Every service-based small business loves a good testimonial. When you get good feedback from folks who love your work for all the right reasons, of course you want to paste those testimonials on your website for everyone to see!
So what’s the catch? Even if it makes you feel warm and fuzzy, not every testimonial is gold for online marketing.
Not every testimonial is helping your website sell for you, either. In fact, the way you use testimonials on your website could actually be hurting you.
There are a few things to watch out for when you’re choosing your next website testimonial.
Testimonials that are too vague
We know that a good testimonial can build a potential client’s trust in your business. 72% of folks say testimonials help them trust a business, in fact. Even so, some testimonials don’t do the best job of that.
Consider this: have you ever asked a friend about a service you’re looking for, and they give you a recommendation. They’re glowing with praise, saying, “they’re so great! Totally the best in town!” When you get that service for yourself, however, you find that it’s… well, not so great?
That’s because what makes them great for your friend doesn’t necessarily make them great for you.
Testimonials on your website are like that, too. All the “greats,” and “bests,” prove that someone loved your work, but they don’t tell your audience why that is.
When you’re choosing which testimonial deserves to be on your website, look for that why. Testimonials from clients who talk about the problem you solved, the positive changes they felt, or the parts of your approach they loved are way more convincing than a bunch of vague superlatives taking up space.
Testimonials that take up too much space
Speaking of taking up space, one of the biggest ways that testimonials can cost you sales is by taking up too much space–especially on your homepage.
I’ve seen testimonials that are practically a novella pasted onto a business homepage, and let me be real with you: nobody is going to read that testimonial. They may skip over it entirely.
And when they skip over it, they may also skip over something important–like that button to book a session with you. Or they could leave your website entirely.
So, keep it brief. Choose the one or two sentences from that endless string of praises that actually communicate what’s so special about your work. Give folks just enough to keep them interested, without distracting from the most important elements of your website.
Testimonials on your website that are hidden away
This might be an unpopular opinion, but I stand by it:
Testimonials pages on your website are a waste of time.
Sure, having a testimonials page is better than having no testimonials on your website at all, but you’re missing out on a lot of the benefits of a really juicy testimonial.
Having testimonials on their own separate page just hides them away from your audience, hoping that they’ll just happen to click on the right link to see them.
Wouldn’t it be much more powerful to share the details of one of your services on your website, and then have that perfect testimonial right there alongside it, telling your audience exactly why they should book you right now?
Yes, yes it would.
If you have that social proof, don’t hide it away. Try pairing it with your other web content for that extra punch.
Want some help figuring out what should go on your homepage instead of that college-essay-length testimonial? You can try a Website One-on-One to get some of my quick insights, or book a Website Design consultation and my team and I will hook you up with a full project that guide you through it.