Using Testimonials Effectively

People seem to have a need to know what others think before they place an order for a product or service. They tend to ask everyone they know, both offline and in forums. They will often even research the net for reviews and testimonials.

Unfortunately, testimonial letters have gotten a bad rap because of all the sales websites that use fake template style testimonials. Very few people find these types of testimonials believable and it can destroy the credibility of the company using them. If you want to develop a successful online business that you can depend on, both now and in the future, do not even consider using these types of testimonials.

If it isn’t so, don’t say it. Don’t even imply it.

There are legitimate techniques to start using testimonials effectively though. It is a simple matter of adding credible information in the footer of every testimony. There should be a way of verifying that each testimonial is real, such as a name, location, and link to their website. You can examples of this technique on the following pages:

SEO Training Testimonials
SEO eBook Testimonials

Often your clients will send thank you letters that are perfect for a testimonial page, but make sure that you ask for permission before publishing it to your website. Most of your clients will appreciate the link, but if you cannot get permission, do not use it. Testimonials without credibility will not benefit your business.

Another method of getting testimonials is to simply ask for them. You will be surprised at how many people would love to help you out when you have given them service that is beyond what they expected.

Once you have a few testimonials, you will want to make it easy for your site visitors to find them. Every place on your website that you ask your visitors to take action, such as subscribing to a newsletter, or making a purchase, there should be a link to a testimonial page.

Try to be creative with the text you select for the link to help entice your visitors to click the link and find out more. (Examples Below)

– What Our Subscribers Have to Say About Our Newsletter
– What Others Have to Say About Our Customer Service
– What Others Have to Say About Using Our Services
– What Others Have to Say About Using Our Product

Initially, if you only have a couple of brief testimonials to use, you might want to place them near the part of the page where you are asking your visitors to take action, rather than linking to a page.

Using testimonials effectively can and will help your visitors reach a decision. If you take the time to provide legitimate information in a credible manner, you will not be disappointed with the results.

I WILL DEFINITELY SEE YOU AT THE TOP!

J. Cricket Walker

Small Business Marketing Consultant and SEO Training Specialist
Copyright © 2007 J. Walker of GNC Web Creations All Rights Reserved 

Update: September 6, 2006
Google has now changed the cache date to reveal the last date the page was accessed by Google

“We’ve recently changed the date we show for the cached page to reflect when Googlebot last accessed it (whether the page had changed or not). This should make it easier for you to determine the most recent date Googlebot visited the page.” Google Webmaster