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Tips to Inspire Trust and Increase Sales with Website Testimonials

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How do you get people to trust your business? Show them that other people trust your business.

According to the 2017 Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 73% say positive reviews increase their trust in a business.

Getting positive reviews on external websites is a great way to bolster your business’s reputation, but the downside is that you have limited control over what people post. If you want positive reviews that you control, consider adding testimonials to your website.

The Benefits of Customer Testimonials

Customer testimonials on your website can go a long way toward converting prospects to customers. No matter how effective your website content is at promoting your products and services, it’s still coming from your company, and your site visitors know it’s not objective. Testimonials are first-person descriptions of customers' experience with your company, so they are inherently more trustworthy to consumers. Testimonials enable you to:

  • Establish the credibility of your company
  • Add a human touch with real customer voices
  • Encourage potential buyers to take action
  • Alleviate any concerns a potential buyer might have
  • Show how others have benefited from your products or services

How to Use Testimonials on Your Website

Ask customers for testimonials. Asking a customer to go on the record promoting your product can be tricky. If you’re a small business that has a more personal relationship with customers, an in-person request lets you thank your customer in person, explain how important testimonials are to your business, and gauge their reaction to the idea. Alternatively, you can send a post-sale email to customers asking if they’d be willing to submit a testimonial, and even provide a link to an easy submission form.

Consider video testimonials. Whether it’s on social media, in emails, or online, videos get more attention than any other medium. Testimonials are no different—potential customers are more likely to be interested in watching a video testimonial than reading a static statement. A video testimonial doesn’t have to be complicated—it can be as easy as using your smartphone to record a customer saying their name and quickly telling viewers about their experience with your company.

Make it specific. The most effective testimonials are specific about what the customer liked about your product or service. “I love Company X!” doesn’t tell prospective customers why they should buy from you or give them any information that might prompt them to make a purchase. When asking for a testimonial, provide some guidance: ask what specifically your customer liked about their experience with your company, and how your product or service helped them.

Think about placement. Some companies have a separate testimonial page with a list of endorsements. While that can look like an impressive parade of happy customers, unless your site visitors are specifically looking for testimonials, they may never see that page at all. For better visibility, sprinkle testimonials throughout the site, positioning relevant customer comments near the corresponding content, so when a site visitor looks for a specific product, they see a testimonial about that product.

Using Reviews from Other Sites

If you see a review on a third-party review site that would make a great testimonial for your website, you might be able to use it on your own site, but don't simply cut and paste the review and put it on your website without asking the source site or getting approval from the reviewer. There are ways you can use independent reviews on your own site, but each site treats review usage differently, so be sure to check the specific policy for each site.

  • Yelp: If you’ve seen a great review of your business on Yelp, the site provides a simple way to embed a Yelp review on your own website.
  • Google: Google used to offer an embed code for reviews posted on Google My Business pages, but no longer does. Several plugins have been developed to offer the feature.
  • Facebook: If your business has received a review on its Facebook page, you can embed it in your website by clicking on the review, clicking the three dots in the top right of the post, and selecting embed.
  • Better Business Bureau: The Better Business Bureau does not give members a way to embed individual reviews on a website, but offers the BBB Dynamic Seal for online accredited businesses, which lets businesses display the BBB seal on a website or Facebook page. The seal links directly to your company’s BBB review and rating.