Growing a Business
Strategies for getting better testimonials from clients
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Any web designer or developer worth their salt will tell you referrals are key to getting new business. Learn about the proven methods and templates for getting social proof quickly and effortlessly, so you can spend more time doing what you love. To get started, try out these strategies for better testimonials.
We all know the feeling of needing a little help getting our foot in the door.
That’s why getting better testimonials for your web design or development business is the best way to show prospects that you’re a high-quality business. The more of them you have, the more people get the impression that you’re a great business with customers for life.
Building trust with your website visitors matters. Honest reviews are the best way to turn those curious visitors into happy customers.
Start with your Google My Business listing
Before you can begin building better testimonials, it’s crucial to make sure the correct information appears on your company’s GMB (Google My Business) page for current and potential customers alike.
If your prospects are researching something, they’re most likely going to Google it.
If your customers want to find your new opening hours or call you to inquire about your services, they may also Google it instead of going directly to your website.
And, if you’re not showing up in the right-hand panel of Google, your competitors probably are. If your listing isn’t there, they will look elsewhere. Don’t wait until after something goes wrong to get started.
Set up your GMB listing
GMB is an essential part of any business’s online presence and a key to better testimonials, and all companies should have a relevant and robust listing at the bare minimum.
When someone searches for your business online, they are more likely to click on the company with reviews. The more honest and positive the reviews are, the more exposure your business will receive.
If you don’t already have a profile, follow the instructions from Google and begin by signing up and reviewing your business information. Ensure you have the most updated and relevant information included, so it’s clear for prospects and customers what to do next (e.g., go to your website, call you, learn more about what you offer, and so on).
Get your short URL to request reviews
- Sign in to Google My Business from any web browser.
- If you have multiple locations, open the location you want to manage.
- In the left menu, click Home.
- Scroll to the “Get more reviews” card.
- Copy your short URL to share with customers.
Two additional listings that can be beneficial to your business
If you operate out of a brick-and-mortar shop and Yelp is prevalent in your area, you should have a Yelp listing. First, search to see how popular Yelp is in your area.
If you’re an online business, you’ll want to get set up on LinkedIn with a great profile or business page. While LinkedIn isn’t the most major social media network, a staggering four out of five people on LinkedIn drive business decisions.
Start collecting better testimonials
Now you can use the Short URL you just created to ask customers to review your business! Please remember never to offer incentives to get reviews (like showing a gift card or something similar) — this is against Google’s policies. Additionally, if you offer incentives, it’s less likely you’ll receive an honest review. Instead, send friendly emails to customers asking them to review your business after they’ve used your services.
Testimonial email templates
While there are many methods to collect reviews, we’ll take a look at three series of templates and email subject lines that have been proven time and again to work well for securing better testimonials. Each series is a little different.
Series 1: Why Us?
This first series of testimonial email templates include two emails in total with one optional follow-up. The Why Us series intends to open with an honest question and close with a review request if the review is a positive one.
This series works well for:
- Service businesses
- Gathering testimonials, you can also use on your website
- Customers who are reliable communicators
If there’s a chance that the review is lacking the detail or overall feedback you’d anticipated — the first email in Series 1 gives you a chance to mitigate before sending the follow-up request for a review. If the review was not a positive one, you’d have an opportunity to show your customers how invested you are. Following up on a negative review also gives you the chance to dig in a little more and find out what went wrong or how to make your offering better in the future.
If you’re satisfied with the reply, move on to the second email.
If they don’t reply, try sending the Optional Follow-Up Email about two weeks after Email 2. If they become non-responsive, it’s OK to move on. There will be more opportunities to collect better testimonials in the future.
Series 2: Direct Ask
This second series of testimonial email templates include one email in total with one optional follow-up. The Direct Ask series intends to open with direct ask and close out with a review left on your GMB page.
This series works well for:
- Products and/or Services
- Customers you already know had a great experience and will have no problem leaving a testimonial
- Reliable customers that have little time
If they don’t reply, try sending the Optional Follow-Up Email about two weeks after Email 2. If they become non-responsive, it’s ok to move on. There will be more opportunities to collect reviews in the future. However, If this is a great customer, set a reminder on your calendar to follow up for a third and final time in about 30 days.
