What’s the Purpose of a Website?

When discussing a pending web project or kicking off the discovery phase of a new website development effort it’s important to clearly understand the purpose your site will serve.

This first step, understanding your site’s purpose, is so simple it’s often overlooked. Site development projects get sidelined by secondary priorities overtaking and ultimately blocking the primary goal.

ONE. If your site’s purpose is to encourage users to book appointments, sign-up for a service or download a free trial, then you need to stay focused on seamless functionality and user experience.

An amazing library of conditions that suits the casual web browser isn’t your priority. Blogging, fact sheets and other items are valuable but clearly serve a different purpose and become secondary to your goal.

For functionality and user experience, think design for mobile first and then to desktop.

TWO. If your purpose is ‘to look credible, trustworthy or experienced’ then the brand and tone of your site are more critical than any call to action.

Contact forms on the home page make little sense and the ‘feel’ of the site becomes the top focus.

Consider initial reactions to your home page look and message. Then pay close attention to a likely user path to other pages such as the team bios, about us, mission, etc.

Once the site is up and running, give it one to two months and look closely at your analytics. Then ask yourself:

1)      Are users following the desired path I want?

2)      What does it mean that users are dropping off at a specific page?

3)      What sources are driving the most valuable traffic?

At this point you are really ready to move through the web journey and make your site the most valuable asset possible.