I’ve been in business providing web marketing services for over 17 years and have spent many hours at business networking events, where most folk stand up and tell other people in the room just how great they are and why you should buy from them. This is the same problem with many websites. We craft our design, agonise over our copy, and want the whole world to know how great we are. But wait – aren’t we missing something?
Yes, you most likely are. What’s known as “social proof” and by not having as many testimonials as possible on your website means you could be missing a huge trick in generating greater enquiries and sales.
Don’t believe me? Then check out these following statements:
- Most Business to Business marketers would say that customer testimonials and case studies for your business are considered the most effective tactics to win new business. (2013 B2B Content Marketing Trends Report)
- According to Social Fresh, your customer testimonials have one of best effect when used for content marketing (Social Fresh)
- Positive online reviews influenced buying decisions for 9 out of 10 people (Dimensional Research)
- 8 out of 10 consumers will read up to 10 reviews before they feel they can trust a business (Search Engine Land)
- 88% of people trust online reviews written by others as much as they trust personal recommendations from their friends (BrightLocal)
With these types of figures do we need more proof that if you’re not using reviews or testimonials on your site, then you’re really missing a trick when it comes to increasing sales.
With so many companies online, it is getting harder and harder for website visitors to pick a company to conduct an enquiry, do business with, or purchase from.
With that in mind, it’s not surprising that the likes of TrustPilot have become a brand name in recommendation marketing – and with that comes a big ticket price for many small companies.
Even though Trustpilot may not be an option for every business, making the most of Google Reviews, product reviews on third party sites like Amazon and Ebay, and collecting your own testimonials and writing your own case studies, are all effective ways to get that social proof that your customers are more frequently searching for, before buying a product or service.
So how do you make the most of reviews on your website for next to no cost?
Just listing a page of testimonials and reviews on your website is a step in the right direction, but that’s kind of old fashioned in 2017; today’s savvy users want to see what people say about you on social media, in videos and on blogs too.
Certainly posting as many reviews as possible on your social media channels can make people sit up and take notice. But it’s noticeable very few smaller companies do this, so if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd then this is one very good way to differentiate yourself.
Even better, is if you can encourage your customers to share their thoughts about your service and products on your social media pages, this activity can send your “social proof” into the stratosphere.
Think about how you carry out research and conduct a buying process online. Do you find the first website (let’s exclude Amazon here!) and then just make an immediate purchase? Maybe if it’s a small ticket item but something with a larger price tag will likely encourage you to read reviews and see what other people are saying. You want to know how the product or service has improved someone else’s life, so shouldn’t you offer that to your website users?
So, to effectively market your business online purely by the power of reviews and testimonials put a few of these techniques into action:
- Put your 3 best testimonials upfront and in BOLD on your top 5 landing pages
- Don’t just list “John” as the submitter of the testimonial, ensure a proper name, position and company (especially if you are in the B2B sector)
- With their express permission a profile photo of the customer can make the testimonial look even more authentic (and if you are local enough and can be in the photo even better!)
- Don’t just include reviews on your site, make sure you use the likes of Yell, Freeindex or Brownbook.net and upload your testimonials and customer reviews there too
- Of course set up a page or even a whole section of reviews, the 1st site I built for a client in 2001 I made sure we had over 30 reviews shown on the site, it worked a treat in generating new business for the customer
- Tell people either via email and ask them to check out your testimonials!
- Put a few of your testimonials on your Facebook or other social media pages with links to your site to see even more
- Keep asking clients for testimonials, usually as soon as you have provided your service – it’s a lot harder to get a review from a customer 3 months down the line
Remember, telling people that you are the best in your business won’t influence them to buy from you, the way to compel them is to make sure they see others singing your praises from the proverbial rooftop.
Need More Help?
If you are not sure where best to place your testimonials? Give us a call on 01285 50 55 50 and we’ll be delighted to help!