Every business has a website these days. Heck, just about every business professional has their own website for their personal brand. But why is it that so many business websites are unappealing to the vast majority of people?
In many cases, this lack of attraction has to do with the personality of the site. All too often, companies approach web design and development like a checklist – marking off all of the “requirements” at the expense of creating a finished product that visitors actually find attractive.
If you want your website to connect with people on a practical level, then you have to work on humanizing your message. Here are five specific ways you can do that.
Tell a Story
Approach your website like a book. It’s a condensed book that allows you to tell a story about your brand. How can you do this in the most succinct and clear manner possible?
For starters, you need to revamp how you talk about your company. “If your ‘About’ section only contains the facts about your business, it’ll be dull and less likely to engender customer loyalty,”Green Residential explains. “People like to see a story. Start with your About page and integrate the storyline throughout your site.”
Consistency is big. Even if your visitors don’t recognize little inconsistencies, they stand out on a subconscious level. In order for you to appear trustworthy and relatable, you have to retain the same message from page to page and element to element. As mentioned in the previous tip, a consistent storyline from one part of the website to the next will help you out in this pursuit.
Ditch the Stock Photos
There’s no bigger mistake you can make than using generic stock photos on your website – especially ones with people in them. Your visitors will see straight through these lifeless images and will instinctively feel a twinge of distrust.
Content marketing expert Arnie Kuenn is a big proponent of doing away with stock photos, whether on social media or your website.
“Consider bringing your audience into the fold by sharing photos of a different employee once a week, and using the caption area to describe what role he or she plays in your business,” he suggests. “You can also take photos and videos of staff having fun at company retreats, meetings, or other events to illustrate the positive influence your company has on their lives outside of the office.”
Involve Your Users
People like to be engaged, not lectured. When you’re able to engage in a two-way experience with website visitors, they start to connect with your brand beyond the content itself.
One way you can involve your users in your website is to feature a comment section on your blog posts. Then, when people provide feedback, you can respond in whatever manner you deem appropriate. This establishes a conversation and builds rapport.
Write in the First Person
There’s something incredibly engaging about writing content in the first person. It adds personality to the words and shows people that there’s a real person behind them. While not appropriate in every situation, try to develop website and blog content in first person voice as much as possible.
Your Website is a Reflection of Your Brand
Your website is the online embodiment of your brand. If it’s too generic and commercialized, then visitors are going to associate your brand with these labels. On the other hand, if your website is genuine and relatable, then your visitors won’t have any trouble connecting with you.
So, what does your website say about your brand?