It’s pretty much Marketing 101: demonstrate that your product or service is better than the competition, and demonstrate it in as many different ways as possible. Testimonials are an integral part of setting yourself apart in this way. Consumers love to know why they should choose a specific company, and they love to hear it from other consumers.
Testimonials give Internet users that “why”. They’re an essential part of marketing your company and yourself because positive feedback could convert potential customers into actual customers. They allow you to control the positive feedback, and give yourself a couple of credentials in the process. Testimonials help with SEO for much the same reason.
How They Help With Search Engine Optimization
Search engines love reviews because Internet users love reviews. People love reading other people’s reactions, and it’s why so many companies offer rating sections. But it’s not only Internet users; Google and other search engines favor sites that are highly rated and will put them high on the list of returns. The only way to get this is to have ratings online.
How it helps with SEO is a multifaceted answer. Reviews and testimonials raise your social profile, proves to search engines the ratings are there to back up your profile, and can improve that profile in search engine result pages. If star ratings are included, that’s also better – they can boost conversion rates, and search engines can find and return starred results. A constant stream of reviews and testimonials is also a great way to get new, organic content.
Reviews can also appear on other business review sites, like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Yahoo Local, and they can increase your traffic and visibility. Some, like Yelp, do not let local businesses solicit reviews, so they can backfire if you try too hard. The best way to show positive reviews of your company are: a) offer a great product or service anyway, and b) to get them yourself!
Getting Those Testimonials
So while testimonials are good things, you’re going to need them. Ask loyal customers to write a blurb for you, and include their photo and company alongside it. It puts a face to the review and makes it more personal. If you want to solicit testimonials from clients create your own review handout and send it to every new customer. Ask them to be specific about the service or product they received, so that certain keywords are used in their review. Put positive ones on the front page, and create a dedicated testimonial page for your company.
You can even put a review section on your site, though that can remove your control from the equation, depending on your site capabilities. People often offer reviews when they’ve had an experience that is either extremely positive or extremely negative. Unless you’re a large company that offers a lot of different services, it could be difficult to get a lot of nuanced reviews. Offering your customers the chance to review your company in a follow-up email is a good way to get them.
Good testimonials can set you apart and can convince potential customers that you’re the company to go with. Testimonials can also help with search engine optimization by showing Google you’re the company to go with. Don’t wait – make asking for feedback a part of your service!