Testimonials guide - How to write & get reviews (with examples)

We think we are independent thinkers and unique individuals, but we have the need to fit and belong. We look at others how they behave and what they say. That’s where testimonials come in.

We’ve all heard about testimonial marketing. The examples we have seen frequently are landing page testimonials and testimonials by famous people. We have also heard that writing testimonials is good for your business. But why are testimonials important? Continue reading to find out all about testimonials and how to use them for your business!

Short intro - Social proof & testimonials

Canned laughter in TV shows - a simple example of social proof. You can say you hate it, but the study shows an amazing effect. Audience actually laughs longer and more often. They also rate the material as funnier. Same is true when you’re surrounded by people who are laughing.

Social proof laughter
It’s hard not to laugh when everybody around me is laughing.

But social proof is stronger than that. In the study mentioned in Influence by Cialdini, they conducted a research with children who were afraid of dogs. Those children were then exposed to watching other children play with the dogs. Of those children, 67% of them weren’t afraid of dogs afterwards.

Interesting to note, it wasn’t necessary to watch the children play with dogs live. Video clips of other kids playing had the same effect.

Altering behavior with social proof
Social proof is very strong in altering behavior.

So, how does that translate to testimonials? Keep reading to find out about the importance of testimonials! If you want to have a persuasive website, you’ll need to include this type of social proof.

First, in short, what are testimonials? An official testimonial definition: a statement about the character or qualities of someone or something. In short, they’re just very persuasive reviews.

Testimonial statement example
Testimonial statement example featured at Airbnb.

Are testimonial pages necessary on a website? Depends on what the objective of your website is, but as a rule - YES, they are important.

In this article you will also learn how to write a testimonial for a business and about a person. But also, how to write a testimonial for a friend.

Get ready to learn about the power of testimonials!

Purpose & goals of testimonials

What is the goal of a testimonial anyway? The goal is to build trust in your prospects. People usually have fears, uncertainties and doubts (FUD-s in short).

Foggy road and FUD-s
Having FUD-s is a bit like going down a scary road.

Testimonials are a persuasive technique used to remove friction in buyers' subconsciousness. The importance of testimonials and its purpose is to make the buying process easier for the customer.

Numerous studies show that we trust complete strangers when we have to make certain decisions. Especially if we are uncertain and we know nothing of the product or service we’re buying. In that case, we tend to trust anybody who is saying anything even remotely relevant.

Data from 2 relevant studies:

That’s the answer to the “Why use testimonials”. You can’t afford not to use them.

The pros and cons of using testimonials

You’re thinking about using testimonial statements to make your website more persuasive. All said so far goes in favor of using testimonials. But are there any bad sides of using testimonials? There aren’t really any cons of using testimonials as a technique of persuasion. If done right that is.

There are just two risks of using testimonials:

  1. Backlash if you are faking the customer reviews and are caught.
  2. In case you anger a customer (and stubbornly not apologize), they could gather their friends and swarm you with negative reviews.

But if you are putting the customer first, you shouldn’t really have any bad consequences for using testimonials.

Quick tips:

Pros and cons of testimonials
The pros and cons of using testimonials.

Testimonials and web design

Testimonials are an important element you can put on a website for business. Deciding on the form they will have is a job for web designers as they should know more about user behavior. The first step is to add them without delay, as your business could greatly benefit from them. In the case of testimonials, done is better than perfect.

Adding testimonials to websites really works! For WikiJob, it increased conversion by 34%. Even though they didn't really apply great web design for testimonials. Their testimonials look pretty minimalist, but they do work!

In this section, we’ll find out:

How to organize customer testimonials

Once you have the testimonial statements from your satisfied customers, it’s time to organize them a bit. As is the example with BrightLocal - a local marketing platform. They did a nice job in organizing customer testimonials.

Example of a good testimonial
Example of a good testimonial from BrightLocal.

They have decided to show the 3 most prominent testimonials at the same time. Included are: picture, quote, name, company and title. They also did a smart thing with the button below the testimonials. Clicking the button leads to the testimonial page which features different types of social proof. Keep reading to find out about the explanation for the testimonial page with examples!

You can add reviews to websites using many different types of designs. Like with MediaToolkit. They designed testimonials as a slider.

Testimonial with slider
Using slider for a testimonial.

Their testimonial section using the slider switches automatically between individual reviews every couple seconds. A little too fast if you ask me. I’d switch it over to manual. Or leave it on automatic, but if somebody interacts with the buttons below, make it switch to manual. As people want to have the time and control to read those reviews.

There are many different ways to organize the testimonials. As we have seen, the 3 part testimonial does the job. So does the one with the slider. To help us answer that question, we need to find out how many to include and where to put them.

How many testimonials to include on website

How many testimonials to include on website
How many testimonials to put on your website?

There isn’t a rule for the number of testimonials you should have. There is a rule however to go for quality over quantity. It’s better to have fewer testimonials, but to make them more impactful, believable and persuasive. That means adding the picture of the customer, their name, job title and preferably contact information. That also means they should be genuine. To give you a range, you should have somewhere between 3 and 6 testimonials.

How long should a testimonial be

It depends on the form of testimonial. And the form depends on the product or service you’re selling. Usually, the more expensive the product you’re selling, the more persuasive you’ll need to be (i.e. using a longer testimonial).

In the case of a cheaper product, a couple testimonials with a paragraph for each one is usually long enough. Around 50-100 words. But if you’re selling an expensive product, it would be wise to make a longer testimonial page with elaborate case studies and user stories. Around 200-500 words. But it’s important to connect those to the other parts of your website and use it in the appropriate stage of the buyer's journey. 

Nothing sells as good as decent storytelling! Add a narrative and improve how much people remember the facts by up to 22 times. It’s a bit hyperbolic and depends on the context, but it proves a point.

Where to put testimonials on website (Testimonial page vs. testimonial section)

Testimonials usually have two places where they can be:

Testimonials pages are not necessary on a website. If you’re a strong enough brand and doing proper inbound marketing. Because in that case, word of mouth is doing the majority of the work. But testimonials are a great persuasive technique you can use to piggyback off of.

Both BrightLocal and Mediatoolkit use both types of testimonials. The module type of testimonial is used at the homepage. For BrightLocal, you can find the other type of testimonial (dedicated testimonial pages with standalone URL) at this URL. It has the complex form of providing more individual testimonials, case studies and list of companies which use their service.

If dedicated testimonial pages are not necessary on a website, what to put on a website? There are multiple ways to add reviews to a website. Examples are testimonial modules with a few customer reviews (like examples from BrightLocal or Mediatoolkit). They can include additional information and pictures. But they can also be simple stories. In any case, some kind of testimonial on a website is preferred.

How to add testimonials to a website?

If you have a website builder, you can easily add testimonials to your website. It’s like building lego blocks. However, in most cases, the developer will have to add a testimonial section for you. Same is true for building and designing a dedicated testimonial page. Somebody with designer and front-end skills will have to help you.

You do have some options to do everything yourself if you’re using open source CMS like WordPress. If you are annoyed with limited capabilities in editing your website by yourself, you might want to consider website redesign or refresh.

Writing testimonials

Writing testimonials
Where to start with writing testimonials?

You want to use the power of testimonials and really learn how to use testimonials? You’ll need to learn about testimonial persuasion.

To make your reviews more persuasive, you’ll have to conquer the skill of writing a testimonial.

In this chapter, you’ll find out:

Continue reading and learn more about the psychology aspect of testimonials and the strength of social proof.

How to write & what do you write in a testimonial

If you want to know what to write in a testimonial, first you need to understand your own business and your customers.

What is your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)? What are the pain points of your customers? Keep reading and learn how to make your website offer irresistible.

