Every great site has a powerful testimonial page.
It’s formed by compelling quotes from current customers that make a product such an obviously good idea, anyone would sign up.
Great testimonials tell people that your product or service is not only legitimate but proof enough that other people are seeing great results from it.
Testimonials boost your conversion rate and can often deliver great results. But if you don’t have a testimonial page yet, how can you start?
The answer is simple—either feature existing reviews, or kindly ask existing customers to create new reviews for you.
Today we’ll look at some of the sites you can collect reviews on, as well as how to encourage reviews from your customers.
1. Facebook reviews
The first place you need to look at are sites where people have already given you reviews.
The easiest place? Your current Facebook page. Especially if you’re a local business, you might already have reviews here that you hadn’t noticed before.
If you don’t have reviews on your Facebook page, it’s a cinch to ask people to add a comment. We’ll cover more strategies on how to do this in point six.
2. LinkedIn recommendations
If you’re a freelancer or are building out the testimonial section for a “work with me” page, LinkedIn is a gold mine of great recommendations and glowing reviews.
All you need to do is ask people to offer a recommendation to you, or use your existing recommendations—in whole or just snippets—as promotion for your services.
Of course, you can’t get reviews on your company profile, since recommendations are only available for individuals.
But if you own a company with many employees, why not encourage all of them to be active on LinkedIn?
This might lead to individual employees receiving recommendations from customers they work with on behalf of your company.
With their permission, you can use these recommendations on your website, either on a testimonials page or a page dedicated to your employees’ bios.
Plus, it wouldn’t hurt for someone who is researching your company on LinkedIn to see that you have an employee with glowing recommendations.
3. YouTube video reviews
What’s stronger than a text-based review? A video of your customer talking about how your products or services have helped them.
Encourage your fans to add videos to their own YouTube account. Let them tell stories about their success and mention your brand, or even encourage video reviews of your product.
If they send you the link, you can add these videos to your channel as favorites and create a playlist of customer reviews. You can also write transcriptions and include them as testimonials.
You can also film reviews on the fly with customers at your store, visitors to your office, or fellow attendees at conferences. Just keep a smartphone with high video resolution handy.
If you have a strong YouTube channel to begin with, people will be happy to be featured on it in exchange for their thoughts.
Because of the closeness of the medium and the sharing potential, videos are one of the best ways to get feedback from your customers.
4. Local search directories
If you have a local business, then you probably already understand the importance of local search directories.
If you have great reviews on these sites, you should share them on your testimonials page as well.
And if you don’t have reviews there yet, this is a great way to recommend people leave you a review. Not only will you get to include it on your site, but it’ll also be available in searches.
Today people rely more and more on Google’s ratings to decide which merchants to visit. By getting as many reviews as possible, you can keep your business high in the search results.
If you’re just starting, set up a basic account on those sites and start encouraging customers to review you there.
5. Niche review sites
Depending on your business’ industry, you may also want to focus on getting reviews on niche review sites.
While sites like Google, Yahoo, and Yelp apply to all kinds of local businesses, there might be others that cater to your specific industry.
Since many people get their first impression of your services from these sites, it’s a good idea to focus on building a quality reputation there, then copying the review to your site.
6. Rewarding customers who review
Considering all the benefits of getting customers to provide great reviews for your site, how can you encourage them to start posting their thoughts?
The best answer is that you can offer a clear incentive for posting a review. Oftentimes, fast food restaurants offer a chance to win a cash prize by filling out an online survey.
You can apply the same concept to encourage online reviews. A few examples include offering coupons, special deals, or even a discount on the next purchase with proof of a review.
The possibilities are as endless as your creativity, just remember that the best rewards are more likely to result in more reviews.
If you do decide to reward customers who review, it’s a good idea for legal reasons to disclose that in the testimonial.
7. Google Alerts and Social Mentions
Last, but not least, there are likely a ton of unsolicited customer reviews that are written about your company on other sites, such as personal blogs and forums.
These can be great opportunities to link to from your website because it shows that they are clearly unbiased reviews.
When they’re published on another site, people can say whatever they want and you don’t have control over what they’ve decided to write about you.
How do you find these third-party reviews? Simple.
If you want, you can also include a few keywords if applicable. And it’s a good idea to include the word “review” for anything so broad it’ll track articles not specifically about your company.
Once you get these reviews, you can ask the people who have mentioned your brand if you can feature their comment or story on your testimonials page.
Usually, people are happy to oblige, especially in exchange for a link from your site.
Compiling your testimonials page
Now that you’ve collected your reviews, it’s time to place them all on one easy-to-access page.
According to 2018 research, 91% of 18- to 34-year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so it’s important to make this as easy to find as possible.
The goal of the page is to make it easy for visitors to see your most glowing testimonials all at once, instead of needing to search the Internet to see the positive things people are saying.
When you do this, it’s good policy to credit the original site of the review. If it came from Yelp, LinkedIn, or another site it’s polite to link back to the original source.
An added benefit of linking there is that you might encourage more people to leave reviews once they’ve seen what everyone else has to say.
And if necessary, you should always ask permission before posting third-party reviews to your website.
But once you get that permission, don’t hesitate to promote your review page. You worked hard to create a great product or service others are excited about.
You earned it, so don’t be afraid to share.
If you want to add a layer of credibility to your site, you need to build out a solid testimonial page. Testimonials build up the social proof that increases sales and conversions.
The quickest and easiest way to do this is by finding existing reviews from around the web and compiling them onto one page of your site.
You can check out social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as specific sites like maps locations, search directories, and niche review sites.
To take things to the next level, ask existing customers to create reviews for you.
One of the most powerful formats is through YouTube videos, since it’s a more intimate medium where you can see and hear the person describing the details of the product.
If you’re still struggling to get reviews, you can consider offering a reward to customers who provide you with a review. This is a great incentive to otherwise shy customers.
Finally, you can keep your eyes peeled by checking on any media spots or credentials that might be floating around online.
How will you build out your testimonials page for more credibility?
About the Author: Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, blogger, and social media enthusiast. Her blog Kikolani focuses on blog marketing, including social networking strategies and blogging tips.