Before you delve into the deep, dark, scary abyss of starting a new website or redesigning an old one, spending some time focusing on what you need your website to accomplish can help illuminate some of the darkness. There are many ways to look at what a website copy can provide for your business, but it’s best to avoid vague objectives such as promoting “awareness” or raising “visibility.”
These types of goals may sound good in a marketing meeting, but when it comes down to tracking and accountability after you’ve launched your site, they quickly start to hinder its upkeep and growth.
Focusing on specific details allows you to tailor the experience of the website to your ideal customer or client.
If you set specific goals from the onset of your next project, you’ll be able to coalesce your ideas around a central point of reference and ensure that every aspect of the project is in line with those goals. For a simple e-commerce website, this goal may be as straightforward as selling more products. However, simply having this goal defined will give your design and layout focus to drive the visitors toward that action. A site designed for sales will funnel as many paths toward the shopping cart as possible.
Modern websites can no longer function only as online brochures.
Viewing the web from a dated print advertising perspective can lead to unfocused, bland websites lacking in relevant content and failing to convert visitors to leads or sales. It’s important to view every aspect of your website from the point of view of your potential customers or clients. Is this content relevant to me? Does this give me information that will influence my decisions? A well-targeted content plan will allow you to answer these questions and more.
What can I do to improve my existing site?
Just because your site was designed and built without a specific goal doesn’t mean that all is lost. Small changes can have large consequences when it comes to user behavior and something as simple as adding a large call to action on the homepage can provide a noticeable increase in responses. If you’re looking to work toward focusing your existing website, you can follow the same basic steps:
- Set a specific goal
- Brainstorm ways to influence user behavior toward that goal
- Implement strategies
- Collect data
- Analyze and make changes
This process may take some time, and you may discover that a complete redesign may be required, but any step toward a goal is worth taking. And let’s face it, if you’re this far into the article, you’re probably thinking that your current website could use a touch-up.
One important thing to keep in mind is that your website acts like a living entity; you get energy out only after putting it in. Put simply, if you can devote the time and resources toward achieving a goal, you’ll be able to grow both your website and your business.