Do not, for one repulse, forego the purpose that you resolved to effect. William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), 'The Tempest'
Yesterday, the idea of having a purpose for your site was introduced. Today we want to expand on that a bit because it’s absolutely essential that you identify a purpose before you actually build a site or even talk to a web designer. So what is the purpose of building your site?
With an offline business the answer is easy, it’s to promote the business and ultimately generate more revenue. But like we said that is the general purpose of most websites.
Let’s get more specific with your purpose. Here are the 10 biggest reasons to build a web site, see how your purpose fits into this.
1.A web site that educates your existing and potential customers of your products and services or any special program you may introduce. This purpose assumes that you have a data base of existing customers and your site is set up to increase your customer base. This type of site is most useful if your product is technical or unusual and customers need to be educated before they purchase.
2.A web site that enhances your company’s professional image. This is essentially an online brochure where you tell about the company and it accomplishments, location and staff. This is your most indirect approach to a sale. It is not the best purpose for a site to generate revenue.
3.A web site that provides improved customer service. The entire focus is on assisting your customers after the sale. Reducing buyer’s remorse or providing direct assistance in the form of information or customer service personnel to resolve post purchase issues. This is a very good strategy for building a data base of loyal customers.
4.A web site that can be used as an extension of your newspaper, TV ads or direct contact with potential prospects. There is no easier way to distribute unlimited information to hot prospects. Your site can be the first stop before the actual sale.
5.A web site that strengthens your position in the market place. That is if you are already firmly positioned in a competitive market. A web site used for this purpose must differentiate you from all of your competition by what you do, have or provide with your product or service.
6.A web site that develops a list of qualified prospects as a lead generator for your business. An automated process that sifts through suspects from prospects. The ultimate goal of this type of site is to increase your present sales or position in the market place.
7.A web site that makes product or service information available to current customers. This must be designed to serve the needs of your current and future customers in a way that no one else does. You can make service information available to customers and/or distributors.
8.A web site that takes your business global YOur intention here is to attract global customers and simultaneously expand the reach of your product or service into other parallel markets.
9.A web site that establishes your web presence. Image is extremely important to some businesses and a website enhances that image. But a web presence is not a web site although as a business it is challenging to establish a presence without a professional site.
10.A web site that provides links to other relevant sites. This would assist your customers in accessing information that is not readily available. This strategy can be leveraged with a forum where customers can interact with each other.
As you can see, there are many reasons to establish your web site and even though you could combine or integrate, there must be one purpose that guides you and is considered primary to everything you put on your site.
Hopefully, you noticed that not one of the above purpose is to sell your service or product. Your selling happens offline unless you have a instant downloadable product, stop trying to sell on your site. Pre sell, entice and seek to funnel your visitors.
Your purpose is, and should always be, unique to you. This purpose will guide everything, e.g. your tone, structure, navigation and even the copy on your site.
For example, if you decided that your primary purpose is to generate interest and leads for your product or service. All you may really need is 1 capture page that collects your potential customer’s name and email address. In this case there is no need for a five or six page site that provides the prospect with all the details of your product/service.
OK, so now I think that should be abundantly clear but we need to be sure. If you are still unclear about the purpose of you site please ask a question.
We received many private emails about yesterday’s post but not many online comments.
It appears that most of you would prefer not to discuss your site in public. That’s ok, just keep the emails coming. Comment, suggest or express your opinion even if you don’t agree with anything said here. The channel is on and open here.
Thank you and be well.
P.S. Tomorrow I want to jump ahead a little because I have just come across this awesome tool for your website that I just must share with you. It a web based video creation tool for your site. Don't think I have to tell you how important video is to marketing. So look out tomorrow for the post.