humanize website

Why You Need to Humanize Your Website

Have you ever visited a website and thought “Is this for real?” There’s no photos of the staff, no address or mention of the state they’re in, a very broad summary of their services, no portfolio…the list can go on and on.

As a web designer, this happens to me about 2.5 times a week on average. I stumble upon a website and am so turned off by the poor quality of their images, lack of personalization and company details that I find myself immediately questioning whether or not it’s even a real business. And these details are only a small part of what can make a website feel like a scam.

Your website should strengthen your business, not hinder it. It should accurately convey the people behind it, what you stand for, and give the users a glimpse of what it’s like to work with you. Think of it this way, you never know who might stumble upon your website. It could be a customer, or it may be a potential business partner, investor or even someone looking to apply for an open position. Whoever it is, it’s their first introduction to your company….do you want it to be their last?

Add High-Quality Photography

Most websites that lack in the photography department usually have one of three things in common: They have a lot of images, but they are terrible quality; the images they do have are good, but obviously stock images, or there are no photos at all. All are equally bad scenarios to be in.

When you have a lot of photos on your website, but they all lack in quality, it comes off to the audience as if you’re lazy. If you can’t be bothered to take beautiful photographs to showcase your services, then customers can probably expect your work to lack quality also.

If your website is covered in obvious stock imagery or has no photos at all, it comes off as either you’re not a real company or that you’re not engaged enough with your business to create your own content.

I’m not saying that every image you use must be original to your brand, that’s just not possible for most businesses. But when it comes to your main pages – homepage, about, services, etc. – make the extra effort and learn some photography skills, or hire a local photographer.

Bonus Tip: Contact your local university or community college to find photography students who are eager to take on projects for their portfolio and don’t come with as high of a price tag as an experienced professional.

Use Your Words

First of all, don’t talk about yourself or your company in the third person. Since your website is about you, use the terms “we” or “I” to better connect with your users.

Second, be descriptive. I often see businesses list their services in such a broad way that it doesn’t even make sense. Maybe it was a mistake, or they just don’t know how to write about themselves, but it could easily be a bad sales tactic. It’s important to be clear and transparent as much as possible. Doing so will not only help your customers understand what you offer, but it will also help in building their trust.

In addition, there are certain “marketing words” that are worth keeping in mind when you’re writing the copy for your website that have been known to motivate the user to take action and ultimately drive conversions.

Show Personality

One of things I love about the internet is that there are unlimited ways for brands to express themselves. In fact, social media has completely changed the marketing game and made it so companies have to show their personality and be fun to get noticed.

Do you throw crazy, themed office parties? Does everyone on your team share a common interest? Talk about it on your website, show pictures and give some narrative to let customers get to know you.

Be Searchable

This one strays from the website a little, but I would say it’s the most important point.

When considering whether or not to hire or make a purchase from your company, most people will decide to try and search for you outside of your website. Meaning, they will likely look for your Facebook page and other social networks, as well as possibly check out review websites and other platforms that may make sense for your businesses to be on.

Buyers are smarter than ever before, and they want to make informed buying decisions. They would rather see what people are saying about your product on social media than read the testimonials on your website. Because of this, it’s vital that your company has other outlets online.

In summary, bringing a human element into your website is so important for customers to be able to connect with your brand and build trust. Although it requires a little extra work to create the content and make it memorable, the outcome will be well worth it.

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Posted by Ariel Valley

Web designer, writer, social media lover and inbound marketer at Catch22 Marketing. Also known as a professional coffee taster, shoe enthusiast and film buff. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter @ariel_valley.

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