4 steps for how to write a good testimonial:

1. Human biases & psychology

First step in learning how to write testimonials is learning about human psychology. Social proof works best with the conditions of uncertainty and similarity. Also, the number of people providing social proof is important.

This describes the situation when we are unsure of ourselves, or the situation is unclear. In those conditions, we are most likely to accept the actions of others as correct.

Social proof is stronger when we are observing the behavior of people just like us. In one study, people were being observed if they would return a lost wallet. In the wallet, there was a photograph of the owner. The results? When the people who found the wallet thought they were similar to the owner, 70% people returned the wallet. When not, then only 33% returned the wallet.

The greater the number of people who find the idea correct, the more the idea will be correct.

Similarity effect - two sheeps
Sometimes we behave like sheep.

Similarity is not just about the mutual physical appearance. But also about the background story of the customer. Using a buyer persona in making the testimonial is important. Try making it as similar to your target customer as you can. If your ideal customer is a 40 year old male entrepreneur owning a small business, perhaps that’s the person whose identity should be associated with a testimonial.

2. More realistic & genuine

If people think your customer reviews are fake, that could do you more harm than good. How to make your testimonials appear more genuine?

Use real people in your testimonials! To make that appearance, use their photograph, full name, company name and job title.

In the study, when there were only positive reviews, 30% of visitors had suspicions the reviews were fake. But when there was a mix of positive and negative reviews, 68% of visitors actually trusted the reviews more. Don’t be afraid of negative reviews. Just don’t let them go out of control.

Real person testimonial
This person from the Airbnb website seems real. Click on the button leads to a testimonial page that increases credibility.

3. Unique Value Proposition (UVP) & pain points.

Writing good testimonials means using UVP-s and pain points. Your product or service reviews should include characteristics of your business which make you unique. They should also include a solution to the biggest problems of your customers. Mailchimp did this well.

Using UVP and pain points in testimonials
Testimonial at Mailchimp's website.

Mailchimp is focusing on communicating how it helps with automation (saving time) and conversions (making money).

Also, if you want to make great reviews, you need to communicate different UVP-s and pain points with different testimonials.

4. Storytelling 

Testimonials are more powerful if using narratives and storytelling. Tell the people about a scenario in which one of your customers had a problem, and you helped them to solve it. Describe that in as much detail as needed in your customer review.

It’s an especially effective way to write a testimonial for a business or about a person. Those usually require more space and more images to really tell the story in a meaningful way. Using testimonial pages is perfect as they have enough space to tell the story in a very descriptive way.

Real person testimonial
Same picture from before. This time, clicking the button expands a whole story about a customer.

Using emotions while telling a story has a very powerful effect as well. You can find out more in the emotional persuasion guide.

Social testimonials (Google, Facebook etc.)

Writing a Google and Facebook review is very powerful because those platforms are reliable. Prospects are 71% more likely to purchase based on social media referrals.

They make completing two of the steps for writing a good review easier: making the review more realistic and genuine. Because they already feature the image and name of the customer. They also have the power of numbers. When compared to manually adding the testimonials to your website, social testimonials have unlimited number of reviews that can be left.

How to write a good Google or Facebook review? Just follow the advice already talked about above for writing testimonials. It's that simple!

Example of Google review
Interface of reviews on Google, using Google Maps.

How to get testimonials from clients

It’s easy if you're a recognized brand and have awesome customer service or product. You will naturally get testimonials for your website or social networks. But in the real world, you will probably have to make some requests for testimonials from your clients yourself.

Below: how to get client testimonials and what questions to ask your clients to make it easier.

Asking for client reviews - helping hand
Ask for a helping hand.

How to ask for a testimonial 

It’s best to ask the people who love you or your brand for reviews. Your most loyal customers and clients. They are people who are your brand ambassadors and they’d be happy to talk about you. They also have the lowest probability of saying “no” when you ask them for a testimonial.

