About Testimonials and Customer Focused Sites

Think about it, when you browse any web site, you are basically trying to see what's in it for you, whether it be information, news, products or services. All you want is to find, read or collect information that will ultimately do something for you.

If you run a web site, your web pages need to have a lot of content that is of interest to your visitors. Have you just found an exciting product or affiliate program to promote? Before you set up a sales page, write down all the benefits the product offers your users, then design your own page around those benefits.

Invest the time it takes to figure out how you can best approach your visitors so they see value in what you are offering.

There is a difference between features and benefits:

Roses are red. (Feature)

My wife gets 'happy' when I give her roses. (Benefit)

Want to make more sales? Give your visitors more than you take. Shower them with useful items such as articles, updated e-books, free memberships and services related to the theme of your web site.

After all, without user involvement and purchases, your web site becomes as good as an empty movie theater on Friday night. Your web site should get repeat visits and develop a loyal group of thousands of visitors. People will flock to your site when they get something out of it every time they visit.

One way to make your site more convincing and to gain the trust of your visitors is by using testimonials. Testimonials enforce the idea that it's O.K. for you to get your credit card out and make a purchase. It's a validation mechanism to induce trust and sales.

Testimonials should always be verifiable, i.e., contain a link to the person's page. The idea behind most testimonials is to take away all possible doubts about your product or service. Avoid something like:

" I tried this product and made $10,000 the first day. It is simply phenomenal..."

- Jack The Ripper, U.K.

The testimonial above could be totally fabricated and people know that. A better one is:

"I don't usually buy everything I see on the Internet but I took a chance and purchased this program. I made $150 my first week with 2 sales. A got an order from a lady in Washington and another one from a gentleman in New England. Neither one has returned the product. One of them emailed me and said: 'This product is fantastic, thank you!' I am really excited to be promoting your product and I think others will too!"

Mario Giordani, Webmaster

Which of the above testimonials sounds better and more convincing? The second allows you to send an email or visit the web site. While verification is not 100% guaranteed, it's much better than the first testimonial. If you use an online form to collect testimonials, you may be able to guide your clients to provide better formatted testimonials to get the "punch" that you want for your product or service. A testimonial with a photo gives you more credibility. Never use a fake photo, or the photo of someone you don't know, for obvious liabilities reasons.

Does your page make you sound like a "used car salesman"? Does it inspire trust? Is it customer focused? Fine tuning your web page can be an ongoing task. Ask people to go over your page and get their input. Could you change a word here and there to make it more appealing? Is it convincing? Does it load fast? It is optimized? Would they buy from you? Does it come across as full of hype and empty promises? How can you make improvements to it?

In order to get attention, the message on your web page needs to stand out in the crowd. Make it "shout" a little louder than the rest with a powerful opening headline. Most of us are conditioned to reading the headlines on news stories. If the headline sparks our interest, then we tend to dig in deeper. The same is true with your opening headline on your web page. Make a strong visitor-oriented statement that prompts the user to want to read on?

Many pages promise you the world until you pay the fee. Then it is not unusual to be disappointed when you get the actual product or service that was so highly touted. Make sure that your page doesn't fall into this category.

I once bought into a site that did a fantastic job in convincing me I was going to be rich just by virtue of accessing all this "secret" information and by having access to all these great "tools". $97 later, all I got was a bunch of "ad blasters", free classified ad sites and ezine blasters, FFA links and a bunch of stuff thrown together to create "volume" for the member's area. Most of the information was either ineffective or readily available with a couple of searches on Google and, ahem, Free!

So while your sales page should address the "What's in it for me factor", your actual product and service needs to satisfy the customer once they trusted you and parted with their hard-earned money. Disappointed customers rarely come back.

The most important word on your sales page should be the word "you" at all times. The most important content is the one that deals with your visitors needs.

My name is Mario Giordani. I've been marketing online since 1993 and many of my 40 web sites can benefit you. Feel free to distribute this article as long as all links are clickable and nothing is changed. You can reach me at ifsbos(at)aol.com. Let's increase our page rankings by reciprocating links at http://milliondollardays.com/

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