Fair warning, this is a philosophical post.
It’s also a very important post that could have consequences if you have not also philosophized about your site’s purpose. :)
When we chat with new clients to get to know them, their business and what the web project entails, we are often struck by how many have not asked themselves,
“Why do I have a website?!?!?”
This seems like a stupidly simple question but it is not.
Often this question has very different answers depending on the business and their industry.
It could be…
- As an online brochure
- To allow customers to interface with them online
- Showcase products
- Highlight expertise
…And a myriad of other possibilities. But in the end, the reason for a website is probably not dissimilar to the purpose of a business (from Peter Drucker)…
To find and keep customers
If we apply that to a business’s web presence then your web efforts need to help you find and keep customers. Or from an Inbound Marketing perspective, help your customers find you!
- Is my site findable to my audience?
- Am I able to monitor site traffic from that audience?
- What is the goal I have for that audience? (the conversion question) [hint: could be sending you a message, picking up the phone, subscribing…]
The answers to these questions will guide what your site looks like, what functionality it needs to have, and what tools like blogging and social media you really need. Don’t get online just because it is fashionable. Have a purpose and a goal for it to help your business.
Ancient Chinese Web Proverb: “If you have no goals, results, or plan for your site…they are sure to be answered”.