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Why have a website?

February 25, 2011

I’ve asked a few people the question ‘Why do you have a website?’ and in most cases I get a look that implies I’m mad for asking the question considering how connected everybody is.

The thing is this question is just the opener. The 1st question to get them thinking about how they use their website and how they want their clients and contacts to use their website.

If you have a website to sell then shouldn’t this be front and centre and not a little link in the corner to [store]. If it is to connect then shouldn’t it give details about what you want to connect to people about and naturally speak to the kind of person you wish to connect with. Or, if it is a personal site where you are expecting very few visitors you still need to know why you have the site otherwise there is a high possibility it will just get abandoned like so many blogs or Facebook and Twitter accounts. Or even more so for the people who have been online for a while those Geocities sites that disappeared in 2009 and nobody noticed.

The Why question can as simple as:
A place to put my pictures.
A place where I can rant.
A site to get more people to buy my biscuits
A site to introduce my new box design

Once you have figured out the Why, then it is all about the How.
How will my website get more people to buy my biscuits?

Then there’s the call to action.
What do I want people to do when they come to my website. Again it might be as simple as place an order, or it might be something a little less specific.

No matter what it is you have to build your site to guide the visitor to the action you want them to take. Expecting them to figure it out on their own may lead to a lot of visitors, but may not deliver the Why you have a website you are looking for.

By taking into account these simple questions you can improve the effectiveness of your website.

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