Why do you have a website? What’s the goal? What do you want it to accomplish for you?
- to develop a list of targeted prospects
- to sell products or services
- to encourage potential customers to contact us by phone or mail
- to provide product information and/or price lists to customers
- to provide product information and/or price lists to distributors
- to provide customer service (how to use/wash/care for items, etc)
- to provide information to a particular niche or target market
- to strengthen brand recognition
- to establish you as an expert in a particular niche or subject
Your website may have more than one goal, and several goals may work together. For example, if your main goal is to sell products or services, then developing a list of targeted prospects who are interested in and need the products or services you offer should be a goal also.
Once you know your website’s goal, you need to figure out what the ideal action you’d like a client to take is. If your website is a blog that you want to use to build your credibility and establish you as an expert on a certain subject, your ideal action may be that you want your visitors to sign up for your newsletter or ezine so that you can continue building a relationship where you can help them and they can see your expertise, then later purchase your products or services.
As you work to improve your website, you want to keep in mind the actions that you want to focus on. If your goal is to sell your products, then everything needs to be centered on that goal and making it as easy as possible for customers to purchase.
If you are focused on building a list, you want to make it easy for customers to subscribe to that list and would take actions such as:
- Create an easy to use subscribe form.
- Put the subscribe form in the top area of your site where it’s seen without scrolling down.
- Put the form on every page of your website.
- Request only the essential information you need (name and email) and not name, address, phone, etc unless you’re delivering a physical product through the mail at sign up.
- Offer customers a free gift, download, coupon, etc if they sign up.
- Design an image to represent what the visitor gets when they sign up (free ebook, audio, etc).
- Add a privacy statement such as: We will not share your information.
If building a list of prospects is your only goal, then you may even consider having a one page squeeze type site where the only option a visitor has is to subscribe to your list. Keep it simple!
You need to know your website’s goal so that you can find ways to make that action easier for customers to take. It should require as few clicks as possible, be as easy to find/do as possible, etc. Don’t make your customers think hard or search around for how to buy or how to contact you. The easier you make it, the more visitors will take that action.