The Ultimate Guide for Writing Website Testimonials

Ultimate Guide fpr writing website testimonials

Believe it or not, your business is always out on a relationship-building journey. And the cogs driving it include its credibility, capability, and what other people say about it.

It’s no surprise. Customer experience is a critical aspect of your business presence — big or small.

It’s a no-brainer. Your prospects are more at home buying from you if they’ve heard honest accounts and stories from your loyal customers.

You can make all manner of claims about your brand superiority, but your efforts are likely to go down the drain if you lack the requisite social proof.

When you delve into the world of onsite testimonials, you’ll need to provide unbiased third-party validation. This is the only guarantee that you’ll start your testimonials journey on the right footing.

Don’t forget, self-promotion or a high number of unsubstantiated testimonials isn’t the way to go.

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What Is a Testimonial?

The nutshell definition of a testimonial is the positive feedback that your customers share after interacting positively with your product or service. It’s these testimonials that tell prospects that your offering works.

Testimonials are your social proof of your brand’s credibility. They tell others how worthy it is to buy from you.

For testimonials to work for you, you’ll need to find out the positive stories about your products and compile them into one page on your website.

Such a page serves to alert your target audience that, indeed, you’re worth doing business with.

Indeed, a Nielsen study avers that 70% of potential buyers trust appraisals and recommendations from strangers. What could you be waiting for?

Even if yours is a local store, testimonials crank up the perception that people have about your business.

Surprisingly, Google won’t leave your local store unnoticed. Local reviews alone can change search engines’ perceptions meaning our conversions can skyrocket as well.

That said, there are considerable advantages that testimonials heap upon your business once you know how to play the testimonial matrix.

At times, your customers don’t want the fanciful website aesthetics or those sweetened videos.

What matters is the evidence that somebody else with the issue has taken the plunge and ended up happy.

YouTube video

Types of Testimonials

It shouldn’t be a shocker, but the number of testimonials you host on your site won’t work the magic outright. Some types of testimonials will work for a particular website, but they’ll flop when used on a different site. But what types of testimonials can you leverage out there?

  • Quote Testimonials

Quote testimonials are as old as marketing itself. They are crisp and precise. They comprise a brief sentence, and they’re quick to understand. You’ll only need to request a customer who has had a happy experience with your offering.

Consider getting their consent to use their photo, name, and quote. Quote testimonials are about first-hand experiences from your satisfied buyers.

Where can I use them?

Always plug your quote testimonials on your homepage, newsletter, product/service pages, and anywhere else where they remind your prospects about the value your products or services provided.

  • Peer Testimonials

Peer reviews-can be video, verbal, or text, work well when you want to reach out to a group that shares common goals, aspirations, or class. It works well when you leverage a prospect who speaks to many others like him/her. These testimonials are ideal for the B2B sector.

Where Can I Use Them?

Peer testimonials can be used the same way you’ll do with quotes testimonials. However, take caution and place them on pages of your site visited by prospects who share the same ideals or goals.

  • Social Media Testimonials

Social testimonials are almost automatic. You don’t have to sweat for them since happy clients will volunteer to leave them on social media.

You only need to ask for consent to leverage these heavyweights.

Remember, showcasing these unbiased and unsolicited sentiments make you look even more credible. I think it’s the reason why you need to request your prospects to leave some feedback on your social media pages.

Where Can I Use Them?

Whereas it’s not ideal to have them on your home page, social testimonials are best used on the service, product, or “Our Clients” pages.

  • Video Testimonials

A professionally done video testimonial is hard to fake. It’s all the reason why they are the holy grail of testimonials. Video testimonials are alive with authenticity.

They invoke raw emotions, and they demonstrate deep trust. The fact that a customer spent hours to feature on a video convincing others about your offering says a lot.

Where Can I Use Them?

Never hesitate to plug your video testimonials on your homepage.

As long as you’ve shot and edited them like a pro, they will do their “magnetics”. I think the cardinal rule here is to avoid using the same video all over.

Produce several and host them on other crucial pages and ensure they’re relevant to your offering. Lastly, don’t forget to share them on your social media pages.

