When looking to buy a product or service online, chances are you aren’t going to jump in without testing the waters first. In today’s world, online reviews and testimonials are not only important, but crucial to success. For companies like Amazon, reviews can be incredibly helpful for warning about the dangers of a certain brand of gummy bears, or the comical musings of some creative customers.
Most importantly, Amazon reviews are honest and unfiltered, which is something every CRO-minded marketer should be striving to achieve with testimonials on their own landing pages.
I’ll be highlighting four simple ways you can improve the quality and effectiveness of your social proof in order to gain trust from your respective customers, as well as some rock-solid leads!
1. Avoid Being Overly Positive
Let’s say you’re at a show for a popular mind-reader and halfway through the performance he calls on a guest in the audience to come to the stage. The mind-reader proceeds to bring up personal information about that person and wows the audience with his incredible talents.
While it sounds amazing, most of us know that the “random” audience member was just a planted employee; not everyone caught it, but the majority did. When it comes to your landing pages, don’t be the fake mind-reader that includes too-good-to-be-true reviews and testimonials. Internet consumers are naturally skeptical and you need to avoid setting up your page for failure.
It may sound funny, but it’s true, heaping too much praise and glory on your product or service can actually be detrimental to the success of your landing page. Some easy ways to avoid this: ditch the 5-star rating icons (“it’s perfect!”) and try to limit your testimonials to three or four on each page. Be super selective with the ones you do include and make them extremely relevant to the exact product or service you’re targeting on your page.
2. Be Specific
When I read reviews for a product I want to buy online, I’m always looking for the people who review the product in detail so that I always know what I’m getting into. The same thing goes for testimonials on your landing pages: generic fluff won’t win anyone over.
In order to build that trust with a viewer, being thorough and highly specific about what is great about your product or service will go a long way.
One of the best ways to do this is to utilize percentages or data-driven results. These are things that people can see right off the bat and gauge the success for themselves. Statistics are easy concepts to grasp and don’t make your viewer struggle to understand how the product or service will benefit them, or why it’s better than the competition. Buffer calls this the wisdom of the crowds, and can be used to your advantage.
Throw out the reviews that hype up generic and vague results and post the stuff that really matters.
3. Use Real People
You’d be amazed how many people use faceless (and personality deprived) drones as their loyal, satisfied customers. When including testimonials on your landing pages, you need to avoid the temptation of just throwing up some text and maybe a first name.
If you’re B2B, and posting testimonials from well-known companies, be sure to include not only the first and last name but also legitimize the testimonial with the job title that person holds. This kind of information, along with a good portrait, will give your testimonials an instant boost in credibility.
Using stock photos with your reviews are guaranteed to stick out like a sore thumb. The majority of people aren’t going to fall for it and it will mostly like send their shady radar into overdrive. It’s been my experience that if I can’t find a photo for a reviewer, it’s better to use a simple silhouette icon instead of going the stock photo route.
Strive to make your testimonial section as engaging as possible, which could mean including a big quote excerpt as your section headline. Remember: personality-filled REAL testimonials will make a big difference. Don’t have any real testimonials? This post will help you get started.
You should also know that fake testimonials are 100% illegal.
4. Video Testimonials
Another way to make your testimonials engaging is to change the format completely. While it may not work for every industry, video testimonials can be a stellar way to connect to your audience. If you run a business that focuses on funding small startups, including a couple of videos that highlight a success story will really connect to your audience.
However, just putting videos on your site isn’t doing you any favors. Being as targeted and specific as possible is crucial. Keep an eye on your video length as well, as our attention span is quite short these days. Don’t forget to let people know what the video is about with a quick blurb to draw them in.
By keeping the focus of the video on how your target product or service benefits customers, you increase the chances that your viewers will pay attention. They might even see the benefit more quickly than with other more conventional methods.
When it comes down to it, testimonials are a tricky thing to get right; but by knowing the common pitfalls that most landing pages fall into will give you a boost over your competition.
The four main points I’ve outlined here are not a requirement for your pages, but can go a long way in building trust with your perspective customers. With all of the fake and superficial advertising in the digital world, making your landing page testimonials real will catch your customer’s’ attention.
What have you done to improve your landing pages testimonials? Share your experiences and suggestions in the comment section below!
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