4 Copywriting Tips to Improve your Testimonials Page

Copywriting tips for testmonials

Including client testimonials on your website can really make a difference in establishing you as a responsive professional and expert ‘go to’ person in your field.

I’m grateful to pro copywriter Steve Plummer (steveplummeronline.com) for his illuminating review of my website copy. In today’s post I describe and illustrate easy changes I’ve made to improve the readability and impact of my testimonials page. I hope one or more of these copywriting tips is useful for you too.

For all of us with a business website, the one place we definitely want readers to get our message quickly and easily is on the testimonials page. After all, this is where other people are talking about our skills and their delight in the same sentence!

Copywriting Tips

Read on to find out why I ..

  • .. changed the link to my testimonials page from ‘Praise’ to ‘Clients Say..’
  • .. revised the placement of names, photos and words
  • .. added headings
  • .. replaced an in-built WordPress Style with traditional formatting
1. Link

Before – The link to my testimonials page was originally ‘Praise’. I liked ‘Praise’ because it was short and clear and seemed somehow friendlier and more inviting than alternatives such as ‘Testimonials’ or ‘Feedback’. I also felt that it balanced well with the other items in the menu.

MenuBeforeEdge

My website menu – before

After – I’ve now changed the link to ‘Clients Say ..’ and the reason is to do with reader psychology.

The word ‘Praise’ tells readers what to expect and subtly guides their reaction to the page content. The problem with this is that it may lead them – at some unconscious level – to pay less attention than I would like because an appropriate reaction to the content has already been suggested to them.

The words ‘Clients Say ..’, on the other hand, invite readers to judge the content of the page for themselves. And there’s power in this. People value (and remember) their own opinions more than those suggested to them by others. So readers who click ‘Clients Say ..’ are more likely to actively engage with the content and come to their own conclusions about what my clients say. The point is that the words we use in our links can influence how our readers behave.

Here’s my revised menu. (I also changed ‘Work with Me’ to ‘Services’ in order to keep the menu a balanced width.)

MenuAfterEdge

My website menu – after

Does this point apply to you? Could you revise your link text so that it invites greater reader engagement?

Placement, headings & formatting

It’s clear that we can add credibility and ‘life’ to testimonials by including the names and photos of our clients as well as their words. Placement of the name, photo and words is important, as is the use of layout and formatting that facilitate reading and comprehension.

Before – Originally, I placed each client’s photo first, followed by their name and then their words. I used one of my WordPress Theme’s inbuilt styles (the large grey quotation mark icon left of the text) to format the client’s words. I added bold to highlight keywords. And a horizontal line between individual testimonials.

Copywriting tips for testimonials

Individual testimonial – before

After – I’ve made three changes to improve the readability and potential impact of each testimonial. There’s an image below.

2. Placement

Firstly, I’ve reordered the photo, name and words so that the most important of these – the client’s words – is in first place. I’ve replaced the square photo with a smaller round photo, and right-justified both the photo and the client info beneath the quote. This improves the aesthetic and provides visual balance. Most importantly, the revised placement guides readers’ eyes from top left to bottom right in a way that matches our natural reading pattern. From my point of view, this invites them to look at the most important information first.

3. Headings

Secondly, I’ve added a short benefit-driven heading to each testimonial. This further highlights the qualities that I want to draw readers’ attention to, and is especially useful for readers who ‘skim’. (Many of us skim read automatically to save time; we skim by moving our eyes rapidly over a screen (or page) in order to pick up the gist and decide whether or not a text is worth reading more carefully for detail.)

4. Formatting

Thirdly, I’ve replaced the large quotation icon with conventional inverted commas (aka speech or quotation marks). Readers are generally conditioned to the use of traditional inverted commas to indicate quoted text. If these aren’t there, it may cast some doubt on the legitimacy of the quote. By using opening and closing quotation marks around each client’s words, I’m making it crystal clear that these are their actual words.

Here’s the result with before and after images alongside each other for easier comparison. To see the changes in the context of the whole page, please click here.

Copywriting tips for testimonials

Individual testimonial – before

Copywriting tips for testimonials

Individual testimonial – after

With new link text, and placement, layout and formatting changes in place for each testimonial, the page is easier to read and focuses readers on the most important information.

I’d love to know your thoughts about these changes, so please comment below. It’s clear that maintaining a website is always a work-in-progress, and it’s great that we can learn from each other. You’re most welcome to add to the conversation by talking about similar changes you’ve made to your own site, and the reasons why.

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Comments

  1. Fantastic tips, Alison! I do like Clients Say … Thanks for sharing!

  2. Excellent points made here Alison!! I will look at my site with new eyes now thanks to your guidance!!

  3. Great tips Alison. I have never been a fan of using “praise” as a menu item (even though everyone seems to do it), but I could never explain why. Now I understand why it felt wrong. Thank-you 🙂

  4. Absolutely fantastic tips Alison. Was your enhanced testimonial panel created as a graphic and imbedded as an image so it looks the way you want, or did your theme support that?
    Great job! Krishna 🙂

    • Hi Krishna. Thank you for such positive feedback. I’m really glad you found the post useful. I set up the testimonials simply by editing the page as usual. Best wishes, Alison.

  5. Great post Alison, loved the “before and after” examples and the rationale behind it. I will be making some changes to my testimonials page based on this advice. Thanks! Kerry

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