Do Your Sites Have a Personality?

Jul 12 2010

Over the next couple of days I’m in Columbus Ohio attending a trade show for the green industry. One of the sessions I attended was on Internet marketing for retailers. I am probably more qualified to give this talk than 99% of the people I hear speak but I always go in hopes of finding one thing that will help improve my marketing and online revenue. This talk was no different.

The speaker was certainly knowledgeable, but like most of the speakers didn’t really know our industry and forgot to explain a lot of the jargon that she put in the slides. I certainly know what SEO is but I would guess that Grandma Johnson of Johnson’s flowers had no clue what that meant. She was most likely there in hopes of finding out if Twitter was a marketing tool or a porn site.

But there was one section that really stood out for me and I think all of us need to think about when making a site, any site. Does your site have a personality? All people have personalities. It’s what makes us different and exciting. It’s the same for a website. It needs to be different and exciting. How is your site going to be different that the countless millions of other sites spewing the same info?

There are many ways to give your site personality. On this blog I use my own life experiences and humor to stand apart. Others use creative design. Some share previously unknown information to help them stand apart. When it comes to creating sites that are made to try and acquire clicks it can be a little more difficult. Most people are trying to mass produce the sites which zaps the personality right out of the final product. So how can you add personality to a site? Here are a few of my ideas.

Humor. Obviously this depends on the content or theme of the site but almost everyone loves a bit of humor. Something that makes people laugh while at the same time sharing info or selling always goes over well. There is a reason why almost every Super Bowl ad is based on comedy. It holds people’s attention.

Put a face on your site. It can be a personal face or a mascot. Just make it something they will remember. Make your site appear as if it’s your one and only personal little site. A site that you set up just to help the world figure out more about that particular thing. “I really care about kidney diseases and this is why I set up the site”

Answer questions. People are coming to your sites from Google to answer questions. Answer them. Answer them in a way that is fun and informative. Put up all kinds of questions and answers. Google loves it and people that have the same questions will love it. It’s a better layout than just typing out the information.

Add lots of photos. People love photos. Men love photos of people doing things and women love photos of people enjoying themselves. Add photos that look more personal. Do not use stock photos or your site will look like a stock website. Spend just as much time getting good photos as you do getting good content.

Now the revolutionary idea. Ask people that come to your site what they would like to see or what they like about the site. You will get valuable data about what to put on the site or a free testimonial.

So give your site a personality. If you make your site look like it was built by someone who cares about that particular item then you have a much better chance that the user will care. A user that cares is more likely to stay and people that stay are more likely to buy or click.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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2 comments

  1. Morgan

    Great post Shane – I completely agree.

    One thing I’ve done is put contact forms on all my sites, not matter how big or how small. It always gives people a nice surprise when they send an email and hear back.

    Showing there is a person on the other end of a site can really work wonders for your brand.

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