For the majority of today's consumers, testimonials play a significant role in their purchase decisions. A testimonial can help solidify a consumer's product selection, boost trust in a business, and even help generate a new desire for a product the consumer wasn't previously shopping for.
Considering how much power testimonials have, it's imperative that companies across all industries display the right testimonials, in the right places, in order to convert more leads. Unfortunately, too many companies neglect this important tool for business growth, as many times they're under the mistaken assumption that there isn't much that can be done with testimonials.
Testimonials can be analyzed and optimized in ways that can make them one of your most valuable tools for generating leads and conversions. This is why you should care about how your testimonials are performing, and learn what you can do to make them perform even better.
Are your testimonials located in the right places across your web assets? Do the testimonials you're displaying come from reviewers who represent your target audience? These are the key questions you need to ask yourself as you dive into the process of optimizing your testimonials for improved performance.
Measuring the performance of your testimonials
Before you can take any steps towards optimizing your testimonials, you first need to understand the results they're generating.
There are the three main ways you can gauge your testimonials' performance:
- Views - The number of times a certain testimonial was viewed is a great indicator as to its relevance to your target audience.
- Profile clicks - How many times were your reviewer's profiles clicked? This can provide insight into whether your site visitors relate to the testimonials you choose to highlight. When they see reviews from people in a similar position to their own (similar job titles, companies, etc.), they can more easily imagine themselves having similar experiences to those of the reviewers.
- Leads Generated - With some straightforward A/B testing, you can deduce whether an increase in leads is the result of your testimonials.
There are a number of tools out there that can help you analyze the performance of your testimonials. For example, the Spectoos testimonial platform helps you with everything related to managing and optimizing your testimonials through an attractive, fully integrated analytics dashboard that makes it easy to understand your testimonials' performance metrics.
The Spectoos platform also enables you to add and aggregate your testimonials from various networks across the web (LinkedIn, Facebook, Amazon, Yelp, etc.) and display them in what they call a "Faceboard" (see below) on your website, Facebook business Page, landing pages, and other web assets.
How to Optimize Your Testimonials
Now that you know which metrics to measure, and have determined if your testimonials are not performing as well as you'd like them to, you can start optimizing them to get more leads.
Here are four ways to do it:
1. Improve your testimonials' location
One of the most basic - and important - steps for improving the performance of your testimonials is ensuring that their placement on your website is ideal. Considering how influential testimonials are, you should put them right in front of your site visitor's eyes when they reach your site.
Most people won't scroll down to the bottom of the page or click on your "Clients" tab to read testimonials, so placing them on your homepage, above the fold, is the best placement for optimal results.
2. Display your highest quality testimonials
Some testimonials speak louder than others. Your highest quality testimonials will consist of stories that resonate with your target audience. This means reviews that mention common challenges or issues that your customers use your solution or product to solve.
The best testimonials also provide details - while shorter testimonials that are quick and to the point are nice, testimonials that offer deeper insight into the reviewers' experiences can more effectively impact the buying decisions of your site visitors.
For example, this short testimonial is very positive. But it doesn't give potential customers an idea about the type of experience they could have.
Meanwhile, a longer testimonial that gives details about the reviewer's situation makes potential customers feel empathetic - which can more significantly impact their decisions to choose your offering.
3. Make sure your testimonials appear on relevant pages
If your company offers a variety of services or products, the testimonials you display on those product pages should be relevant to that specific offering.
For example, let's say your company offers SEO, content marketing and social media marketing services. A person who's considering hiring you to improve their company's SEO won't benefit as much from testimonials about your social media marketing services.
Marketo puts this rule into practice - their Lead Management solution page, for example, features a video testimonial from a client who used that specific solution. This video testimonial speaks most powerfully to site visitors who are considering the same solution, as they can more easily relate to the person in the video and imagine that they will also experience positive results.
If you don't have video testimonials for each of your individual offerings, you can still divide and display your testimonials, accordingly. The Spectoos testimonial platform mentioned above for measuring testimonial metrics also enables you to create multiple Faceboards. You can put a different Faceboard on each of your service or product pages and populate them with relevant testimonials.
4. Get influencers to leave you testimonials
Influencers can make a big difference when it comes to helping grow your business. Building relationships with the people who others trust and look to for guidance enables you to reach a wider audience that you might not be able to access otherwise. When influencers promote you through a positive testimonial, that testimonial holds a ton of weight with your audience. Research has shown that this tactic can help increase your ROI by over 13%.
Freelance marketing writer, Kristi Hines, an influencer herself, employs this tactic expertly by using endorsements from other industry influencers, like this one from Neil Patel, to promote her services:
As you can see, testimonials can have a big impact, and it's important you're utilizing them in optimal ways to maximize their benefits. In the social media era, word of mouth is more powerful than ever, and great, balanced testimonials can ensure you're tapping into this trend and using it to full effect.
Hopefully these notes get you thinking about how you can use testimonials in your own marketing efforts.