How to get people to “like” your website

It is a fair bet that you have pressed the occasional “like” button somewhere in your wandering around the Web. You may even have installed a “like” button on your website. But are these things any real value?

There are websites with millions of “likes”. But that doesn’t actually mean those people really, truly “like” the site. All it shows is they pressed a button – often because they might get something in return such as a free voucher for something.

To understand true liking and getting people to show they really, really like you, the answer is to think about speed dating. Honestly…!

In case you haven’t been on one of these events, speed dating is where a group of people are sat around the room and another group gets to visit each of the people sitting down for just three minutes per person. At the end of the evening everybody sitting down has met at least a dozen people and they then have to make their mind up as to which one they will date.

Research on these kind of events shows that the selection of the date is done quickly. The person sitting down almost always selects a potential partner who has told them almost nothing about themselves.

Imagine someone sits down in front of you at event like this. They start to tell you all about themselves, how successful they are and what a wonderful house and car they have. Your eyes glaze over and you can’t wait for the bell to ring so the next person is in front of you.

Compare this with the person who sits down in front of you and asks how you are feeling about the evening and how you think it is going. They then ask you what job do you do and what the best part of your work is. They go on to ask several questions about you and before you know it the bell has rung and they have moved on.

The research shows it is this second person who usually gets the date – the person you know nothing about…! Well, there is one thing you do know – they are interested in you. They must be, because they asked so many questions. The first guy was only interested in himself, you realise.

There is a great deal of psychological research on relationships and one of the key findings is that we tend to like people who have shown us first that they like us.

It is the same online – asking a customer to like your page is the wrong way round. It is showing them, in the same way as the bad guy at the dating event, that you are more interested in yourself than you are in them. Collecting “likes” on a web page is showing how selfish your website is.

Instead, you get people to like your website when you have demonstrated you like them first. That means only providing exactly what they want as well as using tools that allow you to ask them questions so you can tailor what you deliver to them. Show your website visitors you like them, before you ever ask them to like you.

Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who helps businesses understand how their customers use the web so that they can provide webites that truly and deeply engage people. He is the author of “Click.ology: What Works in Online Shopping”. See and

Graham Jones Internet Pschologist



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