When it comes to local businesses, the old saying that people trust a recommendation from someone still holds true. I find a lot of websites with testimonial pages and so forth and that’s great but in my opinion, do people really read them? Well, sure but you will want to take a step back and think about this for a little bit. Would a business post negative testimonials on their website? Of course, most users are aware of this.
Building a reputation requires a little more then creating testimonial pages on your website, if I read a review from a third party source like Google or even another website I personally will take that as a more trustworthy source. Feel free to check out your traffic on your website. You will likely see what I notice time and time again. The majority of traffic on your website that goes to your testimonial pages are probably coming from you. The majority of the public will always assume that your testimonial pages only includes biased reviews.
Don’t look at this as a bad thing, we all know that positive reviews on search engines will also help improve your rankings in search, so why not help them review your product or services with a Review page. On this page you can create a link to their respective review areas where they can create a more unbiased review of your business on a third party that will appear in other areas of the internet other then just your website. Of course you only want to link to services that allow you to do so. Services like YELP discourages this practice so make sure you are up to snuff on where you can do this. Another very common and successful practice that I see is follow-up cards mailed to customers or handed out after a job is completed. I noticed this works great with businesses that maintain relationships with their customers like Dentists, landscapers, and so forth.