Thursday, August 8, 2013

Where To Put Testimonials On a Website

In our previous posts we have seen how to increase conversion rate using verifiable testimonials on your website. We have also learned what a perfect testimonial looks like. However to realize the full potential of customer testimonials, you will need to learn one more thing about testimonials. That is "where to place testimonials on a website". I keep hearing this question often on various web developer and even marketing forums.

In this blog post, I will try to explore placement of testimonials in depth. We will also look at:
  • Why placement of testimonials is important?
  • Why should you care?
  • Possible options / What others are doing?
  • Action plan for you!


Most of the successful web developers and online business owners understand the importance of testimonials. That is why we see testimonials being featured on almost all of the websites. Every such website allocates a significant portion of their online real estate to display testimonials. These days you here a lot about testimonials. Thanks to the new set of rules governing testimonials by FTC(Federal Trade Commission), there has been a constant increase in demand for better tools, systems and strategies to manage customer testimonials(relevant links can be found at the end of this post).  However, not everyone understands the importance of correct placement of testimonials in a website. There's no hard rule about where to display testimonials. We will explore more below.

Why placement of testimonials is so important?

We all know why we use testimonials. Their purpose is to instill confidence in prospect users and help to improve conversion rate. For this to happen, the prospects should read the testimonials first! This may sound obvious, but improperly placed testimonials are ineffective. Blindly adding testimonials at random places in your website will not guarantee any success! They should be presented to prospects at the right time to persuade a conversion.

Why should you care?

As with any business decision, placement of testimonials should be decided with due care. So, it is advicable for any web developer or website owner to understand this and place testimonials in places where it's more effective.

Possible options

Here are some of the places on website where you can display testimonials.
  • Home Page: Featuring a couple of high-value testimonials on your home page will encourage your new visitors to engage further with your website. If your business depends heavily on testimonials, it's better to have at least one verifiable testimonial on your home page.
    Testimonial on home page, testimonial sample
    Testimonial on home page

  • Side Bar: Having testimonials on side bar is recommended for e-commerce sites. Testimonials will be visible while the prospect is browsing or searching for various products on the site. It's much effective when used near "Check out" or "Add to cart" button. Users are more likely place order if they see someone else giving testimonial for a product/service they are about to purchase.
  • Product page: When the testimonial is for a particular product, it makes sense to add it to your product detail page. You can have long and descriptive testimonials here. This is where your prospect is going to spend time to learn more about your product.
    Testimonial placement, best position for testimonial, testimonial sample

  • Dedicated page: It's not uncommon to have testimonials on their own page. This is helpful to address casual browsers who are curious to know who your customers are and what they are saying about your product/service/company. Generic testimonials that endorse your business or service can go in this section.

Action plan for you!

Now that we know what are the options we have, it's time to act on using what we learned for our benefit. As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, when it comes to placement of testimonials there's no one-size-fits-all solution. I suggest a combination of above options.

  • One short and powerful testimonial on home page and detailed product specific testimonials on product page.
  • Testimonial on fixed side bar and near call-to-action area(like "Place order" or "Checkout")
  • Any of the above two and a dedicated testimonials page. Testimonials on other pages can link to this.
I encourage you to try different combination on your website and find out what works best for your product/service. Along with placement, you can also try special effects like "slide show", where testimonials change every 4-5 seconds.

Useful Links:
Advertising and Marketing on the Internet: Rules of the Road [PDF]
Harnessing The Power Of Customer Testimonials On Websites
How To Increase Conversion Rate
Verifiable Testimonials Explained
Anatomy of a Good Website Testimonial

Do you use testimonials on your website to increase testimonials? Share your experience in comments. You are encouraged to try different approach suggested in this article and share your experience in comments.

Also check out, our awesome systematic reputation management solution that comes with system, tools and strategies to use testimonials to increase conversion rate.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Anatomy of a Good Website Testimonial

Testimonials are your website's certificates. Testimonial's power as a marketing tool is undeniable.

It gives you the ability to instill confidence in your customers about service or product your website is offering. We've all seen big brands produce incredible results from using testimonials, but not nearly as often as you would expect.

While there are several variables that factor into the end result you can produce from testimonials, there's one very basic skill that many brands and businesses have failed to master, that is the art of creating the perfect Testimonial.

You can harness full potential of testimonial only if your customer perceive it as authentic.

In this article you will find qualities of a good website testimonial design.

good website testimonial template

  1. Product/Service Name:  For what it is given

    Testimonial should be given very specifically to what you are claiming. If it sounds like it is received under different circumstances, it will be irrelevant and  not effective.
  2. Writer Info:  Who has given it

    Testimonials from reputed people in your field will have relatively better results. Your testimonial strategy should include getting them from people who have more authority and influence in your audience domain.
    Name and photo of the writer are must, title and organization name can be published optionally.
  3. Identity:  Is  identity of the writer verifiable

    Your website visitor should able to verify the identity of the writer. Link the identity information with writer's public profile on the Internet.
  4. Verification Seal:   Is it verified by third party

    Your new visitor should not perceive it as you have made it up. It should be verified and maintained by a trusted third party. Third party should confirm it is given by the mentioned person. Reason for having testimonial on your website is to give evidence for your claims. There is a strong need for you to give evidence for validity of testimonials on your website.
  5. Message Text:  What has been said

    In the absence of any guidance, customers will frequently state simply that what you did was "good" or "great".
    Better testimonial tells about
    • Why a customer needs your services
    • Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
    • Sharing happy experiences your customer had with you.
  6. Layout: What is it's design

    Show the testimonials to instantly grab attention and in the most-effective proven way for maximum return.
    Testimonial template should be visually appealing. Decide on number of testimonials, font size, order and where on your website you want to show them.
  7. Date & Place:  When and where it is given

    Mentioning date and place of receiving it gives more authenticity. Recency of them will have more impact in some cases.
When it comes to testimonials, quantity doesn't matter much. Only 6% of the prospects will read more than 3 of them, while 90% of the prospects are influenced by testimonials.

  Info-graphics on testimonial design and user behavior

 You need to be keen on order in which they are displayed, you should show best 3 testimonials on top.

Your testimonial marketing strategy should focus on getting better testimonials than getting more number of them.

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Write your thoughts in the comment section.
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