What are your options for asking for a testimonial? You can:

What to say & the tips how to approach asking for reviews:

You might also offer some incentives or discounts. But usually, happy customers will gladly give you their opinion for free. 

Additional tip: If you give your customers some questions to answer, it might be easier for them. Be sure to point out it’s not necessary to answer those questions exactly. They are just for inspiration. For them to get an idea what to write about. 

Also, it’s better if they write more than less. You can always make it shorter and only use the parts you want. It’s not necessary to put the entire testimonial on your website.

And now for the questions to ask your clients.

Testimonial questions for clients & customers

Don’t overdo it with questions.

Try keeping it simple, not to overwhelm your customer. Up to 3 question should capture the essence of customer experience:

  1. Would you recommend my product to a friend? Why?
  2. What changed after you bought and used our product?
  3. What is the best thing about our product?

There is an added benefit of asking certain questions like “Would you recommend this product?”. When a person replies positively to that question, it invokes a principle of Commitment and consistency. In the context of websites, if we write a positive review, we will then want to stay consistent (as said in book Neuro web design). That means we will take more action to interact with the site, the company, and the organization. In other words, we will buy more and actually recommend the product/service to more friends.

When that statement is public and in written, the effect is even stronger.


Testimonials are not perfect and they are not fair. But they do work. They correctly predict behaviors of others (using collective biases). If you’re a small business owner who is thinking of using a specific service, chances are that reading a testimonial from a similar person will give you a correct prediction of your satisfaction if you were to use that service.

In order to build your brand and have a persuasive website, you need to use testimonial marketing! The importance of testimonials has been highlighted in this blog post.

So get to it, and start writing those testimonials for your website right away. Improve the trust of your customers and get to more sales with this easy method.

Should you redesign your website or just update and improve it?

You can get a lot from this article if you are creating a website for your business, or already have a website but aren't’ satisfied. Keep reading to find out the differences between website redesign and website refresh! Improve your business and sales through improving your website. 

In this article, you’ll find out what to look for. You’ll discover what are the signs your website needs a refresh or a redesign. Here are the answers to how long does it take and how much does it cost. And in the end, which should you choose.

Differences between website redesign and website improvements

You created a website for your business. Some time has passed but your website isn’t performing good enough. You’re thinking about what to do to improve your business objective. You have two options:

Which option to go for? It depends.

What about website improvements? If your website is functional, making money, and user-friendly. But, you see certain areas where you can improve. Such as contact form or a product page, or maybe website speed.

Why redesign a website? That is a total website makeover. If you think your website is beyond repair. It means creating the website from scratch. It’s more costly, but it can be more useful in the long term.

Here is a side-by-side comparison.

Website improvements vs. website redesign comparison
Website improvements vs. website redesign comparison

You want to find out the specific reasons why you should go for website refresh? Or why to redesign a website? Keep reading to find out!

Let's dig in deeper.

Website refresh & upgrades (Updating your website)

Website improvements icon

Most of the websites get the job done. But are those websites effective? After all, it’s about making money. And how to make your website effective? Maybe there is something you didn’t think of. That one image you could upload, that one Call-to-action you can insert, or that one contact form you could improve. In this section, you will learn how to improve your website. Get ready for designing websites tips.

When & why go for a website refresh

If you want to refresh your website design, you first need to know the reasons for doing so. Here are the 4 most common ones:

  1. Updating & publishing content

Keep your website alive! Publish promotional news, discounts, but even something simple like a holiday card on your homepage. Refresh old articles and add new photos or content to it.

  1. Improving user experience

User experience can be improved incrementally with minor improvements. However, all these add up. Improvements often include adding certain features such as progress bars when reading an article. Or offering related articles while a visitor is reading a certain article. Or perhaps adding search filters for content.

  1. New products/services or other additions

If you’re changing your services, be sure to let your customers know! Update your website with new services/products or remove the ones you’re no longer offering. Be sure to update your About page, Team members page etc.

