Last week I was working with a favorite client on a website refresh. Key objectives included changing select aspects of the client’s brand voice and messaging. The intended function of their website focused on defining their organization’s purpose and goals, providing information about the group’s events, which are the primary product the group delivers, and then inspiring their website visitors to trust them and engage in the organization’s very special activities.
As a team, staff members who are working with contractors on various aspects of their site, have already done a tremendous amount of the thought-process heavy lifting. And they’ve likened their blog refresh process to one of remodeling a house. It’s a very good structure and I promise to share more with you about the process in upcoming weeks.
But during our most recent Zoom meeting, (a platform this globally based leadership team has relied on since long before the COVID-19 pandemic) I had to ask them a tough question.
“What kind of website do you want to be?”
There are websites where we all go for updates and info. My bank’s website is that kind of site. I visit the site often, check account balances, transfer money, and make payments. But as much as I like and appreciate the well-structured website, I have no reason to linger there. If they want me to know something additional to the information I routinely glean from their site, they will email me and tell me. Heck, my bank is so wonderfully personable and accommodating, they might even phone me to tell me about a new product or offering they think would be of interest to me.
I love my bank’s website but I never casually drop by the site to see what’s new. I’m okay with that …and so are they.
But there are other types of websites where I go unprompted and without a specific intent for my visit. These are sites written by other writers, sites about my favorite sports team, and websites devoted to sharing digital marketing updates and news. I go to these places because these people are part of my tribe. I share a bond with both the writers and the other site visitors. If they’ve posted new content, I want to read it. They fill a need in my life, make me feel connected and provide direction that is meaningful to me.
It’s okay to be either kind of site. You can even be both kinds at the same time. But you need to be very clear on whether your website’s intent is solely to communicate, or if it functions to connect and grow a network of like minded people.