Two different things here.
Reviews are what you get on Yelp, Home Advisor, Google, etc. They have ‘star ratings’ 1-5 stars. They are on OTHER platforms. Typically, you get your webmaster to ’embed’ some ‘code’ so that these reviews will automatically populate on your website! Cool stuff! This is a key point on building trust.
This are great because you cannot edit them. They are created by others and are therefore out of your control.
HOWEVER, a warning on this. If you want to be a pro, don’t feature just 5 star reviews. If you have a grid of 2 rows, 3 columns, 6 reviews total: Show 4 5-star reviews and then throw in a 4 star review and a 3 star review. Surveys show that the prospect will distrust a company that only has 5-star reviews and no negative reviews. It takes guts to do this but it is authentic and real, and that’s what people want.
Testimonials, are text written and added directly into your website. There are no stars (unless you put them there yourself). You can do a lot with a testimonial to beef it up and make it more juicy. Here are some components for the PERFECT testimonial:
- the city
- the service/product
- the date
- a picture of before/after, or a picture of person with product
- the text
- the person’s name
- small picture of the person
This is the ONE trust element everyone knows, even your ill-informed web designer! And if your website doesn’t have them, then you better start harvesting them and put them online!
Of course the best of the best is the video testimonial, you should also try to get those. Don’t worry about the lighting and audio. You don’t need a professional studio set up, just get an iPhone, go outside where it is bright (not indoors where it is dark) and take a 30-60 second clip.
If no one is saying that you’re good… why should the prospect believe you are?