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Generate 106% more revenue
Using customer testimonials

Customer testimonials are a great way to instil trust with potential clients as they are truthful endorsements of your product or service from existing customers. They help to establish the credibility and reliability of your business, show how diverse and versatile your company can be and can speed up the purchasing process for your customer. According to a survey conducted by Vendasta, 92% of respondents read online reviews and testimonials when considering a product to buy and 88% of respondents trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. An effective testimonial therefore, can have a big impact on brand perception and sales growth, and should be used throughout any website. Let us show you where to use customer testimonials to increase customer acquisition and conversion.

Customer testimonials - homepage

Use customer testimonials to increase acquisition

Homepage

Your homepage is generally where a large portion of your site traffic will begin their journey through your website, moving from the initial site landing page to final sale. As a consumer engages with your website it is important to guide them down a strategic conversion path. This path should have a funnel effect – wide at the top narrow at the bottom, to condition the customer. Testimonials should provide more information and become more specific at each stage of the purchasing cycle.

Testimonials on the homepage can help to drive people to the site and move people through the purchasing funnel. It is important on the homepage to include your best testimonials front and centre of the page. These testimonials should not be general company/product/service testimonials. Additionally, place testimonials within your sales pitch to emphasise your credibility while outlining the benefits and aspects of your products. If many of your website visitors need a basic understanding of what you do when they get to your homepage, the testimonial isn’t the first thing they should see. They must know exactly what product or service it is that you offer first.  If the homepage is scrollable the space that comes immediately after the main block is usually the most functionally sound for placing testimonials. After highlighting what you offer and explain its benefits the testimonial can then immediately back this up. 

Social Media

Sharing your customer testimonials via social media is a great way to drive traffic to your website. Post customer testimonials alongside customer photos and profiles. You don’t necessarily need to share the entire review, instead consider showing just enough to entice the potential customer to your site to find out more.  It’s preferable to use testimonials that tell a personal story, which people can relate to and answers common questions your customers have.  

See across for a great example of a customer testimonial within a facebook ad.

Customer testimonials - facebook advertising product review

Customer testimonials - google ads and product reviews

Paid Ads

Paid Ads, such as AdWords, is another place where you can add customer testimonials. Generally such ads have a click through rate of 1.91% for the search network and 0.35% for display network. However, according to Google, making use of reviews within your ads can boost click through rates by up to 10%. Reviews should focus on your business as a whole, as opposed to a review about a specific product or service. This makes the reviews relevant to just about all of your ads.

Seller rating extensions are another great tool to endorse your organisation. These ratings reflect customers' overall consumer experience with your business. In most cases though, these ratings can only be shown on an ad when your organisation has 150+ unique reviews and a star rating of 3.5+.

Use Customer testimonials to increase conversion

According to Business Insider, when a consumer interacts with your review, three things happen. They:

  • Are 97% more likely to convert
  • Generate 106% more revenue per site visitor
  • Buy 8% more per order (Average Order Value)

Given this, adding positive reviews across the web is essential to help drive increased conversions, revenue per visitor and average order value. Ensure testimonials are big, bold and thoughtfully placed on your website and in your ads. Imagery is key to helping add validity to the testimonial and help potential customers relate. 

Customer testimonials - ecommerce product reviews

Customer testimonials - video review

Customer testimonial videos

Whilst written customer testimonials are great, over the years consumers have grown smarter and it can now be difficult to prove the authenticity of your well-earned written customer testimonials. Video testimonials overcome this by featuring real people and customers you can actually see, building the trust and authenticity of your brand. Videos can be very effective for visualising the experience you are selling. It allows people to see a real-life customer explaining thoroughly and convincingly why your business is so good. Leaving no doubt in the potential customers mind. If designed correctly, video testimonials should highlight pain points that customers can relate to and the solution your business can offer to this.

Here are a few key points to include in a video testimonial:

  • The video must have a story (flow to the message). Start - client to outline their needs, Middle - client explains why your businesses solution stood out from the rest, End - clients explains how their needs were satisfied by your business/brand.
  • Avoid memorising scripts – the point of a customer testimonial is to show the human side of the business. Clients should speak from the heart and tell genuine experiences
  • Connect to your audience emotionally - Make a list of all the words that you think best describe your brand’s persona and try to incorporate them into the theme of your video.

See here for further details.

Case Studies

Case studies can be useful for some organisations to prove the success of their solutions.

Think of a case study as an extension of a customer testimonial. It gives readers a “sneak-peak” into what they would expect should they choose to buy your product or service.  Building a story around the problem which your business solves provides a real-life example for customers to compare themselves to. Ideally the case study should answer any questions potential customers may have and remove any uncertainty related to your product or service. Also add testimonials to this page to help legitimise the case study and add weight to the claims. Like any other marketing content, you need to be sure to get your message across in a concise and unforgettable way.  Done successfully case studies can be a powerful tool on your website to capture your customers attention and lead them towards the next step in your conversion funnel.

Customer testimonial - case study

Customer testimonials - include target market reviews

Highlight target customers

Most people will look for recommendations from friends and family when making purchases. Not every customer will have someone to consult when purchasing your product and in this instance the next best thing is hearing from people who are similar to them. Generally, people trust those who are similar to who they are or who they want to be. Within your website feature testimonials and images associated with people closely aligned to your target market. Audiences ‘Like me’ are more relatable and resonate more with customers. E.g. if your target market is retired women then use images of older women and include their ages in the testimonial. It can be beneficial in some instances to informalise your testimonials. Showing perfect testimonials across your site can begin to feel planned and fake, however, an assortment of unpolished, light-hearted feedback can seem more genuine. 

Increase exposure to testimonials

Increased exposure sticks better in someone’s memory, meaning testimonials shouldn’t be limited to one page on your website. Other areas on your website where testimonials can be useful include:

  • Blogs – include brief testimonials here which can help attract the attention and interest of visitors who have landed here by chance and reaffirm your credentials
  • Product or service page – These pages play a key role in creating leads and making conversions. Make sure each testimonial on these pages is relevant to the page, place testimonials praising specific products or services here.
  • Next to CTAs – Include short testimonials beside calls to action. Having them here can sometimes be the trigger to overcome a customer’s potential objections. Ensure once again, to match testimonials contextually with the page. 
  • Testimonials page – for customers who may need more convincing to convert, having a testimonials page allows them to see all customer testimonials on a single page. 

Customer testimonials - increase exposure on blog page

Use your testimonials to stand out from the crowd and tell a convincing story for why a customer should choose you. Done right you should quickly start to reap the benefits. Start with a few changes to your website and test out what is the most effective. You can then further refine your conversion pathway, testimonials and placement based on the results on your initial tests.

Monique Oosterbaan

Author: Monique Oosterbaan
Published: 30/09/2017