  1. Search engine optimization

Google loves when the website is kept fresh. It means you’re working hard on improving your website to satisfy your users. Google is all about keeping the users happy. They might, in turn, reward you with better ranking.

Elements of a website to improve

Elements of a website
With which website element to start with?

How to refresh a website? By changing the website elements. All the website's elements are there to make it easier for the customer to buy or convert. 

Sometimes, mistakes happen. Or it’s a matter of a simple oversight. In this section, we’ll see where the most common errors occur. Which ones are the easiest ones to fix. And changing which website elements offer the biggest benefit for your investment (of time and money). Here are the most impactful website elements you can change easily and update your website. Get ready to drastically improve your website!

Hero or main image is the first thing your customers see on your website. Make sure they are relevant to your brand and high quality. Did you know: Users spend an average of 5.94 seconds looking at a website’s main image! Make sure that the hero image represents your brand and communicates the message you want to send.

Images that are authentic, big and which showcase the benefits of the product are the best. They can persuade the customer into buying the product, giving them that final needed push. Upgrading the image to a video at some point is also a great idea for a subsequent iteration.

How to improve your website using one element of design? The website copy is the answer! Even though users spend an average of 5.59 seconds looking at a website’s written content, you have plenty of time to capture their attention. Use storytelling and emotions. When combined with great pictures, your website copy is a major website improvement. There are some great copywriting guides out there.

In the Frequently Asked Questions section you have the opportunity to answer all the uncertainties and doubts of your customers. Answer their questions even before your customers have them - it shows confidence and increases the trust in your brand.

Social proof is one of the oldest tricks in the book. There are numerous ways to use them. One of the most common ways is through testimonials of existing customers. Potential customers take the word of a stranger a surprising percentage of the time. Read more why testimonials are so powerful and how to use them!

Storytelling is a powerful tool at your disposal. Use it! Here, you have an opportunity to tell your captivating story. How you got the idea, how it’s your passion and how you want to make your customer happy. People respond to emotions. And they want to be moved and believe in your brand.

Usually, the short contact form works best. However, that’s not the case if you’re selling an expensive product or service. Then, the people usually think that they need to provide additional information. We actually want people to give as much information as they’re willing to give. Because: 1. We will have a clearer picture about our customer, 2. Customers giving more information are committing more to your brand.

Website redesign - What is it, process, steps & questions

Website redesign icon

Website redesign is basically creating websites from scratch. A website makeover. Sometimes, it can be a bit overwhelming. I’m here to answer all your questions about redesign. It doesn’t have to be scary.
Keep reading to find out: When and why redesign a website? What to ask when building a website? How long does it take? Redesigning or starting a web page is a big step. Knowing this stuff before getting into it is a must!

When to redesign a website

Sometimes, the websites are beyond repair. And if you’re investing time/money on it, it’s like pouring water in a leaking bucket. In that case, redesigning your existing website is the solution.

Don’t throw your money into a leaky bucket!

So how to recognize when a redesign is due? Here are 7 most common reasons to redesign a website:

1. Rebranding

If your company went through a full rebranding, chances are you’ll need a new website. Simply because a lot of elements of the website need to change. These include: logo, colours, style elements, user experience, website narrative and language, informational architecture and more. At that point, it might be cheaper in the long-term to go for a redesign instead of adjusting every website element individually.

2. Outdated design

Usually, if your design is more than 3 years old, there is a decent chance it’s now not as pretty. Yeah, that means you should update your design often. There is no rule for this, as some things age better with time, and others become outdated much sooner. A good rule of thumb is to check with your users what they think about the design of your website, every couple of years.

3. Old technology

Is your website fast enough? Does it have responsive design (meaning it’s mobile-friendly)? What we want our website to have is: speed & being mobile-friendly. If your site is a couple of years old, it could have been made using older technologies. All those things drastically affect user experience and your position on the search engines. Use one of these two free website speed tests to find out if it’s fast enough (Page Speed Insights & GTMetrix), and Google mobile-friendly test to find out if your web is responsive.

