Why go to the work?
You can say anything on a website.
But when your clients affirm your value, you show potential customers that your message has weight.
Testimonials are a great way to show client satisfaction and prove you are trusted within your industry and community.
Using Existing Reviews
If you already have plenty of glowing reviews from past clients, you can repurpose them. It’s a great way to share testimonials without a lot of work.
There are two questions you need to ask before choosing past reviews to feature as testimonials:
- Do these past clients match the audience I want to market to now? Make sure the industry, company size, and job role fit the profile of your ideal client.
- Does this review give any details about their experience? The best testimonials include more than “Great company. Would recommend.” You want to choose testimonials that go into a problem that has been solved, a specific result you provided, or glowing words about the experience of getting there — bonus points for all three.
If the answer is “yes” to both questions, you’ll want to get approval from your client to use their words and name on your website. If possible, you’ll also want to get a headshot.
If the review is long or disjointed, consider editing it slightly before adding it to your website.
Getting New Testimonials
Identify a list of clients with whom you have a solid relationship.
Try to choose clients with some of the important attributes of your ideal customer, whether that’s job role or company size. It’s also helpful to consider the reputation of their company and the product/service they purchased.
When you write your request, keep it brief, but show that you’re thankful for their partnership. Ask for the testimonial, but don’t assume you’re getting it (people are busy!).
If you want to ask them to leave their testimonial or review on Google or another review platform, include the direct link. Make it easy!
If they’re willing to leave a testimonial or review, I like to share a few questions to get them thinking about what to say. A blank screen can be overwhelming.
Top 3 Questions To Ask People For Testimonials
(You can customize or get more specific based on your industry!)
- What challenges were you dealing with before we started working together?
- What was working with me like?
- What were the results? How is life now?
This gets at problem, experience, and solution — all things that may resonate with a prospective client and tell a full story.
Here are some other ones you can layer in and swap out:
- Why did you decide to start working with me?
- Was there anything that surprised you about working with me?
- What problems did I help you solve?
- How did you feel after our work together was done?
- If you were to recommend me to a friend, what would you say?
Website Testimonial FAQ
Do I need to include the full name and photo?
Best case scenario, you should get the client’s full name, company/job role, and photo. But this is not always possible. In some cases, you may want to protect your clients’ anonymity, like if you’re a therapist or doctor. In those cases, you can stick with the first name. The most important thing is that your current and past clients feel comfortable! If the photo just feels like too much work, scrap it! It’s better to get testimonials without photos than no testimonials at all.
How many testimonials do I need?
Generally, you don’t need more than three testimonials on a website page. But you may want to include different testimonials on different pages of your site. For example, it can be helpful to have service-specific testimonials on service pages. You can include more than three on a page if you’re creating an entire testimonials-dedicated page. But I recommend you choose the top 3-5 and feature those in their own section.
What about video testimonials?
If you have clients that are comfortable on video, this is a great option! Make sure to give them some good questions/prompts to get started. Video testimonials can be casual (recorded on a phone) or polished (shot by a professional videographer). Your choice will depend on the brand image you want to portray (and your budget!).
Is it ok not to use testimonials?
It’s absolutely ok. Testimonials are just one tool to communicate the value you provide to your customers. You can rely on different tools instead. There are many reasons testimonials may not be a good idea for you now, including:
- You have too many other essential things on your plate
- You just don’t feel comfortable asking
- Your past clients don’t match your ideal future clients
- You provide support on a sensitive issue or topic
Other ways to showcase expertise
Testimonials are not the only way to show your credibility on your website. Here are three additional ways to share client proof.
Case studies are like testimonials on steroids. By digging into a specific client’s story, you can get at the client’s challenges and the solution you provided. The best case studies are multi-layered and include a short client quote.
Sharing the number of clients you’ve worked with, extra revenue you’ve brought clients, or your locations can demonstrate the breadth of your work. You can also share industry-specific stats that are fun and unique. Or, you can share stats you helped a client achieve.
Showing logos of well-known companies that have trusted you is a fast way to build credibility. But make sure that these companies are actually well-known. Logos are only as helpful as the reputation of the companies they represent.