Don't Bother Adding Client Testimonials on your Website
by Dave Maloney
A blurb that just reads “Hornbuckle Design Services is awesome! - J.S., Professional” doesn't really say anything about your company. Having a whole testimonials page full of these isn't going to be very helpful to your business either.
When it's done right, client testimonials can be a valuable marketing tool. Reviews from “real people” can help you gain the trust of potential customers, giving them a little encouragement towards choosing you to do business with. The biggest problem with a testimonials page is that it's common for people to dismiss them as fake, and it's possible that having them there may be doing you more harm than good.
Bad Client Testimonials
- First of all, it's best if they're genuine, from “real” clients. If you don't have any, it's ok and doesn't hurt to ask. Also, a big part of making them appear “real” is mentioning who said them. Posting a name, company name, their title even contact info makes the testimonial look much more sincere than some anonymous initials with a title like “Professional.” Again, asking permission from them is a good idea.
- Don't bother with quotes that say nothing like “These guys rock!” Get more specifics. Testimonials that mention how you or your product or service helped them in some way have a ton more value. “Despite the short notice, Hornbuckle Design was able to meet our tight deadline and our new product launch was a huge success!” In your asking a client for a quote you could even ask if there was a challenge that your product/service helped them overcome.
- But don't try stuffing keywords or “doctoring” quotes; people's spider-sense can still pick up on BS, and you don't want to sound phony.
- The other end of a testimonial being too generic would be being too long. No one wants to read the whole short story, and most will probably just scroll on by it. Keep it readable, just a few lines long. If you have a really long testimonial, but it has a lot of good substance to it, consider breaking it up and using pieces of it in multiple places.
Sprinkle Them In
Which brings us to to our next tip: skip the client testimonials page. While a long list of positive comments may look impressive, your testimonials page is most likely going to be skipped over by prospective buyers. Rather than sticking them all in one place that may or may not be looked at, spread them around your site. If you have a testimonial that mentions benefits of a specific product or service you offer, adding it to the sidebar of that specific product/service page will provide a lot more impact.
Don't title them “testimonials”
If you have to title them at all, try something less stale like “What Others are Saying” or something like that. If their interwoven with your page content, they really don't need a title at all; people can figure out that it's a quote.
In this age of social media, “likes” and recommendations, the power of client testimonials and “word-of-mouth” advertising is undeniable. Just avoid generic, empty or phony sounding space-fillers which will only make you look bad and hurt your business' credibility rather than enhance it.
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