Every new Web search is like a quick job interview. The interviewer isn’t exactly sure who they are about to encounter, but the time and effort they put into getting to know the person are definitely contingent on what they see and hear when they meet.
The website with an outdated or confusing design just showed up to the interview in a t-shirt and jeans. A website that can’t be viewed on a mobile device just showed up in their best imitation of Detective Tubbs from Miami Vice. No matter how insightful their content may be, it’s tough to get past the visual presentation.
A poor website design is sure to increase your bounce rate.
Content at the heart of any website should be a lot like the answers to interview questions; they should be clear, concise and prove without a shadow of a doubt that the site is beyond qualified to fill that informational need. Furthermore, much like the job market, competition is fierce. Many people and websites are qualified to provide the proper information, but what separates the hired pile from the maybe pile is personality.
When Google announced the Hummingbird Update last September, they confirmed what many content marketing experts already understood; user experience is paramount to success. And just like when you meet someone for the first time, the hope is that the personality is right for the job. Whether a brand’s voice is humorous, witty or serious is up to the industry and the demands of the people, but no site or potential employee will get away with being bland.
Once you have chosen your voice, stick to it. A unique identity is something to be admired in the marketing world. An old interview tactic used by many managers is to have a second person come in after the interview process and repeat questions. This is done to check for consistency and to truly understand a person’s voice. Consider social media outlets to be the repeat questions of the Internet marketing world. Sure, you may be able to have a little more fun with a Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest account, but the overall voice and feel of the brand’s personality should remain consistent.
At the end of any job interview, the time will come for the potential employee to ask some questions of their own. This is a pivotal point, as it shows the interviewer you are interested in their business and have taken the time to prepare poignant questions. Giving a voice to the audience is what social media is all about. Not only should social platforms be monitored in order to answer questions, they should also be used to share worthwhile information. Not everything has to be promotional. Show you can be a team player by highlighting other successes via your comments and sharing habits.
Not every interview leads to an immediate call back, but that doesn’t necessarily mean an employee isn’t the right fit. If workflow picks up, a person might not hear back from an employer for a full week. Fortunately, the Web has an easy way to ensure your business gets a call back. Consider targeted advertisements via paid search as the thank you note of the interviewing world. Showing that you appreciated the time spent may just land you that job or sale after all.