Small Business Website: Your Website Has No Purpose

I Don't Mean To Be Rude, But...

Let's face it, you probably haven't put much thought into why you need a website. Don't be embarrassed...most people haven't.

If you're a small business owner the usual reason for having a website is because everyone else has one or because you heard about all the great things happening online and that you HAD to be there. The fact is no one bothered explaining the rest of the story of how to take advantage of the Internet for your business.

The truth is, most people don't really know the answer themselves. That's why they give you vague answers or simply avoid that part of the explanation.

But today is the day it all changes. Today you will learn why you should have a small business website and what it can do for you. Are you excited? You don't look excited? Come on, a little smile, that's it...ok, here we go!

Bullseye Or Off The Target?

How do you expect to hit a bullseye when you don't know what you're aiming at?
How do you expect to hit a bullseye when you don't know what you're aiming at?

What Is A Purpose?

Let's start from the beginning so we get this right.

Purpose:

  1. the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.
  2. an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.
  3. practical result, effect, or advantage.

So the purpose of your website is what you want to achieve with it. Most people seem to miss this step when they're designing a website. The purpose becomes to have a website.

But ask yourself why you need a website. What do you hope to achieve?

What Are My Options?

The options for a website are practically unlimited depending on how much detail you go into, but here are some ideas:

You can create a website to:

  1. Sell your products (or services) directly
  2. Encourage potential clients to contact you
  3. Provide information about your products
  4. Reach a wider market
  5. Differentiate your business
  6. Market your business

Now as you look at that list you may think to yourself:

"But I want to do all of those things!"

Which is basically my point. How are you trying to achieve these objectives right now? What are your priorities? What are you focusing on?

When you get clear about what you want, it becomes a lot easier to work out when you've actually achieved it.

What Is Your Website Doing Now?

Take a look at your website and decide what it's actually doing for you now. Try to be as objective as possible for the best results.

The way to do this? Ask yourself WHY a visitor would take your desired action.

If you want to sell your products using e-commerce:

  • Does your website completely answer all the visitors questions?
  • Does it give them clear reasons and benefits to make a purchase?
  • Does it earn their complete trust?
  • Do you convince them that you are by far the best choice?

If you want the visitor to contact you:

  • Why are they contacting you?
  • Do they have a question?
  • Do they want more information?
  • Are they getting something valuable in return?
  • What is their reason for getting in touch with you apart from the fact that you're a lovely person and you should probably go on a picnic together sometime?

If you want to reach a wider market:

  • How are you doing it?
  • Did you just put up a website and expect traffic to arrive?
  • Are you networking to find other websites similar to yours?
  • Are you actively participating in the conversation of your industry?
  • What actions are you specifically taking to broaden your reach?

These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself to see if your website is achieving it's purpose. And let's face it, we can all be doing a better job. Is my website perfect? No, not by a long shot. But by asking myself these questions on a regular basis I'm improving it one step at a time.

Where Do My Visitors Go?

When you look at your website, every word you say, every picture you have, every page on it needs to serve your purpose. Everything is leading towards your purpose.

If you have articles, they are creating trust with the visitor. But where does the visitor go next. Do you ask them to contact you if they have any questions? Do you recommend another similar article or information to help them?

Think about every page and where you want your visitor to go next. And then you need to lead them there.

If you can, watch other people using your website. Preferably find people that are interested in what you are selling. By using a statistics program like Google Analytics you can also tell what pages your visitors are looking at and what links they're clicking on.

So use the tools available to you and start taking your website more seriously.

Have You Learnt Anything?

The purpose of this Hub is to help small business owners with their websites and introduce them to my way of thinking. The response I want is for you to:

  • Leave a comment
  • Give it a thumbs up
  • Become my fan for when I publish more Hubs
  • Possibly even visit my website

I offer valuable information for interaction with you. Plain and simple. If you like what I have to say you might tell people about me, maybe even one day I'll have a product that suits your needs.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. All I want right now is to meet you and hear what you have to say about this Hub.

So Hi, I'm Craig...

Please leave a comment telling me what you thought.

Thanks for reading.

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Comments 6 comments

Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Marketing strategy - sigh. If only small businesses would have one.

t's not just the web site - it's every piece of marketing communication. A web site is just one tactic. As part of a co-ordinated marketing strategy it can be really powerful. As a knee-jerk tactical move it can waste a lot of time and money for very little result.

(Frustrated marketing consultant here!)

Jenny


Craig Dewe profile image

Craig Dewe 8 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand Author

So true Jenny!

When I was trying to describe what I did succinctly I kept telling my girlfriend that I couldn't use the word strategy because most small businesses didn't have one and didn't want one.

I feel your frustration and am lucky I can't pick up and shake website visitors sometimes. Ahh...the protection of the Internet.

Craig


freddiecook profile image

freddiecook 8 years ago from Ireland

Sometimes the internet protects us too.

Nice article though, makes me think and reminds me I'm not done ...yet!

freddiecook (dave)


Craig Dewe profile image

Craig Dewe 8 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand Author

Good point Dave, maybe I should cancel my future plans of public appearances. I don't want to be hit by rotten tomatoes...

And I wouldn't worry, I don't think any of us are "done...yet!" It's just good to have a reminder to keep moving in the right direction.

Craig


Anamika S profile image

Anamika S 8 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

Excellent Information! A Thumbs up to you.


Craig Dewe profile image

Craig Dewe 8 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand Author

Thanks Anamika, for reading you can have an imaginary cookie!

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