If you have never asked yourself this question it is time you have.
Everyone knows that a business needs to have a website. But why? Few ever ask that question. They just get a website made for their business and know that they are now doing the right thing; just another necessary form of promotion, like getting business cards made.
But a website is not a business card. It is not something that just has your contact information on it, and you just slap together and put online.
The idea that your website is simply a business card on the internet, or a brochure is a misconception.
Surely there are websites out there, that look exactly like brochures, but that doesn’t mean it is the right way to create a website.
How do we figure this all out? With one question.
What should your website give you?
What final product or result or thing do you want your website to give you, at the end of the day?
We are assuming the website in question is for your business.
Here are the four most common things that a website can do for you:
- Get Leads
- Sell products
- Get subscribers
- Get revenue from selling banner ads
Let’s look at each in detail so we can differentiate.
Your website promotes your services and or products. Your site does not have a ‘buy now’ button for your services, instead your site would have a ‘free estimate’ or ‘contact for a quote’ form, where the visitor can fill it out and then you can get in touch with them directly over the phone and sell them your services.
If you need your website to generate leads then it has to have an intelligent way of directing the traffic flow to your ‘free estimate’ contact from so they can fill it out and become a lead for you.
In this type of website, you are selling physical or digital products online. You want to make a sale online. You’re not necessarily trying to get people to fill out a ‘free estimate’ or ‘quote’ form, unless you also provide some kind of service.
If you need your website to sell products then you need to have the products intelligently and cleanly arranged on the site, with good descriptions and a user-friendly shopping cart.
A different business model for more of a ‘content marketing’ type approach is to have a website that simply collects subscribers. This is ‘newsletter’ sign ups, or people giving their contact info in return for a free PDF download, or some other valuable piece of content.
In this case, all you want are email addresses, so the website traffic must be focused on getting people to sign up and give their email.
Revenue from Banner Ads
In this type, you have a purely informational website (such as a news site), and are not selling anything at all to your readers. All you want is to get lots of visitors to your website, keep them on your website, and hope that they click on your banner ads; companies are paying you to put their ads on your site. This could be as simple as Google Adwords.
You will need to place the right sized banners in the right locations, as this makes a huge difference in how many clicks you get, and thereby how much money you will get.
Mixing it Up
Just because there are four different things a website can give you, does not mean that a website can only have one of these! Many websites have two. You can have a website that gets subscribers with a newsletter and also sells products, or has banner ads too.
Once you identify what exactly you want from your website, be it subscribers, leads or online sales, you can then optimize the site to focus in on that exact result and direct everything on your website to lead to that end goal.