Do you know someone, perhaps a neighbor, who only talks about themselves, and never asks you anything about yourself?
At first, they might seem interesting, then they’re annoying, then, by the third or fourth time you see them, you start trying to look casual while hiding behind the nearest tree.
Don’t let your website be that neighbor.
A good website is interactive; it invites others to join the conversation, and makes them feel acknowledged and valued.
YouTube vs. Spotify
For example, let’s compare two popular music streaming websites, YouTube and Spotify.
Spotify allows users to listen to and “like” a variety of songs that they can add to a playlist.
YouTube also allows users to listen to and like songs, but in addition, it offers videos, song suggestions, and, most importantly, a comments section, where you can post your thoughts about a song. These types of comments are fun to make and to read and they enhance the experience of being on that site, which is why I always choose YouTube over Spotify.
A website that doesn’t allow you to interact is annoying. For instance, Psychology Today has great articles on mental health issues, but many times I read one and think that I have something valuable to add, but then discover that they still don’t have a comments section, and I leave the site feeling frustrated.
An Excellent Example
Medium.com is the opposite. It offers articles on topics like self-help, pop science, and whatever other categories you choose. But one of the greatest things about it is their comments section. They even give you a profile page on which you can see what articles you liked, what comments you made, and how many likes they got. It makes you feel accomplished just for reading and commenting, and Medium gets free content from you in return. This is the most robust comments section I’ve ever seen, and I think it will be a major factor in their success.
So if you have a website, remember to make it interactive. This can be as easy as allowing comments on your blog or ratings on your products. When you give people a chance to join the conversation, they’ll feel listened to and valued, and that’s good for business.