The first thing you should notice about the headline above, is that the word "purpose" is in the singular. And for this discussion, we are focusing on corporate or business-type websites. There should only be one main purpose of your website. All the design, information, functionality, etc. of your website - everything - should be focused on your main purpose. Let's examine what that purpose could be:
- To sell something, or
- To generate sales leads...
...or something else closely related to one of these two things - sometimes one leads to the other. Providing free information? To whom? What's the point? Reinforcing your brand and corporate identity? This is the assumed function of all your daily business activities. You don't need a website just to do that.
Let's consider the heading, "Services" for a moment. Does it sell something? Does it generate a sales lead? Compare it to, "We Manufacture the Best Value, Highest Quality Widgets to Small Businesses," for example. In one simple sentence it:
- Identifies with the target audience
- Describes you services
- Differentiates you from your competition
- Gives folks an incentive to make contact
What does this mean overall?
Let's take that idea a bit further. Every picture, every paragraph, every link, every button should be carefully worded, placed, etc. towards the main purpose of your website: to sell something or to generate sales leads. If it isn't, rework it or get rid of it. It's just a distraction.
Other Questions to Ask Yourself
- Do you have a nice picture of a business person with a client on your website? What is it doing there? Does it link to a contact form? Does it show something specific about your business? Does it illustrate your products?
- What about the "About Us" page? Does the text give visitors a reason to contact you? Are you identifying with your target audience? Are you getting people excited about your products?
- What about the right-hand column of your design? Is there any useful content there such as contact information or links to your product specials? Is it highlighting important areas of the website, areas that will get visitors involved?
- Your visitors are on one side of the bridge and you are on the other.
- You want the visitor to cross the bridge to your side, where they will be able to initiate a business relationship or buy something.
- You need to provide that bridge.
The pictures, links, buttons, headlines and words of your website are the materials with which to build it.