Monday, December 20, 2010

Business Websites Need a Purpose

Every website should have a reason for being there. For some websites the purpose may be clear, however for the typical corporate website the purpose may have gotten lost.

Most businesses make the mistake in thinking they need a website for the sake of having one. Though I think all businesses should have one, I also feel most business websites should be built to achieve one of these three goals:

1) Build Awareness/Credibility.

Simply put, building a website to raise awareness of your brand or services is a great purpose for a website. Having a great looking site will also help your business be more credible when they are comparing it to their competitors. More and more users look to websites to evaluate if the company is credible.

After putting your website online you should then utilize social media, online marketing tools such as Google Adwords, to increase exposure to the masses. Awareness isn't going to be built simply by having a site, you need to get people to your website!

2) Lead/Sales Generation.

Using your website to gather leads is a great purpose for some industries. To do this, you not only need to have marketing initiatives that focus on driving traffic, but also you should have clear "call to actions" on your website. This may be a form for the user to fill out to request information, an instant online chatting device, or a way for visitors to sign up for your services.

3) Provide Information.

Information based websites typically provide and educate their customer. Some service based industries may provide a blog or white papers to provide timely information to their customers. While businesses that have products may share product information, reviews and information to keep visitors coming back for more.

Most website may fall into more than one category. For instance a print services company's website may be geared about building awareness but may also have lead generation forms to capture information about their potential customers.

What purpose(s) do you want your website to serve? If it is not currently fulfilling them all then contact your local web designer to help.