Businesses have a dilemma; do you put testimonials on a website? Also known as user-generated content (UGC), testimonials and reviews are said to be more trusted by purchasers than anything the company says about itself. Not only is it trusted, but it is also one of the best ways to build brand awareness and credibility. 
Whether you’re undecided about testimonials for a website or want to add them but aren’t sure how to display testimonials on a website, read on. We’ve got the low down on all you need to know about testimonials on your website. 

 What is a testimonial? 

Let’s start with a quick definition of a testimonial. In basic terms, it is a recommendation or referral from someone that has had an interaction with your business. It could have been solving their problem, improving their buying experience, installing a product or service, helping them with a challenge or they just felt they had great customer service. Generally, a testimonial describes how your business helped the customer. 
There is a misconception that a testimonial is the same as a review; it isn’t. Let us explain: 
A testimonial is sought, collected, owned and managed by the business that provided its customer with a product, service or advice. 
A review is collected, owned and managed by a third party, such as Google, Feefo or Tripadvisor – the business itself may not necessarily be involved in the process of collecting reviews. However, it is the business that instructs the third party and pays for the service. There is an exception to this in that Google collects and displays reviews for Google Business Profile listings. 
Testimonials come from a variety of sources; it could be an email from a happy client, a social media response or tweet, it could be a letter, a survey, it could even be a verbal testimonial from the customer (if this is the case, ask them to put it in writing, such as an email). 

Why testimonials on a website are important 

There is an opinion that testimonials aren’t necessary, and maybe that argument had some weight to it several years ago. However, since the pandemic, when people were forced to purchase online, reviews and testimonials became an important part of their buying decision. 
Indeed, 76% of consumers purchase a product because of a recommendation, and 72% believe that customer reviews and testimonials are more credible than what the brand says about their business. 
Testimonials are the approval many consumers need to feel confident about building a relationship and buying from a business. Let’s look at the top reasons why testimonials on a website are important: 
They create a great first impression. 
They build credibility. 
They boost trust. 
They are persuasive social proof. 
They demonstrate a business’s capability to solve a problem or challenge. 
They increase conversions and sales. 
So, now you know why it’s important to have testimonials on your website, let’s discuss where they should be. 

Where should you put testimonials on a website? 

There are two key places to put testimonials on a website – the home page and the product or service page(s). Testimonials on the home page are an important element in making the all-important first impression when a visitor lands on your website. 
Remember, your website is the same as your physical shop window. So, your testimonials should be in a position where they can be easily seen. Many websites these days carry testimonials on the home page in a slider format, which means several testimonials can be loaded onto the home page and are consistently visible. However, make sure the slider doesn’t run through the testimonials too quickly or your visitor won’t be able to read them. 
If the testimonial is specific to one of your products or services, back up that product/service's credibility by adding the testimonial on that page. In fact, some websites use pull-out quotes on their product/service pages that demonstrate to customers the value of the product/service and reassure them they are making a good buying decision. Landing pages are another good place to add a testimonial. Indeed, you can have a testimonial on every page of your website, as long as they are different from each other. There really is no limit on how many or where you place your testimonials. 
You may find with service-oriented businesses they have a dedicated testimonial page that also carries their client’s logo alongside the testimonial. This not only promotes the service and adds credibility but also establishes trust between your business and that of your client, reinforcing the strength of your business. 

Can I legally use testimonials? 

Is it worth having testimonials? The answer is a resounding yes, and it should become a habit to ask for testimonials from clients/customers. However, there are certain do’s and don'ts when it comes to using testimonials, particularly in light of GDRP requirements. 
1. Don’t be tempted to make up testimonials – apart from the fact that it is illegal to do so, if discovered not only would you face prosecution but you would also lose customer credibility fast. 
2. Don’t be tempted to ‘bend’ a testimonial – it can be tempting to exaggerate or slightly alter a testimonial to show your business in a better light; don’t. A testimonial should be an accurate representation of your business and how you helped your customer/client. 
3. Don’t tell a customer what to say – the whole point of a testimonial is that it is the customer’s viewpoint on your service, not yours. 
4. Always ask permission to use the testimonial – this is particularly important if you are including the customer’s name, even if it is their initials, location and company, such as a logo, picture or video. 
5. Make sure any reviews posted on your website have the right citation – using online reviews on your website can only be done if they carry the right citation. So, always get the user’s permission, always use the customer’s name and don’t use the review owner’s branding, such as the Google logo. 
A website without a testimonial may get passed by in comparison to a website with testimonials. It’s an extremely competitive online environment, and with a testimonial or review carrying such weight in the consumer’s buying decision, you could be missing out on sales. 

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