How to effectively use testimonials in your business website

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It’s a proven fact that people have more trust in what other people say about your company than anything you say about it.

Using testimonials throughout your business website is a great way to create trust, improve your sales and grow your business. Here’s how to get the most out of your client testimonials.

1. Don’t use fake testimonials

I find it hard to believe any business owner would be stupid enough to use fake testimonials on purpose, but it can happen that you accidentally launch your new website with placeholder testimonials – maybe you’re waiting for a client to get back to you with the content. So always double-check if you have the right testimonials before publishing.

2. Make them look authentic

The main goal of using testimonials is to build trust towards your company and authenticity is an important factor in that. Whenever possible, use full names, business name, job position, and photos of your clients – photos, in particular, are proven to increase emotional connections and perceived credibility. If you don’t have access to photos of your clients (LinkedIn is a good source), use the company logo instead.

testimonials with photos

Photos, full name, job title, and company name make these testimonials authentic and relatable

testimonial with logo

Using logos instead of client photos on Cloudflare

3. Make them relatable

Use testimonials from people your visitors can identify with and easily see themselves in their place. If your target audience is marketing directors, use testimonials from marketing directors.

4. Use client quotes in context

Match testimonials with the content of the page they’re on. If you have a landing page describing one of your services, use a testimonial that refers to that specific service. If you have a case study page for a project, that’s a great opportunity to add a testimonial from that client.

testimonial with specific details

Contextual use in a case study page on Despark

5. Make them specific

A testimonial that refers to numbers, data, specific features is going to have more impact than one that just says “I loved working with these guys!”. Resist the urge to round off numbers – the human brain feels 77.5 is more accurate than 80, for example. This adds more credibility to the testimonial.

testimonial with specific details

A good example of a detailed testimonial on Mixpanel. Client mentions a specific situation and detailed results.

6. Pair them with a “Trusted by” section

If your company worked with clients that are well known in your industry, double your testimonials impact with a “Trusted by” section.

Make the logos greyscale or monochromatic, so the different branding colors of each logo don’t clash with each other or your own brand. The logos together should look like a unified stamp of approval.

Visitors expect to find companies they know about in these content blocks, so better leave it out if that’s not the case – no need to bring attention to the fact that you have no big-name clients.

trusted by logo section
trusted by logo section
trusted by logo section

7. Place the testimonials around your CTA (Call to Action) sections

Every page of every website should have a CTA section. All content on the page should act as a funnel that leads to this action. The action you might want your target audience to take is to “get in touch”,“request a quote”, “set up an appointment”, “download a free trial”, “sign up for a course”, “apply now”, depending on your business specifics and what page your visitors are on.

To push visitors into action, the most effective place to add your testimonials is just above or around these CTA blocks.

testimonial placement over cta

On Freshbooks, the testimonials section is just above the “Try it free” CTA button

8. Ask for testimonials just after finishing a successful project

The best time to ask for a testimonial is just after finishing a successful project or transaction. That’s when your clients will be most enthusiastic to have worked with you and they will also have a lot of specific details in mind that they can include in their testimonial. And as I’ve stated above, the more specific a testimonial is, the better.

9. Video testimonials are the holy grail

If you can get your clients on video, you’ve hit the jackpot. Because of the extensive resources involved in creating them, video testimonials have the highest credibility of all other types.

video testimonial

Video testimonial on ChowNow

10. Long testimonials?

If your testimonials are on the long side, consider turning them into case studies, with their separate stand-alone page, like the guys at GrooveHQ. Here are some other strategies you can use to deal with long testimonials:

  • edit them to be shorter if possible, while still maintaining the problem-solution-result story structure
  • break them down into paragraphs so they’re easier to read
  • highlight important sections by making them bold or italic
  • quote part of it just above the main text
  • keep the best paragraph and use a “read more” button to reveal the rest of the testimonial
slider testimonial

“Learn more” button

slider testimonial

“Read story” button

11. Lots of testimonials? Be selective

Testimonials are best used as complementary content blocks. A testimonial is most effective when it refers to the content around it (service, feature, product).

If you have lots of testimonials, use the ones that are very specific, relate to the context around them or come from big-name clients. Feature multiple testimonials at once by using a slider or adding a “Trusted by over 1000s clients” (or whatever is relevant to your business) just above a testimonial block.

13. Ask for details, tell a whole story

When requesting testimonials, it’s a good idea to guide your clients along with some questions – what was their initial problem, how did your product or service fix it, what were the results. The goal is to get a testimonial that’s quite specific (mentions specific services, numbers, data) and tells a story your target audience can relate to.

14. Make your testimonials stand out

There are hundreds of ways to style your testimonials section, depending on your branding, your market, your clients, how long your testimonials are and other factors. But in any case, you should make your testimonials stand out. Make the font bigger, try different colors, add images, icons, client photos, and video if possible.

testimonials with photos

Large background image draws attention

testimonial with photos

Red heart icon stands out from neutral background

testimonials with photos

The blue background makes this block stand out from the rest of white website

 

Conclusion

Testimonials are great for increasing trust in your company and giving your visitors a hint of how they can benefit from using your services or product. By making your testimonials relatable, detailed, authentic looking and positioning them around friction areas where you want visitors to take an action (click a button, fill a form), you will use this powerful marketing tool to its full potential.

I hope this article sheds some light on how to get the most out of your client testimonials. For more articles like this, please subscribe below, and if you’d like to take your business website to the next level, let’s talk!