The Importance of Testimonials
On your website one of the most powerful pages will be your testimonial page. A testimonial is a statement given by your customers testifying the qualities of your business, good or bad. With great testimonials, customers will know that your product or service is not only legit but also highly acclaimed showing that other people are seeing the benefits of your product or service.
How can you get these testimonials? Well here are some of the sites and social media platforms, which can help you, gain these customer reviews.
Most business today will have a Facebook page and those that don’t, should. Setting up a Facebook page as a local business is a really easy way to gain reviews.
Simply encourage your fans and followers to give your company a review and if you provide a great service, they should all be positive.
LinkedIn can be a great source in gaining reviews of your product or service, through recommendation reviews. However, you can’t get reviews on your company profile, as they are only available for individuals. This works well if you are a freelancer, doctor, or sole proprietor then this is great but what if you own a company with many employees?
We recommend encouraging all of the employees to be active on LinkedIn. This could eventually lead to the employees receiving recommendation from customers they work with on behalf of your company, and with their permission, you could then use these reviews on your website for your testimonial page or employee bios.
Local Search Directories
Local search directories such as Google Places, Yahoo Local, Yelp, Merchant Circle and CitySearch allow members of their networks to write reviews about local businesses. If you have great reviews on these sites, you should share them on your testimonials page as well.
Why would you want to steer your customers to writing reviews on these sites as opposed to writing a testimonial directly for your site? Simple. If you were trying to get Google search traffic to your local business, you would want your business to come up in the search with the most reviews.
Many local search directories are interconnected as well. Google gets reviews from Google users, as well as pulling in reviews from other local search sites like Yelp. Merchant Circle allows member reviews and also pulls them in from Yahoo Local, CitySearch, and other sites as well.
Niche Review Sites
Some business more than others may benefit from niche review sites depending on the industry. For example, a Hotel would want to get great reviews from sites like Trip Advisor and Expedia. With access to these sites, customers have the ability to look at the reviews of the hotel before even visiting their website, so it’s vital to get on these site if you are in the right industry.
The one thing that is stronger than a text-based review would be a video review. A video of your customers praising your products or services and talking about how you have helped them goes a long way to building a solid brand. Convincing customers to do this is the hard bit as some customers may not have the equipment or the know-how do so. If you are the owner of a shop, store or office where customers can come in, why not ask them for a few minutes and film their review yourself.
Rewarding Those Who Review
Not everyone will be so willing to drop a review for your website but if you give them some incentive and a reason for them to do so they may be more inclined. Chances are if you’ve been to a restaurant recently, you have seen an offer on your receipt for a chance to win a cash prize if you call in to do a review over the phone. This same strategy can be applied to online reviews as well.
Local search directories allow you to share coupons and discounts on their sites. Special coding on Facebook can allow you to share special offers for fans only. You can offer a giveaway for people who send in a video review.
Google Alerts Social Mentions
Last but not least it is likely that there are already a ton or reviews on other sites about your company from blogs to small industry magazines. Setup daily notifications via email on Google Alerts and Social Mention for a variety of applicable terms in order to keep track of brand mentions, including your name, business name, brand, and specific product names.
You can use these alerts to find out about any reviews and ask the people who have mentioned your brand if you can use their statement about your company on your testimonials page. Usually people are happy to oblige, especially in exchange for a link from your site.