  • Mashup Testimonials

Even though of mashing-up written testimonials on a backdrop image then spice them with some music.

Better still, you can produce a blast of several people on brief video testimonials. These work the magic when you want to feature different buyer personas, say in a 1-minute video.

Where can I use them?

These mashups are perfect for social media. Even though they’re not quite targeted, they will work best on your YouTube channel compared to your website pages.

  • Influencer Testimonials

Influencer testimonials entail high-profile or iconic personalities saying nice things about your brand.

They’re more or fewer endorsements from public figures with quite a following. These influencers are thought leaders by right, and prospects tend to idolise whatever they endorse.

The good thing is that your influencer doesn’t have to be a celebrity. Remember, your product offering has to be good for the influencer to want in and endorse.

Benefits of Customer Testimonials

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The testimonials that your customers give impact heavily on your brand and ROI.

They help to drive up sales and polish brand perception. Surprisingly, negative testimonials can still do the same. You only need to show your customers that your business is ready to make situations right.

Onsite testimonials can help you to widen your client portfolio.

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You only need to leverage them to demonstrate how agile and versatile you are in meeting and exceeding unique client demands.

  • Speeds conversion: If you’re always having a trickle of positive client reviews on your dedicated pages, your prospects can access everything they need to know about your offering. If they’re always getting social proof that you’re trustworthy, they probably fast-track the decision to buy consistently.

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The modern shopper is more sceptical. In fact, they are more inquisitive and wary of those testimonials on your pages. Reason? They know it’s easy to fake them.

One thing to note is that a strong testimonial has its qualities. A fake one lacks the accuracy, honesty, and specificity required of them.

As soon as you know how to author authentic testimonials, it won’t be difficult to see results. But what makes a strong and authentic testimonial?

Strong testimonials come with specific qualities. They include:

  • Strong emphasis on the result that you’ve helped your audience/customers to achieve
  • It connects to the pain points/problems you solve for your prospects.
  • It demonstrates how your product/service offering is a boon in your niche.
  • It highlights the benefits your customers/clients achieved in the course of interacting with your business.

Essentials of a Good Testimonial

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Not every batch of testimonials is guaranteed to generate you leads. That said, you need to ensure that the testimonials you’re after meet the underlined criteria:

  • They’re short and to the point

Long, novel-like testimonials can turn off your site visitors. Always keep it short, sweet, and scannable. A persuasive testimonial is 30-50 words long. You already know what they say about the attention span. If you must do long-form, consider bolding the keyword around them.

  • Absolute in copy

Just like in copywriting, you’ll need to think about the words to use. There are specific words that address the purpose of the testimonial better than others. Use the valuable words or phrases at the beginning of the testimonial. They help your customers to grasp it fast.

  • Authentic

The last thing you’ll want near your testimonials is fake and unrealistic. Always be real, disarming, and believable. Remember to employ an authentic tone while avoiding impressions that you’re working too hard to sell. It should be about genuine social proof, not hard selling.

  • Relevant

With testimonials, you cannot be talking about one product aspect then deviating to provide a testimonial about prices. Your prospects are wary. Always go for clear-cut testimonials to push for a relative claim.

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The Secret to Writing Great Customer Testimonials

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Whatever type of testimonial you chose to use for your marketing campaigns, there are cardinal rules you’ll need to observe. It sometimes entails liaising and working with some of your clients.

You want it to outshine the rest, then consider drafting their questions and helping them to polish the answers. Here are some things you need to do.

  • Go for it

If you want to skip the mixed-up up ideas from others who bought from you, rethink your stance. Don’t play the horse’s mouth. If you do, you’ll be risking your credibility and legal action to some extent. The only thing you’re allowed to do is basic editing where grammar mistakes or testimonial length sit in your way.

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  • Leverage video and images

Did you know that videos and pictures add to the stunning effect? Now you do. Always consider adding videos or images. Your prospects are bound to remember you from those images or videos embedded in their minds compared to plain text blocks.

