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What Are the Goals of Your Business Website?

by: | March 9, 2012

Having a website these days is as essential as business cards and email. But if your website is only there because, well, you’re supposed to have one, you need to take a step back and look at what your website should accomplish. Take a minute now, can you identify the purpose of your website?

Figuring out the purpose of your website is the first step to creating a website that accomplishes your goals. Here are some examples of goals that might apply to your website.

Branding and Marketing

This is otherwise known as “getting the word out.” For many companies, this could be their primary purpose for their websites. To be successful here, your website needs to accurately reflect your business. Make it clear what your business does and why someone should buy your products or services. Also, make sure your business name and logo are clearly visible and identifiable.

When was the last time you remembered a website after the first time you saw it? I’d venture to guess most sites you see don’t stick out. Good marketing is what makes a website stand out in your memory. With social media and other pull marketing tactics, you can stay in front of customers and increase awareness of your business.

Education

Sometimes a website exists to educate viewers. In this case, content is king. These can take the form of a blog, a wiki, an answers hub, or educational videos, to name a few. (Here’s some advice on starting your company blog.)

Visitors are looking for information on a specific topic or an answer to a question, so make sure the information they’re looking for is easy to find. Categorize the information so customers can get right to the topic they’re searching for. Also, make the search function easy to see and use.

Sales Leads

Websites built to generate sales leads employ a specialized set of tools to accomplish that goal. The goal of these sites is to collect information from visitors so you can continue to market to them long after they’ve left the site.

Some very effective tools for sales lead generation are free reports, email marketing, and information request forms. To get a lead to give up their information, you have to give something first, like good content, then offer them a way to access more content. People are curious by nature. Use this to your advantage. (Here are some really powerful benefits of a business blog that can lead to sales leads.)

E-commerce

If you sell a product, you need to sell online. Period. Just about everything can be sold online. If you’ve ever gone online to buy a product or see which store near you has the product, then you’ve experienced firsthand why your products need to be online.

In this case, make your products are the primary focus of your site. Have a clear link to your product page in place with a search function that allows users to quickly pull up the item they are seeking information about. Use a checkout service that is simple and requires the least effort possible from your customer to get from selecting an item to purchasing it.

Advertising Revenue

Sometimes, the sole purpose of a website is to generate advertising revenue. In this case, the goal is get the visitor to come back again and again. That means frequent updates and really compelling content. Definitely use Facebook likes and Twitter follows to bring viewers back by putting engaging content in front of them.

Whatever the purpose of your website, make sure you know what your goals are and build a site that works specifically to reach them.Marketing Zeus

Posted in: B2C, Banner/Display, Branding, Content, E-Commerce, Facebook, Lead Generation, Social Networks, Twitter, Usability

About the Writer:

Born in England and raised in the U.S., Charles Forster is the marketing director and partner at Vine & Grain, a company that creates management technologies for bars and restaurants. Prior to that position, he ran a graphic design company, Call Me Chaz, in Philadelphia, PA and Orlando, FL. He focused on branding, websites, print, video and marketing for small business clients up and down the east coast. He's a self-prescribed car nut and foodie. He's also the curator for This Is Visceral, a site devoted to poster art.

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