A website’s purpose is to convert visitors into customers. To do this, identify the main user types that visit your site and then speak to their needs. Give them an action plan.
The primary purpose of creating a site is to get the attention of the Internet audience.
What is the purpose of a website, and why is it so important?
Hiring someone to build your website will require a substantial investment in time and money.
Your website is more than just a cost-saving investment. It’s also your brand’s public face online. It is crucial to understand your website’s purpose before creating a clear strategy.
Once you clearly understand your website’s purpose, you can start asking more specific questions about your target audience. You will also want to know what your audience wants when they visit your website.
This will allow you to set goals and help you measure your website’s success.
Did you get it? Are you a business owner or a leader of a non-profit organization looking to improve the management of your website? Then get clear on your website’s purpose. Clarity about your target audience, conversion activities, goals, and measurement will then follow!
Website purpose: 7 types
Most digital marketing conversations start with a discussion on website purpose. This list contains seven types of websites that are common to help you get the conversation started.
- Sales – “The purpose our website is to sell _____.”
- Lead Generation “The purpose of our website is to generate leadsfor ____.”
- Information – “The purpose of our website to inform users _____”
- Entertainment – “The purpose of this website is to entertain users by ____.”
- Service – “The purpose and function of our website is to serve users through _____”
- Presentation : “The purpose our website is to present _____.”
- Connection – “The purpose our website is to connect _____with _____”
It’s not uncommon for businesses or organizations to combine more than one purpose. It is possible to identify one primary purpose .
Let’s take a look at one example:
1. An ecommerce website for sales
Any ecommerce website’s primary purpose is likely to be sales. The website exists to sell products and services online. Clear communication about the benefits users will receive by purchasing products or services online is essential to achieving this primary purpose. A user-friendly checkout process and payment process are also necessary.
2. Lead generation: A website for an independent consultant
Although many businesses use their website as a way to get leads and prospects, they don’t close any sales online. The website’s purpose is to draw qualified leads, allow them to submit their information, and then the business will follow up with a sales call.
A coach or consultant, therapist, attorney or household appliance repair company are all examples of business owners who can benefit from a website that attracts qualified clients or customers and allows them submit a request for service or a contract form to the owner. A website that is solely for lead generation is different from a sales website. The eventual sale of products and services can often take place away from the site, either in person or via email or phone calls.
3. Information: A news website
Many of the largest websites on the internet are driven by the primary goal of informing and educating users. Unless they are converting from news to entertainment , most news-focused media organizations’ websites fall into this category.
4. Entertainment: A video streaming website
There are many other websites that offer entertainment for their users. This category includes both paid and unpaid video streaming sites (aKA those paid with advertising).
5. Service: A government website
This category is a little more complex, but it’s worth mentioning. Websites whose primary purpose is to deliver a service (but not necessarily selling), include government websites and nonprofit organizations. Consider the website of your state Department of Motor Vehicles, or any government agency websites that you use to access unemployment benefits or housing benefits.
Websites of non-profit organizations often serve two primary purposes: raising money and providing service.
6. Presentation: a portfolio website
Websites are designed to share information online. Two examples are a portfolio website for artists or a website to post resumes for job seekers. Website owners may just want to create an online presence to manage their brand or reputation, or provide an online source of material that can be shared offline.
7. Connection: A directory website
There is a third category of websites whose primary purpose it to facilitate connections between people. One example is a website that lists professionals who offer a particular service and provides contact information so that users can get in touch with them. Another example might be social networking websites, dating sites, or any other website that offers a community of useful profiles.
What happens after determining the purpose of a website?
Spending some time determining the primary purpose of your website is an important first step in developing a clear digital marketing strategy or beginning work to improve the performance of your website. After all, how can you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your website if you need to know what it’s for?
Here’s a recent example of how a discussion about the purpose of a website can lead to insights about how to optimize the website and develop a marketing strategy:
In a strategic engagement with a solo business owner who consults with clients, we began by delving into the purpose of her website within the context of her business.
Much of the business is conducted away from the website: clients make contact, and the sales conversation and closing of a new client relationship are typically conducted over the phone or in person. Based on this simple understanding, it’s clear that the website’s goal is lead generation: attracting the attention of prospects who are interested in the service being offered and encouraging them to fill out the contact form to schedule a free consultation.
However, as we reviewed the list mentioned above of website purposes, we realized that the website also served a couple of important secondary purposes.
- Before requesting a consultation, potential clients frequently question the service offering and seek educational information. The realization that the website needed to inform users prompted the decision to begin developing a library of educational blog posts on the website.
- We also realized that one of the website’s goals is to present the business owner as an expert in her field, qualified to provide advice. Observing that the website had a secondary purpose of presenting information about the business owner’s experience and credentials led to us spending more time on the site’s “about” page, incorporating links to professional certifications that she holds, and developing a more robust LinkedIn profile.
Hopefully, this example demonstrates how a discussion about the purpose of your website can serve as an entry point into your overall digital marketing strategy, as well as what improvements you want to prioritize on your website.
How will you determine success?
Once you’ve decided on a website goal, you should think about how you’ll measure success. Get specific with numbers, for example, if the client’s goal is to increase traffic to their website. You’d like to increase traffic by 10% in a certain time. How will you drive traffic through searchable content and paid to advertise? How much time and resources are you willing to devote to these strategies to achieve the goal and call it a success?
Here are some more examples of how to quantify success using specific metrics.
- X% more organic search traffic
- X% increase in paid traffic
- Increase email marketing traffic by X%
- X% more time spent on the website
- Reduce the bounce rate by X%.
- Increase the number of pages visited per session by X%.
- Increase your email subscriber base:
- X% increase in email signups
- Increase the email signup conversion rate by X%.
The purpose of your website may change.
We’ve gone over the three main types of website purposes and how each can be applied to different websites. We’ve also realized how important it is to brainstorm the website’s purpose and goals from the beginning, whether it’s discussed with the client or you make the decision yourself (if it’s a personal or portfolio website). Knowing your website goal from the start will help you make informed design decisions; however, the purpose or goal of your website can change over time.
For example, suppose you’re creating a travel blog website solely to share information. However, perhaps after a few years, the blog will grow, and you will create a business around it. Your goal may gradually shift to awareness and sales. This will aid in redesigning the entire website or creating new landing pages to meet these new objectives.
When selecting a purpose for your website, there are no right or wrong answers. It is important to start with one and let it guide you in designing your website; you can always make changes later.