Website developers are useless if they ignore this one thing…
Website developers are in business to develop websites. Sometimes, those websites are flashy. Sometimes, artistic and crisp. Sometimes they’re full of gimmicky things, like spinning icons and sliders with sounds. To all of that, I say: whatever. I like a beautiful “shiny” website as much as the next person, but if your website is fancy and flashy yet doesn’t serve the purpose of your business – it is just a portfolio piece for your website development company.
Website development is not cheap.
You are going to invest a pretty penny into a strong website. How can you guarantee that you will get a return on investment on your site?
START WITH YOUR PURPOSE
You wouldn’t buy a car without knowing what you needed it to do. If you need to fit three growing boys and their hockey equipment – you might look into a sedan or mini-van. If you are single and looking for speed, and room for one extra person – a sports car may be calling your name. If you need to haul your 5th wheel – you are going to look for a truck with some serious horsepower. You choose your vehicle based on your needs. A website is a powerful vehicle for business – yet so many people throw them up without even considering what they want them to do.
Developing a website without knowing what it is to accomplish is foolish.
You should have a purpose for each page on your website or you are just wasting time and digital real estate. Your website can be your most valuable employee, working for you day and night to serve your purpose. It can capture leads, garner sales, provide information, and the list goes on. Determine the purpose of your website and you will set your business up for success.
It is not about tactics, it is about goals.
Many times our clients come to us with a list of tactics:
- “I want a mobile-friendly website design”
- “I want a creative website design”
- “I want to have really great copy on my website”
- “I want to promote my website on Facebook”
- “I want to use Google Adwords”
- “I want to have better SEO than my competitors”
We want to give you all of that – the thing is tactics won’t get you from Point A to Point B if you do not know what Point B is. What is your overarching purpose for building a website?
- Lead generation
- Raising awareness a brand or cause
- Online sales
All the tactics should come after goals are established. If you start with tactics first, you’ll find yourself chasing your tail.
Don’t just take it from me – take it from our Interactive Director.
Our interactive director, Joel Rathgaber, has a Master’s degree in Computer Science. He has developed websites to serve a wide variety of purposes and has the security background to make sure they are safe. Nothing frustrates him more than a pointless website. He has written this e-book for you on Website Useability to help you discover if your website is serving a purpose.
The truth is, it’s really hard for you (the website owner) to tell that your website is confusing. You, after all, decided on the structure and wrote the content. Maybe you even built it yourself. It makes perfect sense to you. Too bad you aren’t your target audience… What is the primary purpose of your website? This is the one thing, above all else, that your website needs to do… Examples may be raising awareness of a brand or cause, generating leads, selling products online. Yes, your website probably does all those things right now. That is not the problem. Your website can, and should be able to, do more than one thing. That aside, what is its primary goal? Your website should be built to serve that primary goal.