If you’re a business owner planning a new website, please repeat the following phrase over and over again: “my website is not a brochure, my website is not a brochure!” Many people make this common mistake. They think a website is about having something that is shiny and attractive for people to look at and read – like a brochure.
But this is no longer how the Internet works. People want to interact and engage. They seek out trusted sources and they want to buy from real people. That means that your website should strive to be as personable as possible.
Here are the top five benefits of having a personable website:
1. Builds Trust
The first challenge you have when people land on your website is keeping them away from the back button. Oh, the dreaded back button! This even has a term in website usage statistics – bounce rate. The word may sound like a fun thing your kid may do in gymnastics class. But you don’t want your audience bouncing away.
One of the best ways to prevent users from bouncing off your website is to instill trust. And the best way to make users trust you is to add a bit of personality.
Have you ever called a company and the call is answered by a recorded message? You’re then asked to select from a series of options. The machine decides who you should speak with, and it’s inevitably always the wrong person. Then you’ll end up with another recorded message to tell you that they’re closed or are too busy to take your call – even though they say “your call is very important to us.”Arghh!
And why is this so frustrating? It’s because you’re dealing with a machine – not a human. People like using technology. But they’d much rather prefer to engage with real people. Real humans can empathize with your frustration. They can ask questions about your issues, and they can relate and get you the help you need.
Remember how it feels to be on the receiving end of a disengaged business. And then do the opposite when building your website and communicating with your customers.
3. More Sales
In the offline world, sales are made when people talk to people. It’s no different in the online world. Some companies tend to forget this when it comes to designing their websites. These companies are the ones who replace their sales executives with recorded messages (again – arghhh!). Or they replace their sales assistants them with vending machines. Sure, it may seem like it makes sense financially for your business. But technology doesn’t bring in sales, people do. Keep this in mind so that you can incorporate more human-centric content throughout every touch point on your website to bring in more sales.
4. More Humanity
The Internet is a big place with lots of people. But it can also be a cold and lonely place if you focus too much on tools and technology. Tools and technology are great – but the point of them is how you connect.
If your website is personable and people feel good when they’re engaging with it, you’ll reap the rewards. This may be something instant and tangible, like a sale or a new sign-up. But it could also be something just as valuable, like a referral.
More humanity in a world of technology means building a website with content that’s human. Of course you’ll want to get the message right. If you run an accounting business, being human may or may not mean blogging about One Direction. Even if everyone in your firm agrees that Harry Styles’ latest haircut is better than Justin Bieber’s, you may want to save that angle for a hair salon instead. Integrate humanity in your business and engage with your audience by focusing on a perspective of pop culture that makes sense for your industry.
5. Better Communication
Have you ever came across a website with no contact name, no telephone number, address, or even a real headshot of the business owner? Trying to communicate with a business who runs a website that looks this empty is a leap of faith. And to compound the problem, many websites that are not personable also lack communication skills. Potential customers will go elsewhere, fast.
When you focus on content as the centerpiece for your web design, chances are that you’ll communicate more effectively. When you communicate more effectively, you’ll build trust and engage with your customers more seamlessly. Your audience may engage with you by asking questions, posting comments or interacting either on the comments on your website – or on social media. When this happens, they’ll be much more likely to convert. It may not happen immediately, but give it time. Try to find a way to focus on communicating with your customers through words on your website, or photos. But make sure that you don’t do all of the talking. The trick is to get your customers (and potential customers) to communicate too.
A personable website feels human not only to you – but to the people who come across your website too. Your website should reflect the personality of you and your business, which then organically attracts the right customers.
Do you have a personable website? Please comment below.