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You probably already know about the power of using testimonials as social proof on your site, right? In case you don’t, let’s talk numbers:

  • 98% of US adults found user-generated reviews helpful in their holiday shopping decisions;
  • 90% of consumers worldwide trust earned media (like testimonials) above all other forms of advertising; and
  • Google business listings with 3+ star reviews take 87% of customer clicks.

Those are big numbers, proving customer testimonials are a big deal. But that’s not the end of the story.

Wondering why the customer testimonials on your site aren’t hitting the mark? Let’s talk about why they’re not doing as much good as they could and what you can do about it, right after reviewing the facts behind why testimonials work their magic so well.

Why Testimonials = More Conversions

So many benefits. So little reason to not be taking advantage of testimonials in your conversion strategy.

1. Testimonials help build trust and authority.

Displaying testimonials shows your visitors that you’ve been around the block, that you have a track record, and that you’ve had people actually pay you for your services. It also shows that you did a memorable enough job for clients to give you feedback on those services.

And the fact that you’re willing to put that feedback up on your site for all the world to see is essentially saying: “look, you can trust me.”

But it’s not enough to slap a testimonial quote on your site and hope for the best. Testimonials look and feel exponentially more trustworthy when they’re accompanied by an actual photo of the person who wrote them and a link to their social media profiles.

A social media backed testimonial can be the difference between looking authentic and looking fake or pretentious.

2. Good reviews are good—even from a stranger.

Customer testimonials are more effective than analysts’ reports. Why?

Customers aren’t paid or incentivized to give a certain kind of feedback about your company (or at least they shouldn’t be). There’s no other motive to their feedback other than to let you and the rest of the world know that you did a good job and it is appreciated. The voice of the customer is powerful, even if no one knows that customer, personally. In fact, most people value testimonials as much as they would a personal recommendation from a friend.

3. Even “bad” reviews can be good.

You know what bad reviews say?

“This one person (because hopefully the good far outnumber the bad) didn’t jive well with my company and gave us a review that makes us sad, but we’re so confident in our services, and we believe in truth in advertising so much, that we’re brave enough to show the world this bad review anyway.”

You’ll look genuine as heck. Pretty much in any scenario, testimonials are good for your online appearance and good for conversions.

What’s more, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Or, what one person perceives as “bad” in a testimonial, can actually be seen as “good” to someone else!

For example, let’s say a client claims your customer service is lacking because they never got a phone call from you – only email. Another person reading that on your site may get excited because they hate receiving phone calls and actually prefer email. Win, win.

Testimonials: The Secret Weapon Most SEOs Don’t Know About!

You know what else testimonials are, though? They’re opportunities.

Not just for adding some visuals to your site (i.e. customer profile pics!) and not just for building authority. Perhaps most important of all, is that they’re perfect opportunities for better SEO.

You’re simply not getting the most return on your testimonials if you’re not using an SEO-friendly platform that beefs them up with SEO best practices. The ultimate way testimonials are good for SEO, is that they’re an opportunity to include more user-generated keyword-rich content on your site—for free!

With SEO-friendly testimonials, you’ll rank higher in SERPs, appear more authoritative to users, and get found by the right customers.

Let’s take a look at an example…

How Testimonials with Built-In SEO Can Boost Your Brand Visibility

KeyScouts, an inbound marketing agency, used the testimonials widget from Spectoos to increase their brand visibility and obtain the lucrative Google star-rating in less than 2 weeks.

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How’d they do it? They subscribed to Spectoos and enabled star ratings on their testimonial request forms.

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It took 6 testimonials from happy customers and two weeks in order to get listed on Google’s top results for their own brand name.

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Optimized Testimonial Pages

Spectoos ties everything together—your company details, your customers’ feedback, your site pages—and optimizes it all for SEO using WebCEO tools (the most powerful SEO tools in the business).

That’s how Spectoos turns a good old-fashioned testimonial into the search engines’ favorite fuel.

Genuine Testimonials + SEO = Higher CTR & More Conversions

Leaving SEO out of that equation means you’re not getting as many conversions as you could be. Leveraging the SEO power of your testimonials can drive more search traffic around relevant, brand-related keywords. But you won’t get the best results possible from doing that with just any ol’ testimonials. They must be genuine.

Combining SEO with authentic testimonials (showing real people’s faces and linked to their real social profiles) is the ideal way get a higher CTR, meaning more people engage with the testimonials. On average, Spectoos report seeing the CTR in the range between 10%-25%, which is considered very high. When more people engage with the testimonials, more people are likely to engage with your brand and convert.

Going back to the KeyScouts case study, they report seeing a 20% average increase in web conversions just by using the Spectoos testimonial widget above the fold on their site.

What does your conversion rate look like now? Could it stand to improve by an average of 20%? If so, you know what to do: let SEO-friendly testimonials push you up to the top of SERPs and get your site in front of the right people.

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