Aug 5, 2012 / 8:00 am
A WEBSITE WITHOUT PURPOSE IS A WASTED OPPORTUNITY
Statistics show that you have 8 seconds or less to capture a visitor to your website. If you can’t connect and direct them to the next action they should take in that time period, you have lost them.
Most businesses lose sight of the true objective of what their website is for. No matter how you look at it, your website’s purpose is to sell something: your products and services. That doesn’t necessarily mean visitors have to be able to buy your products directly through an e-commerce system to be considered a sales site. There are many other types of transactions that can be considered a successful sales conversion, such as:
- A contact form that gets filled out and turns into a lead to be handed to a salesperson.
- A registration sign-up for a seminar or webinar.
- A link to a distributor that sells the product locally.
- A live chat session with a prospect.
The problem is that selling stuff is often times the last thing that is conveyed in the website.
Homepages are cluttered with tons of information, links and buttons almost never related to the objective.
Almost every site is the same, and looks something like this:
- Lengthy paragraphs of text about the company and their mission to improve the world.
- A smattering of product and services being offered.
- A news section filled with links to old press releases of every good deed conducted.
- It may even include a few certification logos hung like badges of honor.
I’m not saying these elements aren’t necessary within the site, but little to no thought is put into how they strategically serve the objective.
Think of the sites you visit most, the ones you use on regular basis. Maybe it’s your favourite news site? How about Facebook? Google has become so commonplace that most people don’t even consider it a website anymore. How do these sites become so popular? They do one thing, but they do it world class. In the case of Google, they created the best search in the world and continue to do so.
Most people complicate their websites. A common error is trying to be many things to everyone. Back in the day when search engines were plenty, they lost their market share to Google when they started competing on features outside of the search engine itself. Things got watered down when they started showcasing stock tickers, news and events, weather feeds, and every other bell and whistle you can think of on their homepages.
Google kept it simple: a gigantic search box smack dab in the middle of the page with a big button that says SEARCH. Google offers so much more than Search now, but they still choose not to distract the user from their true need to perform a search and keep the rest of their offering neatly put away.
Start thinking about what would be smack dab in the middle of your page if you had no choice but to reduce your website down to one thing and one thing only. That will be your purpose for being online.
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