Identifying the Purpose of Your Website.
Ladies and gents, let’s jump straight into it: your business NEEDS a website… whether you have a shop, restaurant, you’re a plumber, painter, photographer or host your own yoga club; having a stable online base will benefit your business. If your competition has a website (but you don’t) and they decide to use the tool that EVERYONE uses (G.O.O.G.L.E), you will lose business.
But that’s an entirely different topic, I want to jump to the next step and help you identify the purpose of your website. When a customer visits your site, what would be the best outcome(s) that they leave with, you can separate it into a few categories:
- They buy something…
- They gain information about the products or services that you offer and either recommend them to a friend or purchase/use them later on when they need them.
- They give you information so you can keep pestering them and (hopefully) make a sale in the future.
- They leave with a good impression, building your credibility
Of course those points will often work together, if you sell something AND the customer leaves with a good impression, they will be much more likely to come-back in the future and re-purchase. If they find out about your business AND give you their contact details, you’ll be more likely to make the sale when you touch base again.
Selling Products or Services
If your business sells products and you decide you want to sell them through your website, you will need something call an ‘e-Commerce’. Customers will be able to browse the products, add them to a basket, pay for them and arrange delivery.
If your business wants to sell services, you need to provide a description of each service you offer and point of contact, so that customers can book. For example a ‘contact form’ which asks for a:
- Email Address
- Phone Number
- Service Title
Every website should include an ‘about’ page, but if informing is your pure purpose (for example, if you’re a charity that tells customers about your venture and the location of your shop) you need to provide engaging content: videos, articles or pictures. If your content is boring and doesn’t make the customers ‘want to read or view more’, they will click the ‘back’ button and try a different business – especially with a high level of competition on the current market.
Gaining Information About Your Customers
If you want your website to generate leads you have a few options:
- Provide good content and give the option for the customer to enter information about themselves at the end of it
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- Make promises that you will fix a problem or provide value IF the customer gives you their contact information.
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- Use ‘Cookies’ on your website to record background information about your customers.
Cookies record information about how many times a customer visits your website, how long they spend on each page etc.
Leaving a Good Impression
There’s no doubt that leaving a good impression should be one of the goals of your websites. You need to start asking yourself questions such as:
- Is my website loading fast enough?
If your website is overcrowded with images that are too large for the job (for example, if the image is 2,000 x 2,000px, but is only ever displayed as 500 x 500px) the loading time will decrease dramatically and leave a bad impression on the customers.
- Is my website mobile-responsive?
Does your website look good on mobile phones and on tablets?
- Does the written content present itself in a professional manner?
Do you have any spelling or grammar mistakes in your text? Are you using the correct vocabulary for your audience?
- Can the customers find what they were looking for easily? Is the website easy to navigate?
Take yourself through the journey of the customer, can you find your contact details or other information you could look for easily?
This is where you really have to compare your website to your competitors and aim to, quite frankly, make your website better.
The REAL Purpose
To finish off, none of the above matters if the customer doesn’t take action. That’s the real purpose of any website – you need to persuade the visitor to do something; whether it’s clicking ‘buy’, submitting their email, telling their friends or contacting you. You need to start thinking about value to the customer:
Your website should be compelling, represent your brand, provide real value to the customer and sell. In order to achieve those things you need to identify your target audience and research, be a practitioner, ask previous customers what appealed (and what didn’t) about your website and adapt.
Give yourself 30 seconds to write down ‘3 Things that I want my website to achieve’. Setting the time limit will give you the sense of urgency and produce the most natural and real results. After you’ve done that, take action.
Stay Nosy Guys
P.S. And watch the below video:
Starting your own business is no easy task; within the UK – more than half of new businesses don’t survive beyond five years. In this