Purposeful Websites, Part 2: What Should It Do?

First Off…

So, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room: yes, it’s been three months since the first part of this series. The last three months have been super crazy while I’ve been building lots of things for clients (websites, automations, email marketing, you name it!) and working on a job board web application for a little side project that I have coming out soon. I do apologize if you’ve been waiting for this new blog post and plan to get back to a regularly planned writing schedule in the near future.

Previously on…

To recap what we spoke about before in the previous blog post, websites have changed dramatically in the past 11 years that I’ve been building them. Not just technology but the necessity of them and what they can do for your business. However, lots of business owners are still unsure of what a website should do for them. If you start to think about a website as an employee, then you start to think about the website differently and perhaps start to see a purpose for it.

That’s where the conversation starts…

Websites are not People.

Let me say that I don’t for a second suggest that a website can replace an employee. I’m not advocating that in any way. What I am suggesting is that we think of the website as a resource that costs you an investment of time and money, therefore it should have a specific purpose. You wouldn’t hire someone, pay them a salary, give them insurance, put money in their 401K, and train them if you didn’t have something that you specifically wanted them to do. Why would you do that with another resource like your website?

A website is a large investment of time, money, and consideration so it should definitely have a purpose behind it.

How do I find the Purpose of my Website?

With a focus on two different areas, sales and operations, let’s explore some questions that can help you dig into the purpose of your website. We should be focusing on the company currently, getting a snapshot of it’s current needs and where resources could be moved to meet those needs.

Sales

With a focus on sales, here are some questions to ask yourself regarding your business:

  • What are some areas of business that you would like to do more sales in?
  • What are some products or services that deliver a better profit margin that you are just not doing more of?
  • What are some services and products that you see coming up on the horizon that you know you should focus on?
  • Do you showcase your products on the website in a way that can activate leads?
  • Can your sales staff use your website as a selling tool?

If you can see opportunities to utilize your website to bring in more sales, then redesigning your website to focus more on sales, delivering product information, calls to action to get people to book a sales call, a tool that sales staff can use to sell products, and generally increase overall sales, then that’s your current purpose.

Operations

With a focus on how the website could be a nexus for certain aspects of your operations, here are some questions to consider:

  • Can customers book sales/service calls through your website?
  • Can customers pay outstanding invoices through the website?
  • Do forms on your website go into a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool for sales and customer service staff?
  • Do you have a way for customers to update their information so that you are marketing to them correctly?
  • Do you lay out the details of how a job goes with you so customers understand every process when they are working with you?
  • Do you have customer service forms or, even better, a way for them to create service tickets to address issues?

There are so many opportunities to automate operational tasks utilizing a website that can save hours and money. Even if you can’t sell products on your website (and a lot of businesses can’t just do the nature of what they do), there are so many ways to utilize your website to enhance operations and build a purposeful website that automates tasks and gives staff time to focus on other things: like selling and service.

Things change

What the purpose of your website is now, is not necessarily the purpose of your website in two years. Much like your business, what the website needs to be doing and what it should be doing changes. You might design a new website that is more focused on sales but find in a few years that you need to shift it to operations to give customers a clear way to continue doing business with you. Websites shift and change as a company shifts and changes. They are a living document of the company at this time and place.

They need to change just as your business does to stay relevant.

Up Next in this Series

Up next were going to focus on concrete examples on how we might redesign the website now that you found your focus for the website. Next, we’ll dig into who to hire to help you redesign your website. Lastly, we’ll look at tools and partners that you might employ to further deliver on your new-found purpose.

In the meantime (man, I hope it’s not another three months), take a few minutes to reflect on your business’s current needs and whether your current website is serving those needs. Does your website have a clear purpose?

If any of this intrigues you and you want to hear more about how this connects to your business, you can drop me a line through my contact form or you can set up a time to talk to me: https://cwtwebsites.zohobookings.com/#/customer/4321453000000026017

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