The psychology of advertising rests on the fact that people like – and trust – doing what their peers do. Many times, people make major decisions based on the power of recommendations or suggestions from their friends and people they know and respect. The simple premise being that “…if that person recommends it, then it must be good.”

People seek reassurance for their purchase decisions and like to know that the product or service on which they are contemplating spending their hard-earned money has credibility, offers quality, and actually delivers on their promises.

Recent surveys have shown the power of testimonials from friends, family, and peers:

  • Neilsen reports that 84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products and services. They added that 84% of consumers also reported always or sometimes taking action based on personal recommendations.
  • Ogilvy/Google/TNS identified word-of-mouth as a key influencer in the purchasing decisions of 74% of consumers.
  • According BrightLocal, 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts. They further found that 72% of consumers say reading a positive customer review increases their trust in a business.

No matter what people intend on purchasing, be it a pair of shoes, an electronic device or an online course, they yearn to know that somebody else has bought it – and enjoyed it – before them.

It makes sense then, that anybody seeking a suitable online college or course, would want to know as much as possible about that course, the school offering it, the lecturers, curriculum, teachers, source material, methods, and so on.

They will no doubt visit that course’s website to find the basic details of what the course offers, and how much it costs. But they will want to know more: who else has taken it, and how effective it was; what sort of learning experience they had, what sort of results they achieved.

As an online course operator, you can attract more students to your online courses by displaying testimonials and comments from those who have taken the courses in the past. This is the main thing that would significantly improve enrollment rates.

Here are some ways that using testimonials properly and effectively on your course pages can boost your online course registrations:

Make your testimonials relevant for different students and courses

Schools that display relevant testimonials on each individual course page are more likely to enroll more students in each course. The same generic testimonials on EVERY page will not be effective. For example, if a potential student wants to study graphic design but sees a testimonial for a programming course, it would be irrelevant and not help that student decide to enroll. Future students want to read testimonials from people who studied the exact same subject that they are planning on studying.

Optimize your testimonials for conversions

It is important to optimize your testimonials and make sure that you display only those that drive the most registrations. In order to do that, you must be able to measure and analyze which testimonials are viewed the most and which ones are clicked on and result in the most conversions. Those are the testimonials that should appear on the course pages in order to boost enrollment rates.

Make it obvious that your testimonials are REAL

One of the biggest problems with testimonials is that many people are cynical about them. Were they written by actual people who used the product or service? Or were they written by marketers in an attempt to fool the public and increase sales?

The best way to build trust is by making it clear that your testimonials are 100% legitimate.  By showing the testimonials alongside photos of the people who wrote them and links to their online social media profiles — on Facebook, LinkedIn or other social or review sites – you can remove all doubt.

Leverage your testimonials to help students find you organically

Having testimonials on your website and course pages is a great first step towards boosting enrollment, but with the amount of competition out there, how can you make sure that potential students find your school online?

The best way to do this is by creating a dedicated minisite with your testimonials, optimized for SEO, for each of your courses.  Doing so will help your courses rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs), enabling students to find your courses online easily through a general query. With people’s inherent need to be able to trust the school they are considering, having your testimonials minisite appear at the top of the SERPs is going to ensure you get the lion’s share of enquiries and increased enrollments.

Implementing all 4 of these tips on your school’s website may seem like an impossible task, but it is actually extremely simple – as long as you have access to the right tools.  Spectoos offers a testimonial widget that can help you do it all to easily increase your enrollment rates:

  • Display different testimonials on each course page
  • Measure and optimize testimonial performance
  • Show testimonials with profile pictures, social media profile links and star ratings
  • Create an SEO-optimized minisite dedicated to your course’s testimonials

Do you want to see for yourself how using the Spectoos testimonial widget can help your school get more students?  Give it a try by signing up for a free account, today!