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A client testimonial is incredibly powerful, especially if it tells a compelling story. Telling that story online, however, can be problematic. Why? Because the rules of online marketing can make it cumbersome to share the same story across multiple platforms. I’ll share some client testimonial basics so you can get the most of your success stories.
1. Duplicate Content Penalty
It’s human nature to want to share a great client testimonial. You want it as a LinkedIn recommendation. Plus you want to post it on Yelp and as a Google Review. You definitely want to showcase it on your website. However search engines frown upon duplicate content. According to Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, there’s not really a “penalty” per se… however here is how they explain it:
There are some penalties that are related to the idea of having the same content as another site — for example, if you’re scraping content from other sites and republishing it, or if you republish content without adding any additional value.
Having the same client testimonial appear exactly the same on various social media plus your website can get you into trouble To see what tactics are clearly outlined and discouraged by Google, check out these Webmaster Guidelines.
My Advice: Create a substantial testimonial that you can break into multiple parts.
2. What’s The Point Of Client Testimonials
Be clear on what’s makes your business different and inherently referable. A client testimonial that touches on those as well as quantifiable results are gold. Sometimes clients don’t know what to write and they need some help. If you’re comfortable drafting something for them to approve, great. If not, enlist some help.
As a consultant I’ve literally interviewed hundreds of clients. Having a third-party talk to your customers is one way to 1) get heart-felt client testimonials that are strategic and 2) receive insights you can use to retool or refine business development or operations. The point here is don’t underestimate the value of a conversation to pull out strategic nuggets regardless if they are quotable or not. You’d be amazed at what an objective third party can garner on your behalf.
Of course, when you get permission to use a client testimonial, never alter it. Ever.
My Advice: When you ask for a client testimonial be specific about what you want them to highlight. Remind them of results or details to include in their quotes.
3. Online’s Long Memory
The best way to combat a negative review is a slew of positive ones. The Web has a long memory, yet it values recency (usually). If you received a less than stellar review, the best defense is to respectfully respond. If the reviewer is clearly a jerk, reasonable people typically recognize it. Adding positive posts with five-star ratings will dilute the impact of low marks.
My Advice: Create a Google Alert (or similar notification) to monitor your brand’s reputation.
What other client testimonial basics would add to my list?
How can we help?
Need help in monitoring your online reputation? Want to effectively show how your business is different and a superior choice through customer testimonials?
We are the spectrum group, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss online reputation management.