Reviews vs Testimonials: What’s the Difference?


Happy clients are the best, but how can you utilize their words to showcase your work on your own website? If you’re asking your clients to give feedback on your business, make sure you’re asking for the right thing. Reviews and testimonials aren’t interchangeable, so using the right terminology with clear intentions means nobody gets confused and the goal is clear from the start! Here’s what to know. 

What’s the difference between a review and a testimonial?

Looking to boost your local search rankings and showcase your skills and customer service to potential new clients? Reviews are what you want. These typically appear on local search sites like Google My Business or Apple Maps, which means there are strict rules for how you can request them from clients and what they can include – like, really strict. You can’t offer clients anything in return for reviews, and you want as many of them as you can get! And, if you get some less than perfect reviews, that’s okay. You’ll want to respond to those, so people can see how you interact with your clients.

On the other hand, you have a lot more control over testimonials. These typically appear on your own website, so they can include whatever a client is okay with you saying. If your business deals with Protected Health Information (PHI), make sure to obtain consent through an authorization form before you gather a testimonial, and that the client’s testimonial DOES NOT include any information that would violate HIPAA laws. While both reviews and testimonials are public-facing, testimonials can be given in exchange for gift cards and other incentives. They also tend to focus more on the results instead of the experience – but they certainly don’t have to!

Which one should I ask for?

Your best clients with the best results should be your testimonials if possible! You don’t need a ton of testimonials on your website, so aim for a few high-quality examples to showcase great results and relationships with your clients. Reviews, on the other hand, rely on steady incoming updates, so setting up a system to automatically request patients to leave feedback is the best way to achieve success. If someone leaves a great review, consider reaching out to see if they’d be willing to be featured in a testimonial. 

We Can Help

Looking to boost your reviews? MyAdvice’s Review Power tool makes it easy to request and respond to reviews. Contact one of our marketing experts for a complimentary demo today.

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