  • Align testimonials with the targeted audience

Remember what we said about peer testimonials? Prospects are likely to buy if they see others in their bracket doing the same from you. It’s intrinsic. You only need to do your research well, create a buyer persona, or offer and target specific clusters and get their testimonials.

  • Demonstrate change

Take note; great testimonials don’t focus on the awesomeness of your brand. Instead, they showcase the finer details that point to your brand’s potential in helping a buyer overcome specific problems.

  • Recognise problems and offer assurances

Prospective customers have their fears when it comes to making purchases. The best testimonial will acknowledge such fears, but they’ll offer reassurance that using your products will help them overcome such fears and address their pain points.

  • Position them perfectly

It’s important to use testimonials where they’re likely to “generate” more heat avoid limiting them to their testimonials page. Instead, splash them where they ask the most sense remember, the secret lies in customising the testimonials to reflect the products or services you’re offering on such pages.

  • Use professional videos

You can deploy that homemade video and still get good results but think about what a professionally shot video would accomplish. After all, it’s never too expensive to get your loyal customers and a professional video producer on set.

Essential Elements to Include When Writing a Testimonial

If you already know how to write a professional testimonial, you can draw high-quality feedback from your customers. That said, writing these reviews is an art. There are some elements you cannot leave behind if you expect to motivate conversions.

The must-include elements are:

  • Company Logo, Face, and Name

Surprisingly this is the first element if you’re looking for credibility. For instance, peer testimonials cannot work without these elements.

  • Pain Points and Challenges

When a customer shares problems and uncertainties that resonate with your audience, it depicts a sense of belonging. Once visitors start realising they’re not the only ones in a similar predicament, it gradually builds trust.

  • Solutions

Don’t fumble with this one. It would help if you offered a precise answer to how your brand has solved specific customer problems.

  • Results

Essentially, you need to display a positive result arising from the interaction with your product/service. Consider displaying some data. For instance, product X helped us drive conversions by 80% or lose 15 kgs.

  • Experience

This is where your customers share positive experiences during and after interacting with your brand or products.

  • Emotions

This one works well for B2C ventures. Always include the emotional aspects since they act as the best triggers and customer motivators.

Top Tricks for Requesting Customer Testimonials

YouTube video

You know that you cannot self-author testimonials to safeguard your credibility.

You also know that customers are willing to give reviews if your product or service quality is top class, so how do you go about requesting these testimonials? Here’s how:

  • Leverage Personalised Emails

If you’ve been contacting your customers via emails consistently, you can use the same channel to request a testimonial. Make it a polite and personalised request. You can get exceptional results if you automate such a process using bulk email marketing.

  • Offer Incentives

If you’ve just scored a batch of new customers, many of them will be hesitant to leave a review.

Using an offer or bonus can get you the much-needed testimonial. Make sure you don’t do it blatantly or in a way that suggests you’re bribing them.

  • Add Some Urgency

If you offer a bonus or an incentive to win a customer testimonial, make sure there’s a sense of urgency. Customers will offer the review to enjoy some reward if you’ve set a deadline for it.

  • Get Testimonials from Authoritative Sites

Based on your niche, your business is likely to get registered with authority platforms that enable users to drop testimonials for the products or services they’ve paid for. These platforms have an automated system that enables you to request customer testimonials in a personalised way.

  • Ask Relevant Questions

To succeed with testimonials, you need to create specific questions for your product/service categories. From here, consider a customised customer questionnaire that simplifies the process of gathering impacting testimonials.

  • Work With Easy-To-Fill Templates

Your loyal customers are likely to shun reviewing your products if you’re relying on a complicated template. Always go for the user-friendly alternative that makes every customer want to drop a review.

Special Tips for Writing a Good Testimonial

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Are there great tips that can help you to polish up your testimonial writing skills? You guessed it right.

Here are some:

  • Short quotes for headlines

Quote testimonials work well due to their transient nature. However, you can enhance any type of testimonial by using a catchy quote as the headline.

  • Keep it short

If it’s not a case study or a consumer interview, always skip the long script. Remember, your customers don’t want to write lengthy reviews. Always provide a short template that requires them minimal time to write.

