Client Testimonials

Testimonials can be an important part of your website. They can also detract if they aren’t done well. What makes a good testimonials page and should you have them?

I’m a big fan of having testimonials on your website. If you are shopping online and go to buy something, you’ll read reviews right? The best part of being able to shop on Amazon is seeing what other people who have bought the same thing have thought, right?

Amazon is quite a bit different than testimonials on your website though. For testimonials, you get to choose what shows up. On other websites like Yelp, anyone can say anything and it gets published. So this works in your favor.

However, people know that the testimonials on your website are filtered, so you have to do it right. Testimonials are designed to build credibility to you and your business. So you have to convince the website visitor that they are real. That they are true. That these are not just your buddies. How do you do that?

Here are tips for building credibility with testimonials:

  • Use their full name if they’ll let you
  • Ask if you can include their photo
  • Include work done

On our own website, we have a long testimonials page and we not only use photos and names with the testimonials, but we also include a link to each website. This way, people can see what the client has said about us, but also click through to see the actual work that we finished.

This brings a lot of credibility to our testimonials page, because they immediately know this isn’t a fake testimonial. They can see we completed the work. They can judge that work for themselves. They can see the name and photo of the person who owns that website.

The power of a case study

I encourage so many clients to include case studies, but few take this advice. How does this work? You can include a synopsis of work done, how it improved the situation and include the testimonial and photos of the work. This is particularly good for service providers. Have you identified and fixed a problem for a customer? Write it up. Spell out what the problem was, how you diagnosed it, how you fixed it, include photos of the job and even indicate the location if you can and then finish it off with your customer’s satisfied review.

A case study is more powerful than a testimonial alone, because it shows that you know what you are doing, you are making a difference, and your customers are happy with your solution. And the end of the day, people just want to get a solution for their problems.

(Case studies also provide a wealth of keyword rich content for the search engines, which makes them extra great to include on your website.)

What about professional logos?

It’s really popular among writers and those who have done business with large companies to have a logo section on their website, highlighting how other companies have used their service and been happy. This is called the bandwagaon effect, and can be convincing for many potential customers.

What shouldn’t you do?

  • Include generic reviews without full names or details. These often look fabricated.
  • Copy reviews from Yelp/Google/Amazon unless you get permission from these websites to do it (this is a copyright issue as well as duplicated content.)
  • Make up testimonials!
  • Use your friends or family for testimonials

Testimonials can add or detract from your website depending on how you use them.

Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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