Establishing the purpose of the Website – Why have one?

A website must have clearly thought out objectives in order to make it function, be easy to use and in the end, fulfill the objectives established during the planning stages.

Jumping into a website design without a plan ends up being no more than a glorified brochure for your business.

For most small businesses, the obvious objective may be to increase sales and profitability. Depending on your type of business, a website may or may not be able to generate direct sales as say an e-commerce shopping is intended to do.

Brick and mortar businesses that rely on physical walk in customers can benefit with a website by adding certain products online or if that is not feasible, use the website as a hub for an online presence that would steer customers to the storefront.

Creating sales indirectly, the website functions to increase visibility, offer coupons, build relationships and create public relations buzz to indirectly attract more customers.

Here are some basic “why” questions to ask:

1. Who is my target market and how can they benefit from my website?
2. What will people experience while visiting my website?
3. Is your website simply a landing page designed to build an email marketing campaign?
4. If your business is such that you essentially cannot sell anything directly from the website, why would someone return to your site after the first visit?
5. Is your site purpose because you feel you are technologically behind the curve and not having a website is hurting your credibility?
6. Will your website be the cornerstone of all your online digital marketing efforts?
7. Are you making a shift from print advertising, yellow page ads and otherwise old school methods that you now understand are being replaced with online search engine marketing?

As you can see, the purpose of a website can have a multitude of objectives. Your business needs are unique and so the website should factor into account your specific niche, what you offer in terms of products or services and how you design the website to further your prospects along the path from being strangers to paying clients.

A website can serve many purposes:Product showcase

  • Client list building
  • An online portfolio of your work
  • A place where you establish yourself as an expert in your field
  • A directory site for various niches
  • An online portal for people searching for a local establishment (repair shop, pizza, etc.)
  • An informational website where all of your marketing materials can be viewed online and to serve to educate people about you and your business
  • A way to create or to reinforce your brand image
  • A blog site where you can personalize your image and brand through connectivity with your readers
  • As you can see, a website can serve many purposes. Having too many however may make the site confusing and dilute the effectiveness of any one objective.
  • Writing out your objectives and purpose of the website is just part of the overall planning you need to do for marketing your business. The website often acts as a hub of sorts that attracts visitors and in turn connects prospective customers to you directly, but it must be a part of an overall marketing strategy in order to work.

    The belief that, “If I build it, they will come”, does not work with the unveiling of a new website. Before you finalize the purpose of the website, have a good idea of your marketing strategies and you will realize that the website is just one of the essential components. It is often the starting point, however to gain an effective online marketing strategy.