Series 3: Additional Reviews
This third testimonial email template includes one email for you to send after they’ve reviewed you on Google. Wait about a month after they added the initial review. The intention behind the Additional Reviews series is to obtain additional reviews on other platforms outside of GMB.
This series works well for:
- Anyone who has already left you a positive review.
Add reviews to your website
Make sure you also add the reviews to your website. Doing this will help fuel the connection of social proof between an external review site and your website.
Once you have the review you’d requested, you may want to ask your customer whether they’d like to submit a headshot or use their company logo along with the review.
If they have a LinkedIn profile, you can also ask if they’d like to use that.
Don’t quite have an official spot to add customer testimonials on your website? Consider using other methods to collect, monitor, and display customer reviews, such as reviewsonmywebsite.com.
With this type of review collection tool, you can manage all of your reviews from one place and easily add them to your website with a small piece of code. It’s relatively easy and also inexpensive for what you get out of it.
The lowest tiered plan provides a variety of easily embeddable and customizable widgets and badges you can add anywhere on your website. Other plans include additional features, like creating a testimonial page for customers to share reviews.
Respond to your Google reviews
Last but certainly not least, you can increase your conversion rates and value by responding to customers who have left you a review. Google even confirms this on their support page with a note that says, “To improve your business’s local ranking, use Google My Business to claim and update your business information.”
3 ways to respond to positive reviews
- Just say, “Thank you” — Saying thanks is a simple yet impactful way to show gratitude for their business and the time they’d spent leaving your business a good review.
- Talk about the future — Give them a reason to come back for more business. Did the reviewer mention anything about future plans?
- Be specific, B-E specific – Recall something that stood out to you about your experience in working with them, too. It will give your response a personal touch that won’t go unnoticed.
Respond to negative reviews
Not ALL reviews are going to be positive. Someone may leave a negative review that you did not ask for or was unexpected. It’s also essential to respond to negative feedback.
- Thank them for their feedback, and apologize. After all, any feedback is valuable information that you can use to improve current business practices.
- Do not argue! Focus on the “what” of the issue, and never place blame.
- Provide them the opportunity to get in touch with you offline to discuss and potentially turn the review into a positive one.
- Try not to say more than what’s needed. Handle quickly and politely.
However, if the review is entirely false where someone is trying to rustle your feathers for the heck of it, you do have the option to report it.
FAQ about getting better testimomials
Can I automate my review request emails?
While automation can work so well for email marketing, we don’t recommend automating email requests for service businesses or businesses directly contacting their customers.
If you want to receive honest feedback, submit a legitimate request. Otherwise, you may encounter challenges such as a third-party email automation service not being verified with your website domain. In other words, this means that your customers could potentially get an email that looks like it comes from MailChimp, for example, and not necessarily you. And these days, those emails go right to spam.
What if my customer asks me to write the review for them?
Composing your customer’s review is a great opportunity. An excellent approach to this would be to hop on a call with your customer and ask them why they chose to work with you and your services or products in the first place.
Tip: Use Email 1 in the Why Us Series like talking points for your call. Then, after you’ve written the testimonial, edit and use Email 1 from the Additional Reviews Series. Edits: Include the copy you’ve written for the customer, and ask them to copy/paste it at the included link to the review site you want them to post it on.
If I customize the templates, will they still be effective for collecting reviews?
Yes, make them your own! As long as you follow the general idea of each template and the timing of when to send them, have a blast with the content. It’s also not uncommon to include something fun, like adding an occasional emoji or GIF!
Finance & Accounting
4 tips to find the funding that fits your business
The facts are clear: Startups are finding funding increasingly difficult to secure, and even unicorns appear cornered, with many lacking both capital and a clear exit.
But equity rounds aren’t the only way for a company to raise money — alternative and other non-dilutive financing options are often overlooked. Taking on debt might be the right solution when you’re focused on growth and can see clear ROI from the capital you deploy.
