There’s nothing like third party validation on your website to underpin your pitch. Everyone expects your website to paint a glowing picture of your business and the skills or products on offer, but when someone else says your good, it has more power.
That means that testimonials and case studies are good to have as they demonstrate your expertise. The problem is where do you put them?
You could have a ‘Testimonials’ tab on your menu, or a ‘Case studies’ tab. You could even have ‘What clients say’. But then your website visitor has to click, go to the page and read a few testimonials before they find one that’s relevant to their needs. Do you do that?
No, probably not. Most people will read two or three short testimonials, then lose interest. Remember that our attention spans have reduced to a nanosecond and that finger is quick to flick to something else.
Case studies are an even longer read, so they’ve got to look appealing.
Here are some ideas to power up your third-party validation on your website.
- Don’t have a separate page for testimonials. Pick your best one for each product or service and put it on the page where that product or service is featured. This means that people read the relevant testimonial as they’re checking out your product or service.
- Feature testimonials in the same way you would a quote – like a magazine pulls a quote out of the article and puts it in bigger text in a box or between two lines to make it stand out. (This is known in the publishing industry as a ‘ragout’.)
- Avoid a scrolling marquee. That’s where testimonials are shown, then a new one replaces the last one. Firstly, something that keeps moving is distracting, especially if it takes the reader’s eye off the information they’re actually looking for. Secondly, most scrolling marquees are set too fast and it’s not possible to read the content before it’s gone and a new one comes up. That’s very frustrating and frustration is not the emotion you want associating with your website.
- Don’t publish long testimonials in their entirety. Pick the sentences out that tell the reader ‘what’s in it for me’.
- Always attribute the testimonial, either with the name/company (Don Smith, Acme Widgets) of the writer or with the position/company (Finance manager, Acme Widgets). Where there are confidentiality issues, consider initials and industry type (DS, parts manufacturing company).
- Remember to ask your clients for their feedback! Make it easy for them by asking specific questions, such as ‘What was it like working with us?’ and most important ‘What changed as a result of what we delivered?’ Measurable results are powerful.
- Try creating blog categories for each of your core services/products and post your case studies here.
- Link each blog category to the relevant service/product page so people go straight to where all the relevant case studies are for the page they’re looking at.
- Use a consistent format for your case studies. For example: The brief, the solution, the outcome, what the client said. Adding the measurable results and the client’s feedback make case studies very powerful.
- Pictures are worth their weight in gold. If your particular business lends itself to before and after shots, use them.
- Keep your copy short and to the point. Avoid long rambling descriptions. At the end of the day their purpose is to persuade the reader that you know your stuff and get excellent results.
Using some of these tips will help your testimonials and case studies to work harder for you.