A website is the epicenter of your brand’s digital marketing presence. It’s the foundation upon which you build everything else. If your website doesn’t reflect your brand’s values, you’re going to have trouble successfully tackling challenges like email marketing, social media, and PPC advertising.
Does your website add to your brand, or does it take away value? If it’s cold and lifeless, then the latter is true. You must find a way to humanize it, or you’ll eventually water down your brand and see diminishing returns.
5 Ways You Can Breathe Life Into Your Website
A website is an inanimate object, but that doesn’t mean you can’t breathe some life into it. As you consider your website and the role it plays in your overall approach to digital marketing, here are six specific ways you can humanize it.
1. Tell a Story
Your website shouldn’t consist of a bunch of fragmented pages that each have their own objectives. Instead, your site should intend for your site to be consumed as one consistent story. This all starts with the “about” page.
“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.”
2. Use Real Pictures
Are you still using stock photos and clip art? They’ve got to go. After all, how many times have you seen an image like this on a website:
It’s impossible to humanize your website if you’re using images of people who aren’t even part of your organization. Hire a professional photographer and spend a couple of hours taking posed, but natural pictures. You can then insert these images throughout your site to add some authenticity to different pages.
3. Ditch the Corporate Speak
Nobody enjoys reading a paragraph that’s been filtered through the PR department and a dozen different copyeditors. The more people you have editing a piece of content, the more sterile it becomes. While you want your content to be grammatically correct, it’s okay to loosen your tie and break some rules.
“There is a difference between making a mistake and making a deliberate choice. Because bloggers often write conversationally, there are opportunities to bend the rules of language just as we do when talking with our friends,” blogger Melyssa Griffin admits. “While The Elements of Style is basically my writing bible, that doesn’t stop me from intentionally using sentence fragments when they feel right or putting periods between words that I want to emphasize.”
Find an authentic voice and stick with it. The more consistent your voice is, the more comfortable your audience will become. Here are some types of “voices” you can select. Pick the one that is the most authentic to you and your audience.
4. Involve Your Customers
You should treat your website more like a two-way conversation than a lecture. When users feel like they’re involved in the website experience, they’re much more likely to extract value from their visit.
There are many different ways to involve customers in your website. You can accept guest posts, enable comments on blog posts, incorporate testimonials and reviews, and much more.
5. Constantly Tweak and Update
The last tip is to stay on top of your website. A website shouldn’t exist on its own. It’s not something you create and then step away from. Constantly tweaking and updating, according to current trends, will help visitors connect with your site even more.
Think About Your Audience
Far too many businesses spend all of their time focusing on the brand at the expense of the customers. If you want your website to be a high returning asset, you have to switch gears and prioritize your audience above all else. This means humanizing your site so that it’s relatable.