Not all capital providers are equal, so seeking financing isn’t just about securing capital. It’s a matter of finding the right source of funding that matches both your business and your roadmap.
Here are four things you should consider:
Does this match my needs?
It’s easy to take for granted, but securing financing begins with a business plan. Don’t seek funding until you have a clear plan for how you’ll use it. For example, do you need capital to fund growth or for your day-to-day operations? The answer should influence not only the amount of capital you seek, but the type of funding partner you look for as well.
Start with a concrete plan and make sure it aligns with the structure of your financing:
- Match repayment terms to your expected use of the debt.
- Balance working capital needs with growth capital needs.
It’s understandable to hope for a one-and-done financing process that sets the next round far down the line, but that may be costlier than you realize in the long run.
Your term of repayment must be long enough so you can deploy the capital and see the returns. If it’s not, you may end up making loan payments with the principal.
Say, for example, you secure funding to enter a new market. You plan to expand your sales team to support the move and develop the cash flow necessary to pay back the loan. The problem here is, the new hire will take months to ramp up.
If there’s not enough delta between when you start ramping up and when you begin repayments, you’ll be paying back the loan before your new salesperson can bring in revenue to allow you to see ROI on the amount you borrowed.
Another issue to keep in mind: If you’re financing operations instead of growth, working capital requirements may reduce the amount you can deploy.
Let’s say you finance your ad spending and plan to deploy $200,000 over the next four months. But payments on the MCA loan you secured to fund that spending will eat into your revenue, and the loan will be further limited by a minimum cash covenant of $100,000. The result? You secured $200,000 in financing but can only deploy half of it.
With $100,000 of your financing kept in a cash account, only half the loan will be used to drive operations, which means you’re not likely to meet your growth target. What’s worse, as you’re only able to deploy half of the loan, your cost of capital is effectively double what you’d planned for.
Is this the right amount for me at this time?
The second consideration is balancing how much capital you need to act on your near-term goals against what you can reasonably expect to secure. If the funding amount you can get is not enough to move the needle, it might not be worth the effort required.
Growing a Business
5 Simple Tips to Grow Your Business the Best Way
To achieve success in your business, you need to be ready to keep it growing. You can’t just treat your business with no passion and with no goal for further growth. It’s best for you to grow and expand your business, even though it’s just one small step at a time.
Here are 5 simple tips to grow your business the best way:
1. Expand Your Business Promotion
It’s important for you to expand your business promotion further, so that you can attract new customers to your business. You can do this in various ways, such as by running promotional campaigns on social media, spreading flyers and pamphlets around your local area, offering free bonuses to your customers, and so on.
By expanding your business promotion, you will expand the target audience for your business, meaning that you can increase your potential revenues from time to time.
2. Improve the Quality of Your Products and Services
The best way for you to grow your business is to improve the quality of your products and services. The more you can provide the best products and services to your customers, the more your customers will recommend your business to their friends and family.
This is the best way for you to attract more customers through word-of-mouth marketing.
3. Improve Your Customer Service Quality
Another aspect you need to improve in your business is the customer service quality. Your customers will rely on your customer service team to help them solve their problems with your products or services.
The better you can handle the customer’s problems, the more they will trust your business. Also, the more trustworthy your business, the more people will come to your business and use your products and services.
4. Increase Your Business Productivity
You also need to increase your business productivity, which will allow you to use your work hours in the most efficient way, both for you and your employees. The more productive you are in your business, the more tasks you can complete each day, and the better the results you will get.
Increasing your business productivity also means to stop wasting your time on doing unnecessary things. For instance, when you invest on a money counter from Ribao Technology. you can avoid the loss of counterfeit bills and stop wasting your time counting for the money you have received in your business, as you can get it done much faster by using a money counter machine.
5. Establish a Strong Online Presence
Nowadays, it’s important for you to have a strong online presence. You can do it by building a social media account for your business, and you can also build your own business website. By establishing a strong online presence, it will make it easier for people to get to know about your business.
You also need to make your business available online to make it easier for anyone to order your products and services. This is one of the best ways to grow your business.
