The “Online Report Card: Tracking Online Education in the United States” has found that the number of students taking online courses has grown to 5.8 million nationally, continuing a growth trend that has been consistent for 13 years.

What’s more, 34% of those who study online are under the age of 25, indicating that more and more students are choosing to study for their degrees online as opposed to traditional in-person learning.

If you operate a website offering online courses, your main goal should be to have as many students enroll as possible. But there are many different options out there when it comes to online education, so how can you make sure that your courses stand out from the crowd? How are potential students going to find your courses and know how amazing and useful they are?

You can accomplish this by using online course reviews. But there is a wrong way and right way when it comes to displaying testimonials on your site. Simply having testimonials on your site will not necessarily result in students rushing to enroll in your courses.

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Check out this list of the most common mistakes that online education sites make with their testimonials, so you can learn how to avoid them and get ahead of your competition:

Mistake #1: Not capturing student satisfaction at the right time

People are more likely to provide feedback after they have just completed an action, whether it be receiving an item ordered online, leaving a hotel after a vacation, or successfully completing an online course.

Ask your new alumni to write a testimonial once they’ve completed the course, as the experience will be fresh in their minds and they will be more descriptive in their writing. If you ask for a testimonial a month after they completed the course, they could be on vacation or busy with work. They might also not have the time or energy to write a testimonial, and if they do, it will probably be abbreviated and lack excitement.

Message Requesting Testimonial

Easily request testimonials from your students at the ideal time. Sign up for Spectoos, today!


Mistake #2: Not using student testimonials on the course pages 

One of the biggest mistakes that many online schools make when it comes to testimonials is displaying the same testimonials on every course page. In order to avoid this mistake, you must go through your testimonials, separate them according to their courses, and display them on the relevant course page.

For example, if I am a law student, I want to see specific testimonials about the law classes and law teachers. What a science or English student writes will have little to zero relevance for me. I want to hear from a person who studied the exact same subject that I am planning on studying.

This can be easily done with the customizable testimonial widget from Spectoos, which allows you to create a dedicated Faceboard for each individual course page. Every course has a different tone and targets different people, so the testimonials that appear on each course page should be catered to the specific audience that will read them.

Mistake #3: Not measuring the impact of testimonials on conversions

At the end of the day, you need to know what kind of impact your online course reviews have on your conversion rates, and the only way to know this is by analyzing the performance of each one.

This data will allow you to optimize your online course testimonials and display only the most useful and effective ones, so you can continue driving enrollment in the future.

But measuring the efficacy of your testimonials is virtually impossible if you are using a basic text-based format for your testimonials. In order to truly get the most benefit from your testimonials, you need a way to gauge their performance and act accordingly.

The Spectoos testimonial widget has integrated analytics. This enables you to see statistics and data on how well each testimonial is performing and which ones yield the most clicks and result in the most registrations.

Spectoos dashboard

The types of metrics that are important to measure are:


Views refer to the number of prospective students that viewed your testimonials. This indicates the reach of the testimonials and how many people have read them.


Clicks refer to the number of prospective students that have actually clicked on a student testimonial and showed further interest. This indicates how many people out of those that have viewed your testimonials are most interested in them.

Enrollment Rate

The ultimate metric to measure is the difference in enrollment rate compared to how many clicks and views your testimonials have gotten. Has enrollment increased? Decreased? Only this will tell you whether or not your testimonials are as effective as they can be, and which types of testimonials are converting prospective students the best.

Learning from the mistakes of others that came before you is a great way to get ahead of the competition and improve enrollment rates for your online school.

If you would like to start displaying testimonials the right way on your site, give Spectoos a try, today.

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Also published on Medium.