Does your small business benefit from online ratings and review sites? That’s great, but it doesn’t mean you can neglect customer testimonials. Just like reviews, using testimonials helps create credibility for your business by persuading potential customers that your business is worth a try.
Unlike reviews, which are generally hosted on a rating or review site like Yelp.com, testimonials are hosted on your website, making them a great marketing tool in convincing website visitors to give you a try. Think about it: Don’t you feel more confident in a business when you see lots of testimonials raving about it?
So how can you get customer testimonials and make the most of them? Follow these tips.
- Ask. When you know a customer is satisfied with your product or service, ask if he or she is willing to write a testimonial for you. Make it as easy as possible by sending an email that he or she can complete.
- Get social. You can also encourage testimonials on social media by asking customers to post and share about how your business, product or service helped them. If you get good testimionials this way, follow up by contacting the customer to ask if it’s OK to use the testimonial.
- Think video. Video testimonials can be a useful addition to a B2B company’s website in particular, but can also be used for B2C. For B2B, you could do short videos of some of your best customers talking about how your business helped their companies with a challenge or problem and the positive results they’re enjoying. For B2C, you’ll want to keep it really brief (like a 6-second Vine). For example, a salon owner could video a bride on her wedding day with her bridesmaid showing off their updo’s.
- Don’t push it. Don’t make customers uncomfortable by pushing too hard for testimonials. Some people don’t like to have their names online or may not feel 100 percent about providing a testimonial.
Once you have collected testimonials, create a dedicated “testimonial” page on your website. Add photos of customers to give the testimonials greater credibility and, if they are OK with it, link to their company website.
You can also maximize testimonials by sprinkling them throughout other pages of your website in addition to the dedicated testimonial page. For instance, if you have a lawn care and landscaping company that serves both residential and commercial customers, you could have a commercial client’s testimonial on the page describing those services, and a residential customer’s testimonial on the page about residential services.
Last, but not least, make the most of your testimonials and drive traffic back to your website by posting them on social media or including them in marketing emails along with links to your website. For best results, create a special landing page: “Leonora loves our landscaping services (testimonial). Learn more about our landscaping services for your home (link).”
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at email@example.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.