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Why do you have a website anyway?

“Every business has a website so i have one”

“I want to sell my products online”

“Its a economical marketing source”

These are the most common answers you tend to hear when you do your own little market research within businesses having a Web presence. There was a time when all you needed was contact information or maybe a few tidbits of additional information about your company. However, now many websites I have reviewed have flashy designs, some cool graphics and even an e-commerce facility, but the question is “what results is it returning to you?”

First lets understand whether you are sure of “what your obectives are from a website?”
I think for any business measurable goals are new sales lead, boost in sales, improving communication, stronger customer relationship and/or raising brand awareness. These measurable goals do mean something to your company and help define it.

But what seems to be lacking with many websites that I have reviewed is good ‘web planning’. Remember, the Internet is not just a marketing tool – it’s a business tool as well. Just as in any other area of marketing communication – you should be thinking about how the user will engage with your website.

Even the smallest local business can utilize the power of the Internet to be more efficient and to build revenue. Once you start thinking about it, it’s easy to get excited about the potential for your site.

“Identify your target audience”. It’s time to think like your target customers. What do they want to see? What information do they need? Why are they visiting your website? If you can’t get into their mindset, organize an informal focus group and ask them what they want. It’s that easy! Let them poke around your current site and give you feedback. Usability issues can also be easily identified during this process.

You may find you need a formal usability analysis, a redesign or a few new content sections. Sometimes it’s even better to scrap the old site and start over from scratch. The important thing to build a great site is that it keeps your users in mind, it’s easier to get good links, good rankings and all around good results. Your company and your customers will benefit – and best of all – you won’t be as dependent on search engine rankings to meet your goals.


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