How Testimonials Drive Conversions
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How Testimonials Drive Conversions

Testimonials and reviews are a testament to a company’s good standing among its existing base of customers.

More the number of reviews higher the level of trust the brand elicits. Higher trust leads to more purchases. In this age where loyalty is fleeting, we should do all we can for long-term growth and survival.

Improvement in customer retention can improve profits. Studies have repeatedly shown that your customers are deeply invested in reviews, routinely perusing them before deciding to purchase.

Here are a few stats:

  • Review volume is directly proportional to high conversion rates. The research teams even have a solid number—50 or more reviews per product translates to a 4.6% increase in conversions.
  • Product-specific review not only drives conversions but also drives organic rankings and traffic. For example, ten or more reviews mean a 15-20% increase in search traffic.
How Testimonials Drive Conversions
How Testimonials Drive Conversions

Source BazaarVoice

Sites like Amazon and BestBuy have taught customers to be review aware. Reviews drive interaction and affect conversion rates. The interaction may result in different things like :

  • A 58% improvement in the likelihood of a conversion
  • An increase of 62% in revenue
  • 3% more (AOV)

Why should you use customer testimonials for your business?

It’s the eternal question. Which came first— the chicken or the egg?

Customers have no reason to trust a new site. And without trust, there’s no reason for them to purchase from you. No purchase, meaning no testimonials.

You can’t blame them, but how would you salvage your site and get those first reviews?

Here are a few other pointers on how and why testimonials help.

Prospects find testimonials relatable.

Empathy could be our strongest suit. Customers are easily able to relate to testimonials.

A study points out that an overwhelming majority of people, nearly 90%, trust online reviews as much as they trust a recommendation that a friend would have suggested. Therefore, a testimonial is a true feedback from someone considering the same things the visitor is considering.

Testimonials build empathy and increase trust. A report from Survey Monkey states that 73% of adults trust content backed by some data/research. They need authenticity.

Testimonials also prove and authenticate whatever you say you’re good at.

Testimonials substantiate claims

Whatever you’re claiming that your product does is substantiated through testimonials. For example, suppose you’re saying your product blocks sweat and makes life easy. In that case, a testimonial of someone who experienced relief from excessive sweating after using the product is better than anything you can do to substantiate your claim.

They’re endorsements from real people. And a testament to the real-world uses of the product.

A feature set can only describe so much about a product. Your prospective customers are looking for use-cases and experiences that feature sets can’t provide them with.

Testimonials offer competitive insight.

You may have at least a few competitors doing exactly what you’re doing. So how do you differentiate yourself? A real review can explain why your service fared better than others. And only someone who’s used many products and been frustrated by them all can chip in those details.

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Testimonials are particularly effective at improving your website’s search engine optimization because search engines are always on the lookout for indexing and ranking relevant content that’s always fresh, gets updated periodically, and is vast in number. Reviews meet all three criteria.

90% of the searches that are happening are long tail. When writing reviews, people naturally mention dozens of things that cover a lot of long-tail keywords—yet another advantage.

Yotpo’s research on 30000 eCommerce businesses showed that reviews always increased search engine traffic.

They observed data for nine months and saw that customer reviews increased search traffic by 45%.

How Reviews Boost SEO
How Reviews Boost SEO

You can do more than a handful of things to optimize reviews for search engines like Google and reap the maximum benefits.

  1. If you use HTML to place reviews and testimonials, they’re easily indexed compared to javascript.
  2. Schema markups and rich snippets are used by search engines to index and easily find review data.
  3. Google loves beefier content. You can beef up reviews by including more fields and asking more questions. There’s a downside to this, though. As the number of questions increases, the number of participants decreases.

What are the different kinds of testimonials?

Testimonials picked from social media interaction.

If your brand has a Facebook or Instagram page, customers interact with them regularly. Sometimes the feed will have complaints. At other times praise for work well done.

When you do a good job and receive compliments on that, don’t let those idle away on the Facebook page. Instead, take a screenshot and post it on your testimonial page.

Such demonstrations of goodwill and authentic adulation can build up trust.

Teeming with life, there’s no shortage of people who’d readily be your product evangelists.

With a dedicated social media manager, the responses to fans’ social interactions can be immediate, relevant, and well-thought.

Zappos is a true master of art.

Here’s an example.

Testimonials picked from social media interaction
Testimonials picked from social media interaction.

From your social media pages, you could pull out testaments such as these to your review page.

Use a dedicated testimonial page with images from customers

I find increasing pages that use authentic images and quotes from customers.

When customers submit their photos, it’s often ones that haven’t been professionally done. And that’s splendid news. Such pictures appear authentic and give off a next-door-neighbor kind of aura that helps your case.

Here’s an example from Yellow Leaf Hammocks:

Use a dedicated testimonial page with images from customers
Use a dedicated testimonial page with images from customers

The quotes describe their experience with the product.

The quotes describe their experience with the product.
The quotes describe their experience with the product.

