Today we’re going to talk about a more underrated page on business sites: the testimonials page. This vital website element can either be your best friend or your worst enemy depending on a few factors: 1) you’re a brand new business, and have zero testimonials; 2) you have so many to choose from (lucky you!!) and don’t know what to include; 3) you don’t have this page to begin with.
In most cases, having this page on a business website from the get-go is the most ideal because testimonials can do so much for your company.
Why Does My Website Need Testimonials?
Some business websites don’t have this specific web page for a few reasons. They may not have gotten any testimonials until after the site was launched and then they started getting them. Or perhaps they use social media a lot and would rather let the reviews there speak for themselves. Whatever the reason may be, it’s actually a greater benefit to your company to have this page on your website in the first place because:
- They boost your credibility (a must for small or up-and-coming businesses!)
- They mark you as a legitimate company and not a fake one
- They can help you grow as a business, especially online (or if you don’t care about your customers or business enough, the exact opposite!)
- You can make them unique and not simply post them in text form; video testimonials, for example, are becoming increasingly popular
(Psst…if tips on how to use your testimonials are what you’re really looking for, we wrote an article about that you can click here to read).
Some business owners may struggle with getting new testimonials more so than others, so it’s worth mentioning that there are some good ways to go about getting new ones. Here are some tips to go about getting those reviews without resorting to being a jerk about it (or feeling like you’re being one…pro tip, you’re not!).
- Have a Call to Action
This call to action (CTA) may have to be applied to every web page on your website in order to convince people that leaving a comment is an option. You can even ask on the testimonials page itself for new reviews, inquiring as to how you performed and (if needed) how best you can improve going forward.
To customers, having this option be available is a good sign of attentive online customer service. They want you to be around when they need assistance, and don’t want to have to wait. If they get service from you that goes above and beyond their expectations, they may even leave a glowing review as a result. Be sure to thank them when it’s posted (another good sign you’re paying attention to customers’ needs!).
- Have Several Channels Online Where That’s Possible
If you don’t have too many glowing reviews on your website, you can try to earn new ones elsewhere online. Directories are a must-do task when it comes to legitimizing your company online, and Google My Business is one of the most polished and flexible kinds to enlist for. Other online networks where you can ask for reviews include social media. Facebook and LinkedIn both are excellent resources if you’re looking to serve customers within your own industry, and you can always ask when the service is complete how they felt about the way things were done.
- Ask People Close to Your Company to Start
While ideally you want reviews from regular, unfamiliar customers and real people, sometimes getting that first review is the most difficult especially if your company is so new to the community. That being said, it never hurts to ask! Once your new website is launched, ask customers you’ve served pre-launch that you’ve got a new website and that you need their help to get it up and going. You don’t want to ask people in your family and friend circles because 1) that would be biased and 2) people see through those reviews right off the bat.
- Set up an Email Marketing Strategy
One of the best ways to ask for new reviews is to, again, present the opportunity in an e-newsletter or an e-mail itself. Again, this should be asked in a CTA and not the bulk of your e-newsletter’s message if something is more pressing, such as a sales bargain or a new package you’re offering. Some companies may find it easiest to send a form for feedback after an appointment has taken place for a customer (make this an option they can either follow through with or not! Nothing drives customers away than realizing they’re forced into something they don’t want to do).
E-mail is still an effective means of communicating with your customers to this day, so asking for a review at the end of your newsletters can give you that much-needed boost of feedback you’re looking for.
- (Optional) Provide an Incentive
Now we’re calling this tip an optional one only because this can be a double-edged sword if you’re not careful about it. For example, if you offer a discount to your service or a free complimentary session in exchange for a testimonial from first-time customers, you need to follow through with that kind of a promise otherwise there WILL be dire consequences. This course of action can also come across as ‘sketchy’ and untrustworthy, even desperate, if you go about this idea the wrong way.
If you’ve already tried the other methods listed here and it doesn’t work, then this one can be of some use. We have to reiterate though: don’t break your promise of a discount or make one in the first place if you can’t afford to. Failing to keep your promises to your customers is the ‘best’ way to lose them!
Bonus Tip: Don’t EVER Post Fake Testimonials About Yourself
Yes, there are companies that have done this in the past in order to get more 5-star and positive reviews. No, we don’t agree with it and it is a terrible idea. Please, please don’t ever do this.
How to Start: Have a Business Website in the First Place
The most important step to this tip is to have a website in the first place! That way you can feature your new testimonials there, as well as a listing on Google My Business (a must for smaller and startup companies these days). You can add new testimonials on Google to your website once it’s live (which is also completely optional, and up to you).
Hopefully these tips help you and your business out no matter how old or new it is! If a new website is what you need to get this course of action going and you need to build up your brand, give us a call for a free quote.