  • Go for SEO friendly testimonials

If you’re looking for product /service-based testimonials, consider the SEO aspect. You can add top keywords in an optimised manner within the text.

  • Ask Customers to Be Precise

Even though it depends on the template you wish to use, you can request the customer to be specific and to the point. Ask them to use the most valuable words in the review and avoid fluff.

Since there are specific do and don’ts, consider using exact names and faces.

Never ask people to masquerade and write your reviews.

Vague and unstructured testimonials will end up hurting your efforts and credibility.

Questions to Consider When Requesting Customer Testimonials

If you’ve already found a loyal customer to offer the ideal testimonial about your products or brand, some crucial lead questions will help you get the most effective result.

The examples highlighted below can help you get answers that help to compile positive testimonials.

  • Who are you, and what’s your occupation?

Such a question enables others to see themselves in the shoes of this persona.

  • How long have you used our product/service?

It demonstrates the length of time that a customer has been interacting with your offering. It adds to your product/service credibility.

  • What problem did you expect to solve?

Such a query helps your prospects to relate if they’re in the same predicament as the persona.

  • How well did our offering help you to solve your problem?

This helps the persona/customer to explain the usefulness of your products and services.

  • Will you recommend us to others?

Since it’s a generalised question, it helps the customer to talk about additional benefits he/she might have forgotten to mention.

How to Successfully Use Testimonials Onsite

Getting a commendable batch of testimonials is only half the work done. The other bit entails knowing how to position and compellingly pin the testimonials. The solution starts with creating a testimonials section or page. What else can you do? Here are some best practices:

  • Pin the best testimonials on the homepage

The most persuasive and compelling reviews should be visible at all times. Consider them on the homepage, whatever the type, make sure that the message is home without compromising the user experience. Also, you can share such testimonials on high-profile platforms and link them back to your website.

  • Spice your posts with video testimonials

Always consider video testimonials on your highly optimised product or service content. Not only do they increase the dwell time, but they help to sway customer perception in your favour.

  • Add testimonials to product/service focused pages

If you’ve collected product-specific testimonials, always host them on pages that you’ve dedicated to the said products. In fact, you can score high when you present the testimonial next to the product description.

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Other Proven Ways of Getting Customer Testimonials

  • Explore Social Media

It’s that easy. Your happiest customers won’t hesitate to leave behind positive sentiments about your products or services. You only need to scour the social media platforms.

If you come across a flurry of comments saying awesome things about your brand, you’re good to go. Remember, testimonials derived from social media are highly authoritative.

  • Leverage comments on your blog

If you’re always dishing out fresh and valuable content on your blog, visitors are likely to leave behind sweet little gems and comments that can be used as testimonials.

Even though they’re likely to be post-specific, you won’t miss some that make the perfect testimonial. It works best if there’s a face to the customer making the comment.

  • Swap testimonials

Your online business, like any other, relies on these testimonials to cement trust and drive conversions. So, why not leave positive testimonials for a business you’ve interacted with before.

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They’ll be glad to give you an equally commendable testimonial in return. When you write a testimonial for them, let them know and request them to do the same; politely, though.

Additional Tips for Getting Constructive Testimonials

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If your business isn’t investing considerably to get the right testimonials, you must be doing something else to reduce negative perceptions about your products or services.

With additional knowledge in the reviews realm, some tips will help you to achieve exceptional testimonials. Here are some:

  • Provide high-quality products and services

This might sound clichéd, but there are no two ways about it. You’ll need to go beyond your capacity to provide exceptional products/services. Once prospects perceive your brand to be above the rest, they’ll convert confidently and give you a superb testimonial. Subsequently, you can do the following to reinforce:

    • Always offer top product quality as claimed and displayed on your site.
    • Offer responsive customer care services
    • Employ a friendly customer approach and keep of the brash attitude that turns off customers
    • Make prompt delivery for every order
    • Delight your customers with crazy offers, coupons, or bonuses.
    • Go the extra mile to thank every customer or prospect.
  • Ask for Them

If you’re not asking your clients to leave testimonials, they probably won’t. Always ask customers to leave behind a word on any of your platforms that works best for them.

