Importance of Customer Testimonials
Having testimonials from customers is hugely important to any business, big or small, selling services or products in a B2B or B2C environment. They help to increase trust in your brand and products, improve customer retention, promote your brand and give an insight into the customer experience.
Creating a Trustworthy Brand
The internet has revolutionised the way we shop, letting customers research products more thoroughly and creating a more informed consumer. People can be reluctant to part with their money, so when they do, they want the best possible product and a level of service to match.
You’ll no doubt have come across poor quality products online, and customers are increasingly sceptical about the claims companies make. Being seen as a genuine, transparent and trustworthy brand is vital to your company’s image and sales.
Customer testimonials can help to build this image. A happy customer that praises the product/service and shows how it has been beneficial to them will cultivate more interest and is more likely to persuade someone else to choose your business.
It’s the difference between telling people your company is great, and showing them.
Testimonials and Social Media
Social media is a great platform for generating and sharing testimonials – especially Google+, as star ratings from here can appear in the search results.
Comments on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms can be retweeted, liked or shared on your business pages so they’re visible to your followers. Due to their candid, unbiased and non-salesy nature, these comments add authenticity and showcase who the target audience is.
Social media is so prevalent now that it makes sense to target customers via a platform they are already comfortable and familiar with. Having a social presence shows customers your brand is alive, and responding to their social interactions shows you care – whether these interactions are questions, complaints or praise.
Beneficial for SEO
As well as helping to build your brand reputation and customer following, testimonials also have the added bonus of helping to improve your SEO rankings.
Constantly updating your site with new testimonials is a great way to add fresh, unique content that search engines will index and reward you for. It’s also a way to differentiate your product pages in search results from the standard (and slightly boring) manufacturer and product specifications, making them more useful and interesting.
Improve rankings for reviews of your product
As previously noted, customers now research products in great depth before looking to buy, often through online reviews and testimonials. People often search for the name of the product plus ‘review’, so if you have reviews on your website you can tap into this search traffic.
Increase Click-through Rates
Having a rating star system along with a testimonial section for your products can help them to stand out in search results. For example, if five snippets of the same product appear, the one with ratings will benefit from an average 10-20% increase in click-through rates.
Long Tail Targeting
Long tail traffic refers to people arriving on the site via search terms of three words or more. These keywords are often less popular, less frequently used terms that are often quite specific. Although each keyword might not generate much traffic on its own, the traffic is highly relevant to your business and will often result in a higher proportion of enquiries or sales than shorter keywords.
The traffic adds up too. Why target one keyword when you can rank for hundreds?
Additional content in testimonials can increase your chances of ranking for these terms, as the language used by people in testimonials is often the same as the language people use to search for products.
Types of Testimonial
There are a number of types of testimonial to choose from, to match the type of business and product/service you have.
Social posts can include reviews, photos of the product, recommendations or happy comments. These have the benefit of being completely natural – informal comments without any formatting or editing.
Industry insider testimonials add weight and credibility to your product by using a recommendation from a respected expert within a related industry. These are especially relevant for B2B businesses.
The satisfied customer review is a very commonly used format, usually including a photo, name and quote explaining why the product is so great. Using an image helps to create a connection with potential customers.
How to Use Them Effectively
You may think any positive testimonial will do, but they won’t all have the same impact. Choose testimonials that say something about the product or service itself; how it has benefitted the customer, what its best qualities are, how and why it’s useful, or why others should get one too. Having reviews from a range of different individuals in your target audience will help to showcase who the product is aimed at.
A dedicated page on your e-commerce website, plus snippets of comments throughout the site are a great source for potential customers to get a general idea of how well products are received. Having some on the homepage also immediately highlights your credibility to customers before they even start looking at products.
If you need some advice on how best to use your customer testimonials or how to create engaging social media content, contact us today.