Does your website have a clear purpose?

Here’s an easy question to answer:

Do you have a website?

For a tiny minority of businesses the answer is no.  If you’re one of those then good – you’re starting from a blank slate and have the chance to consider whether or not getting one is a good move for your organisation.

If however you’re part of the vast majority of businesses that does indeed have a website, then here’s another question for you – and it’s more challenging than the first one:

Is your website working for you?

If you’re clear on what the purpose of your website is then the question should be easy to answer – presuming that is that you’ve got quantifiable indicators defined to allow you to answer it!

However, it is actually a difficult question to answer for many people.

Why?

Well for some organisations the purpose of their website isn’t defined.  Ask them what its purpose is and you get a blank look – perhaps followed by a tentative effort at defining a vague purpose.  Correspondingly, it’s logically impossible for such organisations to know if their website is working for them.

So that brings us to a more fundamental question:

QuestionmarkWhat is the purpose of your website?

And having a purpose defined doesn’t allow easy assessment of whether or not the website is working.  Definitions can be vague and/or the indicators can be impossible to measure.

For example, how about this beauty: “The purpose of our website is to facilitate the flow of information and dialogue“.  Put that phrase into google and you’ll get over a 1000 hits.  It is a nonsense – some platitude extracted from some template out there somewhere that some organisations simply copy for disclaimer or privacy policy purposes!

A more common answer is “to raise brand awareness”.  Good luck with assessing that!

There’s a famous acronym – SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant & time-based.  It’s typically applied to goal-setting – and why not adopt the same goal-orientated approach for what you want from your website!

Imagine that with a bit of thought you do come up with a purpose.  For example, the purpose of your website is to:

  • verify for those browsing that you are who you claim to be
  •  provide contact information
  • Describe your products and/or services

That’s ok – but could it be more ambitious perhaps?

All businesses aim to make money.  That doesn’t preclude them from having other purposes, but unless a business is making money it will fail.  Could your website help make you money?

There are three different ways in which you can use a webpage to make you money.

  1. You can sell off the page – it’s difficult but it’s possible.  That’s Amazon’s entire model.  And they’ve made it scarily easy.  How about the single click download of kindle books?!
  2. You can ask visitors to leave their details with you – perhaps in exchange for you providing something of value to them.  That then allows you to follow up with them.
  3. You can ask them to contact you directly.

Might any/all of those fit your website?  Or, more particularly, different pages on your website?

All of the above 3 can have easily measurable metrics associated with them – purchases per visitor, sign-up per visitor and contact per visitor.

And all 3 can be improved by a relentless focus on website design.

photodune-2276061-growing-business-graph-xsIn conclusion:

  • Define a purpose for your website in terms that you can measure.
  • Continuously measure whether or not your website is working for you.
  • Change your website in targeted and specific ways and test whether the changes have a positive impact.
  • Avoid making changes to your website that don’t attempt to improve its success.

Your website can be a powerful lever for you in growing your business – but not if you neglect it – and only if it has a clearly defined purpose. To get expert guidance in this area, call Business IT Solutions on 056-7786882 or email [email protected] and we’ll be happy to help where we can.

By | 2017-12-14T17:18:20+00:00 December 14th, 2017|web design|0 Comments

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