An old typewriter might be cool, but at some point it becomes obsolete

4. Changing digital marketing strategy

After a while, a lot of companies pivot or change their digital marketing strategy completely. Website is just a means to an end. It should be in service of your SEO, social media, content marketing and advertising strategies. Depending on how and in which capacity your company’s strategy changed, you may need a website redesign.

5. Not achieving any of your website goals

Have your sales or conversions been decreasing? First you need to do a thorough research using the tools at your disposal (ex. Google Analytics). Often enough, there will be too many bottlenecks or problems which stop your prospects in becoming customers. In some cases, a website redesign is the only option.

Missing website goals
After so many tries, maybe it’s time to change something?

6. Limited editing possibilities in your CMS

Using custom CMS (Content Management System) has its advantages. It often makes it easier for the owners and editors of the website to make changes. However, it can often have strict limitations. For every change, you need to contact a specific web developer for him to make the changes. Those changes can often be expensive, and you don’t have the flexibility you would have with open source CMS. For that reason, open source CMS-s are recommended (such as WordPress, Joomla, Magento, etc). This is especially important for small business websites.

7. Numerous user complaints

Noticed a pattern in user complaints regarding the subject and frequency of complaints? It’s time to start taking things seriously. One user complaining is usually not a big deal (even though it needs to be taken care of gracefully). But if they pile up, they could be a sign of a serious problem. That means it’s time for investigation and a potential web redesign.

How many chilli peppers can your website take before becoming too hot?

Why redesign a website - Benefits

It doesn’t matter if your website is shiny if it doesn’t fulfill its purpose. You’re making your website for the purpose of making or saving money in the long run. There are a lot of benefits in redesigning a website. Here, I'll mention 4 big ones:

1. Achieving your business goals

Did you know that 70% of small business websites lack a Call to Action (CTA) on their homepage? Do it right and get more qualified leads and sales.

2. Improved user experience and satisfaction

Websites are one of the most important touch-points in the customer journey. 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site if they’ve had a bad experience.

3. Website is a vital part of your branding and company identity.

Why is website design important? 75% of website visitors form a perception of a company's credibility based on the company’s website design. This is true for big companies and for the design of small business websites as well.

4. More flexibility and speed in making changes on your website

The consumer behavior is changing rapidly. The website and mobile trends are changing as well. To give your customers what they want, you need the flexibility to pivot and upgrade your website quickly. That can be done with a seamless web design.

Keep all those things in mind. Try thinking about the big picture. Make a website that will achieve your goals. And make you stand out from the competition. It’s more than just a website makeover.

Do you have a lot of website redesign questions?

Questions to ask when redesigning a website

You don’t need to know how to make a website from scratch. You just need to ask your team and yourself the right questions. What to ask when building or rebuilding a website? Here are the questions:

Quick tip: Get somebody reliable to work on your web. I mostly work with one trusted developer with whom I’ve been working for years. He’s specializing in web design services for small business and personal web pages.

How long does it take to redesign a website?

Website redesign usually means building a website from scratch. It mostly depends on the amount of research that needs to be done beforehand. But other major factors include:

As a rule of thumb, once the work has begun, it can take anywhere between 3 weeks and 3 months. It depends on the scope of the project: total website redesign or a website makeover. The cooperation and responsiveness of all people working on the project is a huge factor.

So... What to choose?

Both options have their use cases. The table below sums it up nicely.

Website improvements vs. website redesign comparison
Website improvements vs. website redesign comparison

In the end, if you think your current website design is great, you can stick with the occasional website refreshes. Especially if you own a small business website and the budget might be tight. On the other hand, if your website is outdated, not performing well, and you lack the flexibility to do any significant changes on the web… It might be time to go for a website redesign - invest some more money and plan for the long-term.

In any case, get a professional to take a look at your website. A small investment of your and their time might get you significant results.