NB: let them know that the testimonial they leave behind are intended to help you enhance service delivery and overall user experience.

  • Reply to Negative Evaluations

Not every customer leaves behind a heart-warming testimonial. If they drop a negative one, consider reviewing it and demonstrate your willingness to right any wrong.

It displays your commitment to the best interests of your clients. Surprisingly, such an approach can prompt the negative reviewer to edit their testimonial and give you a positive one.

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The testimonials you leverage to demonstrate the superiority, value, and performance of your products and services depend on how best you’ll position them. You probably want more than just capturing prospects with valuable information at the right time. This is where you’ll need a strategy. You can borrow ideas from the list below.

  • Simplify Testimonial Collection

As a business owner, you’re pushing to attract more customers. In the process, you want to know what they have to say about you and your brand. Getting that feedback can slow you down. It’s essential to establish a sustainable way of getting that feedback.

Your strategy can include:

    • Using CTAs and embed links that make it easy to get that feedback.
    • Use autoresponders for every customer when they buy from you.
    • Leverage social media engagements to provide that testimonial

As long as you have their consent and can identify the most valuable testimonials, your ROI should go up.

  • Learn to Identify Valuable Testimonials

Testimonials aren’t made the same. This is one reason you need to keep an eye out for the most influential and genuine testimonials. Always go for the reviews that focus on the benefits your prospects will achieve. 

Choose testimonials that endorse the top product/service claims you’ve already made.

Always leverage credible reviews from real people in real places, including your locality. Also, capitalise on the comparative aspect. This is where a testimonial mentions your brand favourably against your competitors.

  • Master the art of strategic testimonial positioning

Like I mentioned before, lumping all your testimonials on one page isn’t the magic trick.

Since your testimonials can drive up conversion by over 70%, consider their positioning. On one dedicated page, these reviews may not offer the real value of social proof.

However, placing them harmoniously in pages where they make an extraordinary impact is the way to go.

It would help if you kept them within the context of the products you’ve displayed on a given page. It’s the only guarantee that your testimonials will boost your conversion rates.

Ingenious Tips for Creating the Perfect Video Testimonials

YouTube video

Did you know that visual testimonials are compelling when it comes to enhancing your marketing skills?

Did you also know that killer video testimonials aren’t that easy to make?

The good thing is that when you know how to go about it, it becomes easy to create a stunning connection with your prospects. There are some cardinal rules to observe in the process.

  • Use High-grade Equipment

Today, you might be tempted to pick up your smartphone and rush out to record a video.

However, the best result requires the use of professional video gear. Surprisingly, you don’t have to spend top dollar to buy such equipment. With the right accessories, your iPhone can shoot incredible footage.

  • Rehearse and Prepare

Shooting the video testimonial without an idea of what the customer will say can end in disaster. Always prepare a draft of questions or content to include in the interview.

However, you don’t have to create a tight script. It makes the testimonial feel unnatural or staged.

Consider improvising and prepping the interviewee to align their story with your brand and personality.

  • Amplify the “Why”

This is not debatable, but it is a top video testimonial best practice. Your prospects aren’t out to wow at the features highlighted in the video. They want to see their pain points getting addressed.

Use the interviewee to show how their problem was solved. It’s what connects your potential customers with your solution.

  • Go for the Emotional Jugular

During the interview, ask the customer questions that evoke emotions. Yes, these numbers and percentages will move a prospect, but it’s the emotions that make the testimonial a powerful tool.

You only need the interviewee to show how your brand helped them overcome frustrations and struggle to make it work.

  • Keep It Short

It’s easy to get carried away by customer stories when shooting the video testimonial. Whatever you do, make sure that you edit to at least two or three minutes. Your prospect’s attention span is still short.

  • Leverage Graphics and Text

Although the video testimonial is captivating without additional elements, consider adding graphics or text to highlight the key points.

  • Employ Creative Filming Techniques

Even if you’re not a lifetime filming student, consider using captivating filming techniques. Go for the right setting, e.g., their workplace, and remember to use smart angles, great lighting, and backgrounds.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Social Media




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