changes that you’d like, otherwise, this is what we’d like to put your name on.”

VD: Yes. And that helps people, especially busy customers, they will appreciate when you kind of pre-do it for them. A lot of my customers or people I’ve worked with have done testimonials, sent it to me, I made my own little flair, my own little edits and send it back to them ready to use. So that’s a great technique. So let’s take a look at different ways to do testimonials. First and foremost, they don’t all have to be on the testimonials page, or you could have one. I think, at least you have a page dedicated solely to a testimonial and they can be used at different sections of your website. So, you can put it on the contacts page, the about us page, the homepage. Again, it doesn’t have to be just on the testimonial page.

RP: Right. What I like about this page is that these are all corporate related. So they’re thinking about who their target audience is. So instead of pictures of individuals, it’s the actual logos so that you have that social proof that, “Oh, other businesses that I recognize and respect are actually using their services.” And actually, Sarah Brandenburg, who is at the very top used to be a client of mine with another business that I had. So for me, there’s initial, if I was in that industry, I would be like, “Oh, I could actually go and talk to Sarah and get more information if I wanted to.”

VD: Yes. And this client did it very well. Just like you said, they are… It’s a payroll company so they deal only with this message, nothing else. They don’t do retail payroll. So having the logo and my condition, they have a testimonial here, they highlighted what made the most impact… As you can see it’s not highlighted but it’s bolded. “Thank goodness, we found IBS.” As you can see, that’s heartfelt, “Thank goodness.” You feel like they’re talking to you. First and last name, name of the company, you even put down since when they have been customers. Again, the whole purpose of the webpage here is to relate to their target audience. They took it a step further and requested to have a “submit a testimonial” form, when you click there, you can actually submit a testimonial online. And the site owner receives the testimonial, gets to review it, make sure there’s nothing spammy about it, and then can make it live if he wants to.

VD: We have something similar… Again, this is like the standard testimonial. It has a lot of content, a lot of keywords, it’s good for SEO. At the top, we made it a little bit more gimmicky, little screenshots, little testimonial rotating. This client here has something similar to that payroll company, it also has a “write a testimonial online.” And people are writing, and also that’s great when you have a customer asking you “Where do I send my testimonial?” Why don’t you send them the link to that form and then do it here? Start typing blah blah blah this, they submit. It’s already in your system you can review it to approve it. And again people can just go to your regular testimonial page. There are may different ways to do that. We could spend 20 hours showing different ways to display it. I love using testimonial on all of our pages. As you now, home page or slider or footers you name it. Wherever it is possible. So the more testimonial the better.

RP: Alright. This kinda something I was just thinking of because, gosh it has been a few months ago we talked about mobile help. Mobile you stand down, and kind of… How the footers become really important because it’s the last thing you see as people are scrolling through. Any thoughts and ideas on how to incorporate testimonials into, on the mobile side of a website?

VD: Yes, actually, well. Again it depends on the page but if it is… Sometimes what we can do is put one single testimonial for each page at the very top as long as the testimonials are brief because on the mobile device you don’t have a lot of screen. In terms of using it in the footer you can actually put a script there that capture random testimonial from your testimonial page. So whenever someone goes to your home page or any other pages, each time there is a new testimonial on the footer. It is not always the same one. It is just randomly picking up a new one. That’s a technique we like to use often.

RP: Okay very cool. So a lot of powerful ways and you know really it boils down to social proof. If you can get other people that are not a direct representative of your business basically saying, “This is a good company.” It is just going to really add to the building that credibility again and it… The faster and easier you can create credibility on your website by having a nice layout, by having good content, professional images. All of that information and then you have a testimonial on top of it where you have all these people that are saying “yes” and they are legit. I always love it when it’s just Bob. You know. This company was great, Bob. I think that kind of boils down to what you were talking about where you have some emotion behind your testimonial is very powerful.

VD: Yes and don’t make up testimonials. It’s wrong. It will backfire. Just look, if you only have five, you only have five. Use them everywhere you can on your web pages.

RP: All right! Yes, perfect, so with that we are out of time. The takeaway action on this, if you haven’t looked at your website in some time, go check your website out. Is there an opportunity there to increase the visibility of your testimonials, improve the quality of your testimonials. Make sure that they’re actually focused as it relates to your target audiences is one of the key things. Have you ever thought about doing video testimonials? Not everybody is comfortable doing a video, but there is a lot of people out there that are. Virginie, as always I appreciate your time and I hope you have a wonderful rest of the day.

VD: You too, Ryan! Take care!

RP: Alright everybody, we will see you next week.


About the Author:

Ryan Perry is the founder and CEO of Simple Biz Support, Inc. Ryan started video blogging in 2009 as an alternative to written blogs to create visibility and credibility online. During the workweek, he enjoys helping small business owners harness the power of video to grow their companies. On the weekends, he enjoys hiking and searching out waterfalls throughout the state of California.

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