Is your website someone you'd like to go to a party with? How about on vacation? You may not think of a website as having a personality - but your customers and prospects see your website as an extension of your brand. If the website is friendly, personal and efficient, that's what they think of you too.
To your customers, your website personality is what they believe about you.
With so much of our daily routine moving online, the experiences that we create for our online prospects is something they will remember. Just like the grumpy checker at the store, or the extra friendly barista that serves us coffee and remembers our name. Here's the big question: do people like your website?
Start by asking yourself: Do you like your website?
Even though we have to be very careful not to fall into the trap of believing that our opinion of our brand, website or marketing can ever take the place of our customer's opinions, if you don't like your website, then that is a good clue that others might feel the same.
Some of the things that influence the way we feel about our website are different than the way consumers view it. We think about whether it's doing its job by converting leads, and how easy or hard it is to update. We also compare the level of investment that we've made in our website with what we're getting out of it -- ROI. All of those things contribute to our sense of value and appreciation for our website.
But if you look at it another way - that your website serves as an important employee that represents your brand 24/7 - you will see that like-ability is actually important. If your website was a real person, would you feel good about it representing you to almost every customer?
How about customers, what do they say?
Ask your team for website comments. When you refer people to your website for information, do they groan? What kind of customers and leads are you getting from your website? If you get terrible leads, then you may have a website with a bad personality. If you get ready-to-buy, well-educated, and all-around great leads from your website, then it might have a winning personality.
Put yourself in your customer's shoes. What would you want to experience and learn from visiting your website? What questions would you like to answer, and how would you find answers to your needs and questions? Would the website remember your visit and provide better information next time?
Healthy websites are competent and Personal
Yes, how a website works (just like an employee) is about both their personality and their competence. If a website does great work for people and is a positive experience, then that combination is hard to beat. You need a website that is attractive and powerful because neither one is optional in our web-driven culture.
Competence without a winning personality doesn't have a great impact. Can you remember the number of times that you've dealt with a representative that was competent but unpleasant? How about very pleasant but highly incompetent? In the same way, you can easily tell when someone in customer service has been well-trained to be personal, pleasant and to get the job done.
What to do if your website has personality challenges
If you believe that the online experience you provide for your prospects and customers is vital to your growth, then understanding your website personality is a must-do. We've broken website personalities into 6 types that you can learn about by completing the Website Personality Quiz. It's a quick way to get some perspective on how your website is being experienced by others. Once you take the quiz, you can learn more about what you can do about improving that website personality in a online workshop as well as some go-deeper articles.
In addition to taking the quiz and using these resources, you can begin paying closer attention to how people are using (or not using) your website. Their behavior online tells you a lot about how they view your website and your business. Analytics tells us about how long they stay on your website and whether they click through to other pages or resources. If they leave quickly and don't stick around, that's a clue that you've got a grumpy website on your hands.
The biggest shift you can make is to stop viewing your website as a billboard, and start viewing it as a very busy employee. While it only has a few robotic features, you should make the most of what's available to make your website more personal and easy to use for your customers. You should ensure that their interest is nurtured with automation and that your team is notified of that interest for additional follow-up. Those resources should be built into your website if you want it to be high-performing.
Additional resources: Pain-Free Guide to Website Redesign
Feature photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash