On the Internet these days people expect authenticity from the sites they visit. Even Google rewards authenticity by giving better search engine ranking to those who make it clear that they are an author on a website and have a completed profile on Google+. If your site and blog posts are shared on other social media sites, so much the better. The search engines can see these things as people do and it makes you look good.
What is authenticity? Authenticity is letting yourself show up on your site and in your business. Who are you? What do you stand for? What problems do you solve for people? Why should people work with you rather than someone else? And how can they engage your services?
People want to do business with people or companies they know, like and trust. They will not stick around a website that looks like everyone else’s website and seems like no one is home. To make a visitor stick around and get to the point of engaging with you, there has to be a story, a narrative that flows through the site, and paints the big picture when taken as a whole. You and your site need to have a presence that is yours.
A good design, logo, and header buy you a couple of seconds of the visitor’s attention. The overall above the fold content of the front page can buy you a little more time. If you played your cards right and the visitor is your right client, they will click to another page or check out your blog posts to see what you are writing about.
Your content should give your visitor a taste of who you are and what you think. It can show that you know what you are talking about and have a breadth of information and experience in your field.
Your visitors will see what people think of you by the comments you get and whether your posts are shared; that is so much better than reading testimonials you put on the site. I am not saying not to use testimonials, but you and Google can see that the actions people take on your site by commenting and sharing your content carries much more weight than your testimonials.
Yes, you need to show up and you need to have calls to action if you want people to take action. But… you can go too far. You don’t want to have large photos of yourself all over your site or keep reminding people everywhere to call you. Balance is good. Letting your visitors get to know you at their own speed is good. Having one call to action on a page is good.
You may have many things right on your website, but if you go too far by being pushy and out there, or too far being in the background and not claiming your space, you will not reap the goodies that could be available to you with just a few tweaks. This is hard to balance and sometimes we are too close to see it. So get some feedback from others and help where you need it.