What's Your Website's Purpose?

Updated: Oct 28, 2021

What’s your website’s purpose? On one level it sounds like an obvious, silly question to ask yourself. But really, if you think about how you measure success for your website, I’m guessing it revolves around generating leads, sales or other revenue-generating activities.


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That's not what you need to be thinking about. Think about your website's purpose in your customer's eyes. Why are they here? What purpose does your website serve in their lives?


The Goal(s) of Your Website Needs to Be Clear

Clarity is one of the most important principles I use to guide decisions about websites. Clarity is important for every aspect of a website: mission, content, design and even SEO.


The mission and purpose of your website should be very clear. What problem does it solve? What information does it provide? Why would someone want to use it?


This clarity helps you to identify and pursue the goal(s) that you need to achieve in order to accomplish your overall business goals. Your site needs to be clear about its purpose because people will try to use it in ways that don't support that purpose. Your job is to anticipate how people will use it and explain how to use it in ways that support your goals.


Why does your business exist? What problems do you solve?

Your website is not just a catalog of your offerings. It's part of how your business exists in the world, and it should do more than just list your products or services.


Your website needs to tell people why you exist. Why did you start your business? What problem did you encounter, and what did you do about it? What do you know now that you wish other people knew when they were starting out too?


Most companies exist because they want to make money selling something. But money is a means to an end, not the ultimate goal. So it's good to ask yourself why you need money at all. Making money is a way of getting resources so that you can realize your world-changing vision.

It is worth pausing from time to time to revisit those questions and make sure that what seemed important when you started still seems important now.


How to make your website purpose driven.

Your website has a purpose, maybe more than one. To figure out what they are, ask yourself what your readers want from your website. What's the purpose of your website to them?

When you know that, you can find ways to promote it. A lot of websites exist just to display ads, which means their purpose is to collect eyeballs so that advertisers will pay for the privilege of putting ads in front of them. If that's the case, then consider making your site easier to navigate by adding links between pages so people don't have to click so many times before they get where they want to go.

And if you run an e-commerce site with transactions taking place, be sure to add security features so customers can feel safe buying from you. And don't forget about search engine optimization (SEO)–a few simple techniques can help people find your website when they're searching for products like yours.


Have a clearly defined goal for every page on the website.

Make sure that every page on your website does one and only one thing. If you don't know what it does or how to make people want it, then get to work.

Every page needs a goal, because every action taken by the user is an implicit question. Having a goal means having an answer to the question, "What do I get out of this?"

Most websites are bad at this because they don't really think about their users. How do you make sure that every page has the right goal? Start by asking yourself why someone wants to go there in the first place. If you can't answer that question, then neither can your users. What do they think they'll get out of it?


Is it information? Is it entertainment? Is it convenience? Is it money? Is it something else? Could your websites have goals besides "information" or "entertainment" or "convenience"? Yes, probably.


Consider the "Inbound Marketing" approach.

The core idea behind inbound marketing is that you don't push your message out to the world. You pull the world in to your message.


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The most important thing is to figure out what people want to do and be, and make it easy for them to do and be it. That's how you get inbound traffic. Customers of this website want to be independent, successful business owners.

If you can figure out what people want, then give it to them, you'll have customers for life. If you can't figure it out, then either you're never going to have customers for life, or if by some miracle you get lucky and guess right, they'll just be customers for a little while.


What do people want? Where are they coming from? What are they doing when they get there? Where do they go next? Where else could they go instead? How would they like to hear from you? What else could you offer them? Where else could they go instead of you?


These questions are the core of inbound marketing. No matter if your website is about a local business or e-commerce or vlogging or something else altogether; ask yourself these questions and answer them as best you can. Then build your website around that.


Conclusion: Use Purpose to make your website more memorable, easier to find and understand.

Your website is your shop window. It's how you present yourself to the world.


It's important that you get it right.

Your website will probably be the most important piece of marketing collateral you'll ever create, so it's worth spending time thinking about what its purpose is. If you don't ask yourself what its purpose is, someone else might - and they might not like the answer.



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