I talk to a lot of people that want websites but they’re not sure what they should be used for. They know websites are good and they know that every business needs one but they’re not sure what the purpose is. Take a lesson from activity based design and set some goals.
Your goal should be short and simple
Most ecommerce sites have one goal, sell products. That’s a simple goal, they may have some secondary goals but that’s the core. This goal drives everything about a website and it’s design. Maybe you’re not selling a product though and then look at what your business needs. Many professional services are trying to drive a phone call and there are lots of things required to get that phone call.
Users need to be reassured by authority, they need to feel trust. They may even need education on your product or service. Build your website like a sales pitch then. It shouldn’t be pushy, it needs to be passive but everything on the website should be built around funneling users into doing something.
The basic steps of a sale are summarized by AIDA.
The first thing people see on your website should grab their attention. At this point you’re just fighting for a little brain processing time. We live in a society defined by infoglut (information overload). When users first land on your website they have an 80% chance of not even scrolling before leaving. Grab their attention to keep them interested.
Once you’ve got their attention you have to get them interested in what you’re doing. What makes you unique? What makes your service different? If you can keep people interested they’ll stick around and maybe come back.
Websites need to incite desire. It may be a desire to call, or share the page with friends. It may be a desire to buy a product or subscribe to your newsletter. Whatever it is without desire they will never be moved to do anything.
This is the most important part of the whole equation. You would be surprised by how many websites don’t have any action. I recently clicked on an ad on Google for a plumber and the site had no easy way to get in contact with them. I couldn’t even find a phone number! This happens all the time. Without a way to move a user to action the entire process is a waste.
What are some of the goals you have for your website?