In my experience advisers and planners are split on this question; many are pro, some are against, I’ve even heard one say they should be banned! So, what’s the answer? Should you include client testimonials on your website?
In my opinion, yes, absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt.
Whilst there’s an element of self-selection (you would never publish a negative review) testimonials help to:
- Demonstrate your expertise
- Start build trust
- Show the areas which you work in and the types of clients you advise
There’s probably an added benefit too, in helping your search engine rankings. Google likes unique content on websites, testimonials will naturally contain relevant keywords and hopefully locations too; all of which Google will lap up.
What makes a good testimonial?
Not all testimonials have equal value, some are better than others.
Above all though, they must be authentic and be perceived to be so by the visitor; these two things are not always the same.
Ideally, client testimonials should be written by the client themselves. Many will ask you to write it for them, I recommend avoiding this if you can. By getting the testimonial in their own words it’ll be far more authentic. I’d also avoid over editing; an extremely polished testimonial can look suspicious.
In a perfect world, your clients will agree to being identified by their name and location, and to having their picture published alongside the testimonial. Advisers often dismiss this possibility. But, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. And you might be surprised at how happy clients are to help and support your business.
If clients won’t agree to a picture, I’d still ask for permission to use their name and location. If they won’t give it, you will need to use the testimonial anonymously, but it still has value.
Testimonials should be as detailed as possible, but at least 50 – 100 words long. They should explain the benefit the client received from working with you and ideally mention the type of advice you gave.
Where should they be positioned?
I would suggest displaying testimonials in three places:
- Your homepage
- Your meet the team / adviser profile pages
- A specific page listing all the testimonials you have received
Furthermore, I’d use Google Analytics to discover the most popular pages on your website and add relevant testimonials to these too.
They can also be used in any guides you produce, newsletters and on your Unbiased and VouchedFor profiles too.
Link client testimonials to case studies
I always recommend adding case studies to your website. Ideally, they should include a brief summary of:
- The situation you found the client in
- Your advice
- The benefit of your advice to the client
If this information is backed up by a positive client testimonial, it’ll make the case study so much more powerful.
Finally, something guaranteed to set you apart
I can think of only a handful of advisers who use them, but they can be very effective.
We know video works well on websites. We know testimonials do as well. The two together; that’s a powerful combination. They don’t have to be difficult or expensive to produce and I’d recommend more advisers consider them.
They will certainly set your website apart from your peers.
Back to the origional question
Should you include client testimonials on your website?
If you don’t include them on your site now, add the job to your ‘to do list’. If you do, take some time out to review them. Are yours as effective as possible? How could they be improved?
I hope this blog helps you improve your website. If you have any questions or queries, I’d be happy to answer them, please feel free to call on 0115 815 7770 or drop me an email: email@example.com