A website is one of the key online assets a company can have, failing to properly define its purpose could mean you are under-utilizing its potential and possibly wasting money on it. Here are 3 main broad purposes a website can serve:
1. Showcase your business
This is the simplest and cheapest type of website. Generally it will have basic information about who you are, what you do and how people can contact you. Perhaps they have heard of you and they just want more information. The key here is having a simple but highly professional looking design that will leave an excellent impression of your company to the website visitors.
2. Generate leads
In this case, you want to be able to follow up on website visitors. Therefore, it will be more advanced then option 1. Many businesses have a showcase website when what they actually want is a lead-generating website. You need to be clear about what you want as you discuss with your website designer.
How can you capture these leads so that you make follow-ups?
– provide great articles with useful information and require people to sign up to keep reading. For example, do you sale spare parts? Write some short articles about how to service a car and ask them to sign up in order to keep reading. Leave a ‘no thanks’ option in case they are not interested.
-have a newsletter signup option especially if you regularly produce great articles so that customers never miss new articles, this way you capture their emails
-provide optional membership registration; make sure you indicate the benefit of them registering on your website, it could be some exclusive content, a discount or some other free offer.
-have an online chat option, some visitors hate filing in a contact form because people take long to respond to those. A live chatting option assures them they will get answers right away
-have your phone numbers clearly displayed preferably at the top of your website on every page which they can easily use to contact you. This way you can record their details after the call.
3. Sell products and services
This is the most expensive type of website to develop as you will need to include secure payment gateway, manage orders and customer inquiries. You will also want a database to manage the inventory and keep track of your customers.
Examples are online shops or even a lodge. You want customers to reserve rooms and possibly make a down payment? Or if you just want them to reserve without paying then option 2 is ok.
If you already have a website, which of the above purposes does it serve? If you are yet to have one, which one will you go for?