Does Your Website Resonate?

Strings
 photo credit: mattyturner

As I’ve made no effort to hide, I’m a fan of Seth Godin and in particular his philosophy on marketing as storytelling. This morning he wrote a nice post on “Creating stories that resonate” that leads to the inevitable question: does your website resonate?

This question is kind of an extension of an earlier question we asked — Is your website brochureware?, where we asked if your site is something that’s up there because you felt obligated to put it up, or if it’s a strategic, core piece of your company’s identity and marketing.

Having a website that resonates is not one thing. It’s not great design, it’s not great SEO, it’s not a great testimonial or whitepaper. In fact, many websites resonate while missing some of these components, and many fail to resonate with them.

What makes a resonating site different from their bland competitors is that they demonstrate an understanding of their intended audience and meet their needs.

What made MySpace or YouTube succeed where dozens of clones failed?

What makes craigslist such minimalist perfection and Copyblogger a site you can’t help subscribing to?

It’s not one element on the site. It’s the owners’ understanding of what their audience wants and a million minor things tweaked to meet those needs.

Once you’ve aligned your web site’s strategy to meet the needs of your customers, those million little things will start to work for you, too. The choices of keyword targeting become clear. The kinds of offers that work are evident. The design becomes a byproduct of function, not a me-centric portfolio piece. And of course, you start generating the stats that help you do better, and better, and better.

Just like there is no “quick fix” to turning around a site that’s not doing well in organic search, you won’t create a site that resonates from a bland one in a day. But you can start thinking about and connecting with, the hopes, fears, and desires of your customers and use that as your most important strategic advantage.