We recently talked about how to get testimonials for your design firm, which leads us to our next question: where should you add them on your website?
Before you copy-paste praise everywhere, it’s important to be strategic about it. Otherwise, it’s going to look a little messy and won’t be optimizing your testimonials’ potential to attract new clients. Strategy matters here.
Today, we’re covering:
01. Make It Readable
Your testimonials are likely going to be long paragraphs, especially if you ask the questions we suggested here. This is wonderful, but in most cases, you won’t share them that way. Very few people take the time to read long stretches of text, and your testimonials will be far, FAR more impactful in digestible pieces.
This can mean cutting down a long testimonial into a shorter one, OR cutting a single testimonial into two or more that can be used in different contexts. Which brings us to our next point…
02. Cater to Context
Catering to context means asking, What is this testimonial serving to underline? For example, if you’re looking for a testimonial to include on your Process page, which option will be more powerful: praise for your design style or praise for a professional and buttoned-up process? The latter, hands down. More on this to come.
03. Know Your Audience
Only include details that your future clients care about. If your past clients mention the fact that you also designed their mother-in-law’s house, or that it took them 5 years to finally renovate, leave those sentences out of your website pages. Those are great details for a longer blog post about their project, but as a testimonial, it actually detracts from what’s really important to potential clients: your service, style, and the transformation you create for them.
04. Be Careful Setting Precedents
Lastly, if there are details within a testimonial that aren’t precedents you want to set with future clients, take them out. Did a past client convince you to go shopping together? (But you’d never do it again.) Were they really happy with budget items you found? (But you don’t want future budget shoppers.) Do they mention a timeline that is faster than you would feel comfortable agreeing to in the future? Nix those phrases. As long as you’re not changing the overall meaning of the testimonial, you have every right to do this.
To help illustrate how we would condense a testimonial for various platforms, we’re going to shamelessly promote O&B and use one of our recent client reviews as an example:
The Full Version:
“Ochre & Beige is the team member you didn’t even know you were missing. Everything they’ve written for us has been pure genius. Before working with them, I thought our copy was decent, but they took our content to another level – the kind of level that has people repeating our words back to us in messages & sales calls. Not to mention, the process of working with O&B is efficient, timely & strategic. I would recommend them to literally any business owner who wants to be taken seriously. Working with them has been a non-negotiable investment for us that has paid us back tenfold.”
You didn’t read it all, did you? I don’t blame you. It’s too much on its own. BUT — there are a lot of powerful statements in there. How can we ensure that they get read?
Answer: Split the testimonial into two or more smaller testimonials that are relevant to the page in question.
On your Home page, share either the most powerful sentence, OR the sentence that shows you solved your clients’ number one pain point. For example, when looking at the long testimonial above, we chose the following for our homepage:
“Before working O&B, I thought our copy was decent, but they took our content to another level – the kind of level that has people repeating our words back to us in messages & sales calls.”
Note: The “O&B” in this sentence was originally “them” in our client’s testimonial. We changed it for clarity. This is okay! You can also do this if your client wrote a testimonial to you personally (with your name), and you’d prefer that it apply to your whole team. Simply change your name to your business name.
On an About page, select a sentence or two related to you (if you’re the main point of contact for clients), your team, or your client’s overall experience working with you. For example, we would choose:
“Ochre & Beige is the team member you didn’t even know you were missing. Everything they’ve written for us has been pure genius.”
There’s a reference to being a team member, and the idea of “genius” will soon be matched to our faces right below. This creates human connection.
On a Services page, choose a sentence or two related to that specific service, ideally aligned with your clients’ pain points OR as a way to underline the value of what you’re offering. Again, from the long testimonial above, we picked out this quote:
“I would recommend O&B to literally any business owner who wants to be taken seriously. Working with them has been a non-negotiable investment for us that has paid us back tenfold.”
Note: This is easily the most powerful sentence in the testimonial, so you might be wondering why we didn’t put it on the homepage. Because we don’t want the first thing a potential client sees to be about money.
We would much rather someone see that what we do works — that our work in the digital world inspires action in real life — before underlining the value of the investment. That’s a personal choice, but it’s probably relevant to you, too. Value is always more important than a number.
On your Process page (or below the process on a services page), you can select a sentence or two related to — you guessed it — working with you or how well you took care of your clients. O&B doesn’t have a page on our website like this, but if we did, we would pick this snippet:
“The process of working with O&B is efficient, timely & strategic. I would recommend them to literally any business owner who wants to be taken seriously.”
Note: In the original sentence, our client had written “Not to mention.” Since this is a transition sentence and not relevant to our client’s intention or meaning in the testimonial, we took it out.
If you can match a client’s testimonial with their project in your portfolio, great! This emphasizes the quality of your work and puts the praise in context of what was physically achieved. Again, shorten the quote to just a couple of powerful sentences and work with your website designer to display it well.
Mix It Up
The examples we shared with you all came from one testimonial, and while it’s okay to have a couple duplicates, it’s also true that you don’t want it to look like you only have one client. Use the same strategy to pick out powerful statements from the other testimonials you have and layer them strategically throughout your website.
Create a Testimonials Page
Another option is to create a single page dedicated to your clients’ testimonials. To be honest, this isn’t our favorite strategy, mostly because it clutters your website menu. However, if it feels right for your brand, use the tips above to condense your clients’ reviews and feel free to add them in this one location.
Highlight a Stand-Out Phrase
Lastly, another stylistic option for sharing testimonials is to pick out a key sentence and put it in a larger, eye-catching font. Then, include the rest of the testimonial (or a shortened version) below the headline for additional reading, if desired. Like this:
“Before working with them, I thought our copy was decent, but they took our content to another level – the kind of level that has people repeating our words back to us in messages & sales calls. Working with them has been a non-negotiable investment for us that has paid us back tenfold.”
See? Someone who’s skimming will easily get the point, but a longer testimonial is there for them if they want it. Friendly, easy on the eyes, and effective.
Alright, that’s a wrap for now. We hope this has been helpful and actionable for you! If you’re looking for more website copy tips — or maybe some insight into whether your existing copy is working well for your business, download our Website Copy Handbook below.
Until next time,