What is the purpose of your website? What is its main function? If you can’t answer those 2 questions, you probably aren’t getting the best out of your website! Too often I see people decide they need a website, but they don’t get really clear on what they want their website to do. Maybe they ‘just know they need a website’ because their competitors have a website, or that’s just what businesses do nowadays.
When I first meet with clients, my first question is “why do you want a website” and “why do you want it now?” Now that may seem like pretty easy questions to answer, but I always like to go a little deeper, to try and get to the ‘real’ reason that’s often just below the surface. We often don’t spend enough time considering the real reasons behind what we are trying to achieve.
Once we know the why, we can match that request to the best solution available. Some times that is a custom/hybrid type of website, but most of the time they fall into a common category. There are lots of different websites out there, but these are the ones I see most commonly;
The postcard website– is it simply a website (not unlike a postcard with pictures and text) where people can find out more about your business? This type of website lists information about your business like opening hours, location, types of products or services etc
The information hub– this type of website conveys information, usually through a blog or community gathering like a forum. This can help create credibility for your brand or service, or simply be a way of passing on information to others. It may also need to the next type of website….
The lead magnet– are you using your website to drive leads to your products or service? This may be for a service you offer offline (like if you are a trainer who offers face to face training, or a key note speaker). Again the purpose of this site is to provide credibility and a way for people to connect with you.
The full service– the last type of website I see is the full service website! This usually offers all of the above, but then includes an end-to-end solution that converts clicks to clients. This will usually include an ecommerce solution that allows the client to purchase on the spot. You may be selling physical goods or services online like courses or eLearning.
So now you can start to get a picture of what sort of site you may be after, but there are still some key things left to consider;
Who is your customer, and what is their issue that you can help solve? It’s vital to get clear on who you are trying to service through this offering, to help niche down your marketing. There’s an old sales saying that goes ‘if you are for everyone, then you are for no-one’. Trying to service every potential client out there makes it impossible to target anyone. You become so broad in your offering that it’s not clear to your customers if you are the right person to service their particular needs.
What is the reach you are trying to achieve with your website? If you are a local business with local customers, it’s worth considering a local domain (here in Australia we use the .com.au suffix). And don’t forget, if you are targeting local internet browsers, you will want to have your website hosted in Australia or Asia to help keep your site running as fast as possible. If you host your site in the US or Europe for example, it can slow things down as the data transfers back and forth between the data servers. This means it takes additional time to load your website pages.
Before you redesign your website (or start one from scratch), it’s worth going below the surface level questions we usually ask ourselves to really uncover what is the purpose of your site. Only once we truly understand what we are trying to achieve and who we are trying to achieve it for, can we build an effective website that creates a profitable return on investment.
Have you considered your why? If not, why not engage us for a strategy call, where we use our Go Wide, Go Deep methodology to help you get the best results for your next website.