DO Mine Your Recommendations
People may already be saying nice things about your business, your products or you on other websites. If you find these tidbits, you can use them in your web marketing.
Go through these sites like you’re panning for gold. Be ready to copy any nuggets you find and paste them into your site, and always mention what site the review came from:
- Google Places (find your listing in Google Maps)
- LinkedIn recommendations
- Bing and Yahoo!
- Open Table for restaurants, Trip Advisor for travel, etc.
- Yelp!, Merchant Circle and other local listings
You should be watching these listings anyway, either by subscribing to updates from each site or through Google Alerts set up for your business name. Hopefully, everyone has positive things to say about your business. If you come across a negative review, it is vital that you respond to it. If a prospective client comes across a negative review, but also sees that you have offered to help solve the problem in a public forum, then that potential customer will see that you do care about your customer’s happiness, which may lead to a positive impression after all.
DO Check Your Inbox for “Reviews”
- In many cases, “reviews” show up in your inbox. They’re emails from happy clients. Your first instinct should be to write back and say thank you. Your second instinct should be to use these testimonials in your marketing. Ask for permission first.
- If appropriate, you can also politely ask the sender to copy and paste the review into a site such as LinkedIn, Yelp! or your Google Places page. If they do, you should be eternally grateful.
DO Solicit Reviews from Superfans
Satisfied customers are usually happy to talk about their experiences. We know it’s hard, but you have to get over the hesitation and social awkwardness of asking for the favor. Just do it. It’s worth it. Then thank them profusely. If they’re giving you a testimonial for your web site, you may even want to link back to them.
DON’T Make a Testimonials Page
It’s very common for businesses to want an entire page just for testimonials on their web site. They’re great right? Maybe not so much. Do you think people will go to a page to read them all? Do you ever visit “testimonials” pages? Probably not.
In general, testimonial pages are not frequently visited (check your Google Analytics). But if you take those testimonials and put them on pages about products and services, they will lend credit to other content. Testimonials are supportive content, so add them to pages like a bow on a package. All wrapped up, nice and neat.