Video testimonials

If pictures are powerful, imagine the power exuded by video testimonials.

GrooveHq, when they changed the landing page explainer video to a real live human talking, saw their conversions shoot up from 2.3% to 4.3%, where they stay now.

To cut to the chase, their previous conversion rate, previously 2.3%, was now 4.3%.

Video testimonials
Video testimonials

And afterward edged up to 4.7%, which is the present conversion rate.

Case Studies

Case studies are yet another type of testimonials you can use. Again, I have seen a wide application in tech companies, probably because of the difficulty of wrapping one’s head around the different terms.

It’s also difficult to show the value of a CRM solution in a one-line review compared to a dog collar.

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It is no surprise that Maximizer CRM, a company whose customer base consists of CEOs and founders, showcases case studies.

The page features case studies from different customer groups in a bid to drive home benefits.

case studies from different customer groups in a bid to drive home benefits.
Case studies from different customer groups in a bid to drive home benefits.

When selling a solution, a case study can cover aspects that give the product a well-rounded appearance. The best candidates are people who have repeatedly lauded the benefits you provide. It takes a little more egging to feature them in case studies.

And collecting data isn’t too difficult either. Google survey forms or Survey Monkey are apt tools. Here are a few questions you’ll want to ask:

Ask them about the challenges and problems they encountered in their business or life that made them go looking for a solution

What factors made your business stand out from them the competition?

Your goals when you decide to purchase.

List benefits What benefits did you experience from using our product/service? Ask for quantitative data here. What would you tell other customers suffering from the same challenges you were struggling with?

That’s all good and dandy, but how to get these testimonials?

Here’s how:

How to get testimonials

After the product has shipped and reached their hands— when your customers are brimming with joy and the iron’s hot-you can contact them for a warm review or testimonial.

Sample questions: What do you think of the product? Tell us about your experience using it? Problems?

You don’t want everybody to respond, but a 1 to 2% conversion rate is ideal.

To spice things up, you can also ask for other tidbits like how they discovered the service, if someone recommended it and if there’s anything definingly good about it. If they describe those things, it adds a realness to the testimonials.

The post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t show you the best ways to use these testimonials:

The right way to use these testimonials

The right way to use testimonials before you begin plastering even a single one across the site.

It would be best if you had clarity on the end goal with this.

Look through the eyes of your customer

The best way to do this is by looking at your site with new eyes— your customer’s eyes.

Based on how they arrived on your site, either through searching on Google and landing from an organic listing or through a PPC ad, the customers’ intent can help you understand what’s driving them to the site and what they expect.

Customer testimonials can help prospects see themselves in the shoes of ones who’ve left testimonials. This also makes you come across as a brand that values customer service. Not only customer service, but you can also bring any USP front and center based on the testimonials you choose to display.

It’s entirely under your control.

Highlight your perfect customers

Testimonials also allow you to feature customers whom you consider ideal. Again, this reinforces your building image and would attract more like-minded people.

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Think of the customers who meet all the criteria you’re looking for and search in your database if there are any who have interacted with you with lots of positive comments on your business.

Also, people going through the same problems with the same pain points will strongly relate to the ones in the testimonials. So if a large subset of your prospects can identify with the people in the testimonials, that’s enough for you to run an evergreen business.

Emphasize your USP

Testimonials are really powerful in making your stand. However, testimonials from loyal fans simply enlisting the best features and all they love about you isn’t the wisest use of the space.

Instead, use them to forward your Unique Selling Proposition.

Your unique selling proposition is evident within your product, or your service will automatically find its way inside testimonials. You need not ask your customers for it.

Focus on different selling points in each testimonial

A lot of businesses are well known for what they do well. Starbucks, despite the high cost of coffee, provides unlimited refills. Some others are known for their commitment to customer service.

Whether one or several, you could take this to your advantage. If there are several good things about your brand, share the focus on each. Pick testimonials and line them by each aspect they discuss. This way, you get to present several features of the product authentically.

Conclusion

Finally, the importance of developing trust cannot be understated.

Trust isn’t up for sale. It has to be earned. But there are ways to accelerate that earning, and where we’re going to see ways how:

When fanned enough on social media, bad customer service can bring untold damage to businesses.

These days, even a single incident is enough. I am not kidding. It was forced to close down just because a sandwich restaurant posted a picture of them with Donald Trump.

As the world’s richest man, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos: “If you make a customer unhappy in the physical world, they will tell five people. Online, they can tell 5,000.”. Review sites like Yelp, Locanto, Yext, TripAdvisor, and others have made it incredibly easy to post opinions.

Customer testimonials are one way to get a grip on this elusive element.

Repeat customers are the lifeblood of any successful business.

One of the best ways to keep them coming is by sporting many customer testimonials. Such a site also helps convert prospects who are on the fence about trying your product or service.

What do you think?


Author bio: George runs Kamayo, a blog where he shares advice on life, investments, and making money.

How Testimonials Drive Conversions

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