Know Your Purpose
How to make the purpose of your website crystal clear, determine its success and what steps to take to keep it on track…

Ultimately, the success of your website depends on how well it is integrated and accepted into your organisation and how well the management infrastructure has a control over the content. To achieve a successful integration, your organisation must show coherence in the purpose and objectives of your website.

The purpose of your website can be determined by having a clear vision of who your target visitors are, what they want, what you are offering and how you determine its success.

How to determine the focus of your website…

The main focus of your website will either be

  1. customer acquisition:

    targeting prospects to attract new business, or

  2. customer nurturing:

    providing valuable information to your existing customers.

It is possible to tailor your website to do both, but if you blur between the two, then you risk either confusing your prospects with jargon and making too many assumptions, or providing your existing customers with worthless information they already know.

Customer acquisition is also known as front-end marketing. Most websites are classified as front-end marketing tools. If you want your website to bring in enquiries, open your business to new markets, add credibility to your existing marketing campaigns, then your website focus should be on customer acquisition.

Customer nurturing is also known as back-end marketing. Back-end marketing is usually performed using newsletters, newsfeeds, blogs etc. to attract your clients to discover something new or interesting on your website. Unless your clients are looking to upgrade or buy additional products, or compare your products with your competition, they are much more likely to use the telephone than your website. After all, they are your customers and they should know you quite well, so why should they use something cold like your website to find out about you?

What do you want your website to achieve?

If you have decided that your website is a back-end marketing tool, then you should already know your target audience – your existing customers.

If you have decided that your website is a front-end marketing tool, then you need to decide who your target audience will be. By having a highly selective prospect base, you can tune the information on your website to be tailored to the specifics you know these prospects will have a serious interest in.

The main advantage of controlling your audience is that you can describe the features of your products and services in a unique and individual way to outline the specific benefits to them and make them irresistible. You will also know what information they will need in order to make an informed decision.

What’s more, if you know the behaviour of your audience, then you can use persuasive techniques to compel your visitor to take action in a way you want them to. This could either be by completing an online form, requesting a quote, or even making an online payment.

How do you determine its success in achieving its purpose?

How successful your website is depends on your ability to measure the key performance indicators (KPI), and then compare them with your expected results.

Your expected results will depend on previously measured KPI results or perhaps based on a needs analysis. For example you may need 100 enquiries to convert to 20 sales that generates £20,000 of orders each month. Based on these figures, you need at least 4 enquiries a day for your website to be judged a success.

If you have a clear path set for the actions you want your visitors to take, you can either use web analytics to track these specific actions, or you can include tagged pages or landing pages throughout the path your visitors take and then count the number of visits to those pages using your webstats analyser tool.

You can then measure the number of visits to each page on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and compare with previous results to determine whether things are improving. As soon as unexpected results are discovered, you will be armed with enough information to make business decisions to get the results back on track. Depending on the results, you can do things such as price changes (up or down), create or modify offers, or analyse whether the marketing material is expressing the advantages to attract the right prospect.

What kind of website do you want?

The three main types of website are information orientated, transaction orientated and campaign orientated. You can classify your website as one or more of these to help give you direction in fulfilling your purpose.

Information orientated websites are based on delivering valuable and interesting information to their target audience. The types of information are:

  • Publications
  • News
  • Product or service information
  • Promotional material
  • Advice
  • Educational

Transaction orientated websites are based on interacting with the visitor in order to perform an operation of some kind. The types of transactions are:

  • Provision of a service / sell a product
  • e-commerce / online payment
  • ordering
  • quotations
  • communication
  • customer services
  • organisational / intranet & extranet

Campaign orientated websites are based on supporting existing marketing strategies and will be part of a larger marketing machine. The types of campaigns are:

  • Supporting marketing campaigns – your marketing hub
  • Opening new markets
  • Lead Generation
  • Visibility
  • Branding
  • Credibility

Who owns the information and who is responsible for its accuracy?

Taking ownership and responsibility for the success of the website is a key part of controlling its purpose. If there is no-one in control, then the purpose will be lost. You must either take control or have control over the person managing your website.

There must be an information owner within your organisation that knows what is required and has measures to determine the quality of this information. When the results are collected, the quality of the information can then be assessed and decisions made where the improvements should be made.

That person responsible for the success of your website will probably be you. It is therefore essential that you have a strategy in place to control the success of your website.

If you want your website to be a success, you need a clearly defined purpose. With a purpose, you’ll know what to measure to determine whether the results are good or bad. You’ll also know what needs to change in order to meet your objectives.

Start by knowing your purpose and taking ownership of the content. Use your webstats logfile analyser to make sure you are meeting your objectives. For further information, you can contact your nearest Netflare agent to help you clarify your purpose. Call 0800 107 4662 or complete our online enquiry form for more information.