If your business doesn’t yet have a website—or your current site needs an update—you should first determine your website’s purpose. What need will it fulfil? This will arise from the goals for your business, both now and in the future. These goals will determine the build type of your website.
There are three website types: e-commerce, lead generation, and informing and connecting.
The main purpose of an e-commerce website is to sell your products or service online. This could be in the form of an online store for physical products to be shipped, for instance, or food to be delivered—or an online booking system for services such as event tickets, appointments, accommodation, or workshops.
E-commerce websites vary greatly in what they offer. The one necessity is that a purchase is made through the site itself. If you are redirecting customers to a third-party system to handle the purchase, such as Eventbrite or Amazon, then you do not have an e-commerce website.
Consider functionality, navigation, and an easy checkout process. It’s too easy to lose customers along the way. Anything that trips them up on the way to spending their hard-earned money could result in cart abandonment. Make it simple, fast, and secure.
A few things to factor into your e-commerce website goals:
- Simple, fast, and attractive
- Mobile responsiveness
- A seamless, clear checkout process
- Upselling related products or services
- Proper payment options (safe, secure, and trustworthy)
If you aren’t selling anything directly through your website, then your goal is likely to be lead generation. This isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. What does a “lead” mean to you? Is it someone who:
- Signs up to your newsletter list
- Fills out a contact form
- Calls your directly
- Clicks through to a third-party retailer
- Reads your posts or watches your videos
- Social shares your content
Clearly defining what you want from your lead can then help you determine their value, as well as what you need to include on your website for the best chance at conversion. This might include:
- Reviews and other social proof to convey relevance and build trust
- Clear contact details
- Blog posts
- Attractive, easy-to-navigate design
- Calls to action
Content is a strong focus for lead generation websites. Your goal is to convince potential customers that your business is right for them.
Informing and Connecting
Websites that aim to inform and connect users are likely to contain many webpages with a high level of content. These types of sites might include news outlets, libraries, databases, and government departments.
- Articles and blog posts
- Image galleries
- Professional profiles
Before you launch into your website build, whether on your own or by hiring a web developer, first determine the type of website your business required. From there, map out how you will best include the optimal experience for users. This will inform your navigation (menus and webpages), content (text, images, videos, blog posts, etc.), functionality (shopping cart, newsletter sign up, google maps, booking calendar, etc.) and visual design.
If you’d like assistance pinpointing the purpose of your website, book in a one-on-one mentoring appointment with Digital Solutions Mentoring, and our experts will be happy to help!