Are you ready to grow and expand your business?
Follow these tips to get better at growing your business and increasing your business revenues. Take it one step at a time and make growing your business your biggest long-term goal to achieve.
Common SEO Mistakes That You Should Avoid
There are a number of great strategies that businesses can use when aiming to improve the performance of their SEO campaign, working to increase their online visibility and boost the amount of traffic being directed towards their website. However, it is not uncommon to find that many of these optimisation approaches could actually be causing your site more harm than good.
Of course, a wide variety of the of the search engine optimisation tactics that can be found on line will prove to be highly valuable resources, but trusting all of the tips and tricks that you come across could have adverse effects for your campaign, especially if the content that you are reading details out of date practices.
In the article below, we will discuss some of the most commonly seen mistakes made within SEO, helping you to avoid unnecessary damage to the performance of your company website.
Your Site Lacks Quality Backlinks
The creation of quality backlinks to your business page from reputable, high authority external sites is an extremely popular SEO management recommendation, these aforementioned links playing a vital role in the improvement of many aspects of your campaign.
Link building is a great off-page optimisation technique, allowing you to build the authority of your company website as a way to improve your ranking position within the organic search results. This is a must for any business looking to improve their online visibility or brand recognition, meaning that their website will be shown to a wider target audience and will thus see a boost in overall traffic and sales as a result.
While the creation of links leading back to your website from various external sources is vital for the optimisation and management for your SEO campaign, the quality and relevance of these backlinks is also a factor of great importance. If you are aiming to rank well within the search engine results (which is a goal that all businesses should strive towards!), the links that you are forming should be of a high quality and relevance to the industry in which your company operates.
The overall quality of the sites that your business is linking to can have a knock-on effect on the performance of your own website. Forming backlinks with sites that are completely irrelevant to your field, or those known for their poor reputation, will do more to hinder your website than help it. Associating your brand with poor quality pages will affect the authority of your own company website, and should thus be avoided at all costs.
Your Site Misuses Outbound Links
Outbound links are something that are often avoided completely within modern day SEO strategies, being the reason as to why so many marketing experts would now consider guest posting to be an ineffective and outdated technique. However, this is far from the truth, and is actually one of the many common misconceptions within SEO.
While filling your site’s main navigational channels with endless external links is not a recommended practice and would definitely cause some issues for the performance of your SEO campaign, this does not mean that outbound links should be avoided altogether. Creating natural links within your on-page content to reputable sources that provide your readers with additional information is actually a great way to enrich the blog articles and landing pages that you publish to your website. This will cause no damage to your brand’s SEO campaign, but can actually assist in the improvement of your authority and reputation.
The issue with outbound links comes not with their use on your company website, but in how they are used, as the placement of such links will play a vital role in whether this common SEO practice will either help or hurt your online presence. Any outbound links that you choose to feature on your site should occur naturally within the on-page content that is presented to your customer base.
Whether it be your landing page content or a blog post, links should only be placed if and where it makes sense to do so. Placing outbound links randomly throughout your text or all in one place is considered bad practice, increasing the likelihood that your content be picked up as spam and your site ultimately be penalised by the search engines.
To avoid outbound links negatively impacting the quality score and performance of your website, links should only be placed as and when it makes sense to do so, using these to provide readers with additional information that will enrich the text published to your company website. As with link building, the quality and reputation of the websites that you link to will impact the authority of your own business site, so it’s important that your brand avoids linking to pages that could harm your domain.
The setup and maintenance of a successful search engine optimisation campaign can be a difficult, and sometimes even daunting, task for those who find themselves unsure of where to start. With so many different strategies claiming to provide the best tactics for effective website optimisation, how do you know which advice you can trust?
Luckily, there are a number of highly reputable online SEO courses made readily available to entrepreneurs across the globe, providing expert advice and a helping hand to those looking to optimise their business’ online presence.
SEO is an excellent tool for improving your ranking position and visibility within the organic search results, but it’s vital that your campaign is managed correctly, helping you to avoid any unnecessary mistakes!
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