Updated: Apr 9, 2021
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Today, I’m going to take you through the process that I use to ID the purpose of my client’s websites and then optimize based on that purpose.
My hope is that it will help you hone in on the purpose of your own website so that you can be more effective, get more sales, money and freedom!
So your website purpose...
What’s the big deal?
Because purpose matters.
Take an arrow for example (I’m a big archery guy:). Say you’d never seen one before. You could decide it’d be great for holding up a plant. Or you could use the sharp end to dig a hole. You could do a million different things with an arrow.
Or worse yet, if you didn’t know the purpose, you might end up doing NOTHING with the arrow because it just seems like a useless stick with a pointy end and feathers.
But if you knew the purpose of the arrow, that’s when it’s going to become an effective weapon.
It’s the same thing with your website.
Tons of businesses think their website is pointless. I’ve had business owners tell me they get plenty of business without a website and therefore don’t need one.
This couldn’t be more false!
The only reason they feel that way is because they have never taken the time to establish the PURPOSE of their website. Just like the arrow, once you establish the purpose, your website goes from this random thing that just kind of sits there to a highly effective weapon that you can use to boost your business, your sales, and therefore your freedom.
Sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it?
Ok, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started and walk through this simple process to find out what the purpose of your website is or should be.
STEP #1 - CHOOSE “End” or “Means to an End”
If this describes your website, awesome! That’s pretty much all you need to know! From there you just need to get people to come to your website which involves SEO, Content, Social Media, Analytics, and all of that. Which is stuff I love working on! However, it’s a bit out of the scope of this training.
I’m going to assume that your website is more in the “Means to an End” category. Or in other words, your website is a rung in the ladder that takes a visitor from random person to paying customer. The end for most businesses is making a sale, getting clients, etc.
The website is the means to that end.
So Step #1 is to choose whether your website is an “End Website” or a “Means to an End Website”.
If your answer is “Means to an End Website”, then move on to the next step!
STEP #2 - CHOOSE “Action” or “Information”
We are still at the 30,000 foot view here of your website’s purpose.
Ecommerce websites, blogs, cause oriented websites are all “Action Websites”. The goal is to have the time spent on the site result in some kind of action whether it be making a purchase, booking a call, comments, interactions, starting a free trial, or getting involved in a movement.
It’s all about having visitors DO something.
3 Rivers Archery, a site I probably spend too much time on (though I’m not a huge fan of their site design), is an example of an “Action Website”. The homepage is all about “SHOP NOW”.
Informational websites would be sites like portfolios, biographical sites, branding sites, and some types of blogs. The goal is to have the time spent on the site result in the visitor being educated.
Think Wikipedia when they’re not asking you for money:)
It’s all about giving the visitor new information.
As you were reading that, you were probably thinking, “Wait - can’t a website be BOTH action oriented AND information oriented?”.
The answer is technically ‘yes’. However, if you see a site appearing to combine information and action, more than likely any information that site provides is going to ultimately be designed to get people to take action.
It all comes back around!
Once again, chances are that if you have any kind of business website, it is an “Action Website”.
If that is the case, then THIS is where things get specific.
STEP #3 - CHOOSE “Sales”, “Leads”, or “Other”
This is where things get good!
If you have a product, physical or digital, that someone can give you money in exchange for said product, then you have a “Sales Website”.
Someone comes onto your site, and the MAIN focus of the website should be to educate, inspire, and motivate them to buy your product.
Digital Marketer’s website is a great example of this. They’re offering a free trial and a bunch of education to move you toward buying their products (books, trainings, etc.).
(If this is you, you can scroll down where I go into more details about what this means for your site!)
If you have a service, physical or digital, that someone can give you money in exchange for said service, then you have a “Leads Website”.
Someone comes onto your site, and the MAIN focus of the website should be to educate, inspire, and motivate them to reach out to you and have you fulfill the service that you offer.
This could be in the form of them turning over their email address to you or actually scheduling something (consultation, appointment, etc.).
You could call that a “sale” however, it is fundamentally different because you cannot fulfill that service just by the visitor giving you the credit card.
Let me explain with 2 quick examples:
Example 1 - A Dentist’s Website
Visitor comes to the website, sees who you are and what you do. They decide they like you and want you to be their dentist. Your website needs to get them to a) give you their contact info so you can follow up or b) schedule an appointment.
Boom! You have a lead (not technically a sale, though hopefully it will lead to a sale!).
Example 2 - A Website Designer’s Website
Visitor comes to the website, sees who you are and what you do. They decide they like you and want you to design their website. Your website needs to get them to a) give you their contact info so you can follow up or b) schedule an appointment.
The result - a lead (not a sale).
This is a pretty broad category, but basically what we’re talking about here is a website that doesn’t have a product or service offering, but still wants the visitor to take action.
Think of a political or a cause website. Its MAIN focus is to educate, inspire, and motivate people to vote, put a sign in their yard, donate, volunteer, etc.
In other words, it doesn’t fit neatly into the two above categories, so it gets to be its own little category.
This would be something like Compassion International (a wonderful organization btw, worth checking out!).
STEP #4 - OPTIMIZE Based on Purpose
Alright, now that we’ve got your individual business website’s purpose figured out…
Now, do these 4 things (based on the purpose you landed on previously):
-Sync Calls to Action
There is a thing called too many choices. And business websites are very guilty of it!
