Why Testimonials are Important

by | Apr 15, 2021 | Website Design

Understanding why testimonials are important starts with recognizing that your testimonials give you a lot of information about your customers. They give you the chance to learn how your ideal customer speaks.

Why is that important?

Well, when you know how they speak, then you can start to speak their language. Speaking their language helps your ideal customer see you as someone who is like them.

That similarity is the foundation of the connection. The sort of connection that leads them to recognize that your service meets their needs best.

How do we get all of that out of a testimonial?

We start by identifying their style of communication. We look at what they liked best about your service. Then we notice what about your company stuck in their mind enough to write a few sentences about it.

That information (when combined) gives us valuable information about how they speak and what matters to them. By using that information, we can learn to speak our customer’s language better.

A lightbulb for the tip from Compelling Ventures on Website Design To learn more about speaking your customer’s language, check out Lingo by Jeffery Shaw.

Plus, testimonials help in another way!

Testimonials help those similar customers. It shows them that they aren’t blindly putting faith in your service. Someone else has already tried it– and they liked it!

A lightbulb for the tip from Compelling Ventures on Website Design Nearly 95% of customers read online reviews before purchasing.

The Importance of Testimonials on a Website

Know we know what a testimonial can tell us. So, let’s refocus on how to use them. More specifically, let’s focus on why testimonials are important for growing our business online.

We need to start by recognizing that most customers won’t buy unless they’ve read a review.

It is such a key part of the purchase process. That’s why the importance of testimonials on a website cannot be understated.

Here are a few ways testimonials work from a marketing psychology perspective.

Testimonials Can Build Your Authority

Here is the crux of the matter: that old saying “You can’t be a prophet in your own town” is very true. Telling your customers how much you know about your service and how great you are can only go so far. Eventually, they need to hear from someone else.

They need to verify what you’re saying. It’s not that they don’t trust you… it’s just that they don’t trust you yet. A testimonial can change that.

Testimonials Can Strengthen Your Connection

Remember how we talked about the customer’s voice earlier? The importance of testimonials on a website is this: you can showcase your existing customer’s voices. You can show potential customers how someone (just like them!) experienced your services.

Now you have brought in two different people speaking the same language to your potential customer: You and your existing customers.

That helps you strengthen the connection between you and your potential customer. Because it shows them that they have a lot in common with their existing customers.

Why Testimonials Work Best When Fair and Accurate

There are 3 reasons why testimonials work best when you represent them fairly and accurately.

1st Reason: Because then your customers walk in expecting exactly what you provide.

If you select only the best testimonials for your website you are running a huge risk. You may end up with a customer who expected one service and received a different one. That different service may not be what they wanted at all. Which means you’ll have to deal with an upset customer. A disappointing outcome for all parties.

2nd Reason: Because the authenticity of those reviews is more likely to ring true for your potential customers.

If all of the reviews you show are beautiful and good, your customers may feel like things are “too good to be true” and look for another service. It seems counterintuitive; but, it is a risk you run. And it’s why it’s important to make sure the reviews you show on your website are an authentic and fair representation of your services.

A lightbulb for the tip from Compelling Ventures on Website Design Businesses whose reviews are 15-20% negative earn 13% more in annual revenue than businesses whose are 5-10% negative.
3rd Reason: It’s the law!

In many countries, there are government agencies that have strict rules regarding the use and distribution of testimonials. When adding your testimonials to your website be sure you are following their rules!

A lightbulb for the tip from Compelling Ventures on Website Design Learn more about the FTC’s testimonial rules in the US here.

Why Short, Sweet, and To-The-Point Testimonials are Great! 

Most people scan websites. In our fast-paced world, it is rare to have a customer who wants to read every single word on your site. But, we have seen the importance of testimonials on a website. So we know customers will stop to read them.

That’s why testimonials that are short, sweet, and to the point are useful.

Because those testimonials allow your customer to keep scanning. Plus, they give your customer the ability to read the testimonials without getting lost in them.

That means they can return to deciding to purchase your product.

How to Use a Long Testimonial

First things first, there is definitely a time and place for long testimonials. If you know your ideal customer prefers reading them– then, definitely use them.

If you know that your customer is the scanning type and you’re thinking of using part of a long testimonial, tread with caution!

We always recommend approving the part you want to use with the customer who wrote it. It is CRUCIAL to retain the intent of the testimonial. That is why testimonials cropping can be so tricky. Because if you do not retain the intent or do not have approval, you can get into trouble with both your customer and the government.

Assuming you’ve crossed all of those T’s and dotted all of those I’s… here are the nuts and bolts: you can always use the ellipses […] to indicate that you are reflecting a partial testimonial.

A lightbulb for the tip from Compelling Ventures on Website Design We recommend linking back to the original (full-length) testimonial with a nofollow link that opens in a new tab.

Knowing Why Testimonials are Important is the First Step

Now you know why testimonials are important, and (even more crucially) you know the importance of testimonials on a website. That means it’s time to add your testimonials to your website! If you get stuck, we’re always here to help! Just contact us and we will get you set up.

Ari Scheller

Ari Scheller

CEO/Founder/Designer

An avid advocate (say that three times fast!) for the sustainable evolution of the travel industry. Ari believes that travel has the power to transform lives. Supporting like-minded businesses is at the heart of everything Ari does.

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