Business and personal websites are becoming more and more demanding. Users are expecting more from each website in terms of the individual interaction and communication. Since there are so many professionally designed websites that interact with users from the minute they land on the home page, websites that lack interaction are immediately deemed useless or unprofessional. Would you supply your credit card information to buy a product from a website that looks like it has not been updated in months? Website interaction is the key to survival in the virtual world of website.
A clean layout says more about you as a business than your testimonials. Your website is the first impression people get of you, even though it can happen when you are sleeping, eating or working. You are not in control, so you need to present your site as neatly and clearly as possible to give your visitors the best possible experience. A clean layout communicates an organized and professional person behind the site.
Aim for a Brand
Even if you are selling a product or a brand, do not focus all of your content in the direction of a sales pitch. Instead, portray yourself as a source of knowledge rather than a business. For example, Coca Cola’s website has nothing to do with product sales. It focuses more on the Coca Cola community, a rewards program and additional videos produced by Coca Cola – it is all branding. Rather than becoming a sales site, brand your business by providing knowledge and a social network.
Use a Blog
Having a blog is another effective way of creating a social community on your website. Post your opinions on stories, industry relevant news or information about the business you are running. Giving people an insight into your company on a regular basis proves that someone is behind the business, which gives the website a credible level of interactivity.
Videos and Podcasts
Videos and podcasts give the user a certain level of interactivity. The videos and podcasts provide that person behind the website rather than the feeling of an abandoned site or machine driven site. If a voice or face is put on the site, visitors automatically connect more with the content due to the sense of ‘real’ that these elements provide.
What kind of interactive elements do you have on your website?