Throughout your website (and your homepage especially) you need to have 1 or at the most 2 calls to action repeated multiple times.
If you’ve got a “Sales Website”, you need to decide on 1 or maybe 2 calls to action that will move someone from visitor to customer as quickly as possible.
SEE IT IN ACTION
There are a million other possibilities, but that should get you rolling. Each button should move them further along in that buyer’s journey as you educate, inspire, and motivate them to buy your product.
Fantastic example of this - Backlinko.com. Literally one call to action on the homepage repeated twice. Simple. Neat. Effective.
Got your calls to action synced?
Good! Let’s move on to the next way to implement the purpose of your site!
-Don’t Just Say Things to Say Things
There are few things that will KILL your website’s effectiveness more quickly than large chunks of text. Embrace the white space. Use the fewest words possible. Use pictures & videos wherever you can.
It’s an oldie but a goodie - show, don’t tell.
Communicate your site’s purpose through every bit of text on the page.
SOG (another website I may or may not spend too much time on!:) does a great job of this.
Their homepage probably has less than a few hundred words on it but you totally get the picture right off the bat.
Websites can quickly get bogged down with bells and whistles. Now that you know the exact purpose of your website, capitalize on that by getting rid of anything and everything that distracts from that purpose.
I’m talking about pop-ups, pictures, headings, pages, maps, etc.
Anything that doesn’t point people to the purpose of your site is distracting. Get rid of it.
Now if a pop-up or picture DOES line up with your purpose, then by all means, have it on your site! Just don’t lose focus & get distracted by the bells and whistles out there (it’s easy to do, believe me I know!:).
A site that is a BAD example on this score is this site for John Pennekamp State Park in Florida. Recently got to go there & just have to say their park is way better than their website!
Notice how it’s just distracting - I don’t know what they want me to do - follow on Facebook? Book something...but what?
-Make it Obvious
When you go to a well designed website, you KNOW within the first second or two exactly what that website is all about. You don’t have to wonder or look around.
Often, this is done through a simple, big informational heading. Depending on what kind of business you have, you could do it through a video (like they do at Burgess Yachts - overall an awesome website!).
So now you know what your purpose is, make it loud and proud obvious right from the start so that your visitors KNOW too!
SIDE NOTE: Think OUTSIDE the Website Box
In this new decade, a website is not enough. Most just kind of sit there anyway.
So what is more than a website?
Think of it like this - your run-of-the-mill, cookie cutter, 7 page business website is nothing more than a digital billboard that people look at.
A funnel, on the other hand is more like an effective, likeable salesperson that works for you 24/7. Notice I said “likeable” salesperson. It’s not that pushy, used car salesperson (no offense to used car salespeople:). It’s a good friend that visitors feel has their best interest at heart as it educates them, inspires them, and motivates them to move in a direction.
Again, we’re getting into something that’s a bit beyond the scope of what we’re talking about today, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind. But if you have any questions about building a funnel for your business, I’ve got some free resources I’d love to give you. Get in touch with me!
Back on track...
Now that you have a clear idea of what your website’s purpose is, you have four things to do right now:
Log into your website editor and:
Sync Your Calls to Action
Don’t Just Say Things to Say Things - eliminate any and all text that doesn’t align with your site’s purpose. Optimize the text that’s left so that it all points to that purpose.
Eliminate Distractions - just say ‘no’ to the bells and whistles. Hone in on the purpose throughout the site!
Make it Obvious - use your most valuable real estate on your site (the first screen someone sees) to state your purpose in no uncertain terms.
Go ahead - do those 4 things - I’ll wait!
Alright - you do those 4 things…?
You should like paste your website URL in the comments so I can check ‘em out! I’d love to see what you’ve done with yours to implement these tips!
See how easy that was? This one simple tweak - getting clear on your purpose - makes all the difference in the world!
Obviously, there are tons of other things to do to take a website from good to great, but this is a fantastic start!
I hope you liked this as much as I liked making it for you. And if you know anyone who’d find it helpful, please share it with them!
P.S. I’ve Got a Special FREE Offer For You
I would love to help you design a custom marketing plan for your website, identify your perfect target market of prospective clients and show you how to present your business to them in the most attractive way possible.
This way you’ll be able to get more clients and increase your profits without wasting time or money.
There’s no cost to this and there’s no obligation of any kind.
I offer this free service because (as you know by now:) I’m a website designer and I specialize in full site redesigns that boost customer engagement and increase conversions.
And there’s a good possibility I can help take your business’ online presence to the next level (making it more attractive to prospective clients).
So if you find value in the help I give you, then you might want me to redesign your website for you.
With that said, please understand that I’m not offering a sales pitch in disguise. I promise not to pressure you or pester you in any way at all.
If you feel like I’ve wasted even one second of your time, just let me know and I’ll immediately send you an Amazon gift card for $200.
Now wait a minute…
Before you go any further, you need to know that I can’t help everybody.
I can only be of benefit to people who understand the importance of their online presence, are ready for more clients, and are not looking for a quick fix solution.
Here’s what you do next...
If you want to schedule a planning session with me, simply click HERE.