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Website Sales Purpose
Website Sales Purposes
By Sharon Housley
When designing a website, it is important
that webmasters ask some general questions before they
begin the design process...
What Is The Purpose Of Your Website?
Many companies use websites to establish
their brand. Others use websites as a communication
tool. Some companies see websites as sales vehicles
and "billboards". Still others use their website as
an educational tool. And some may be any combination
of the above. The website must have a purpose in order
for it to be effective.
What Is It That You Are Trying To Accomplish
With The Website?
A strong understanding of the website
will allow a webmaster to emphasize the action they
want the website visitor to take on the website. By
defining and understanding the purpose of the website,
webmasters and publishers can better structure the information
on the website. Information can be provided with the
appropriate emphasis and navigation. An ideal website
will lead the web visitor to take the action the webmaster
Who Is Your Audience?
You must identify and understand your
target audience. Understanding your demographic will
allow you to cater content specific to that group.
What Are The Objectives Of The Website?
You also need to determine what the objective
of your website is. What are you attempting to accomplish?
Are you trying to sell something? Are you looking for
downloads, or is sales your real objective? Is your
website trying to promote a specific product or service?
Do you want your visitors to take a specific action?
Is the intent to profit from ad space in general or
to have website visitor's click on specific ads? Are
you trying to build a brand? Do you want visitors to
purchase a product, or provide an email address?
When attempting to solicit a specific
action, there are some general guidelines that you should
follow. Your website should be designed to solicit the
action you desire, so the navigation should intuitively
lead the visitor to take the desired action. If clicking
a link is the goal, then that link should be clearly
indicated and prominent on the page. This will not only
help insure that the maximum number of visitors will
be able to adequately view and navigate your content,
but it will also help prompt those visitors to take
the action you wish to have occur.
For example: Many software companies struggle
with the action they wish to solicit from the website
visitor. Software companies and eBook publishers are
often guilty of pushing users to download, at the expense
of the actual sale. Some companies prefer to have users
download prior to making a purchase decision, while
others lose impulse purchasers by only pushing the download
rather than the sale.
In Order To Maximize The Websites Sales
Purpose And Objectives, Follow These Simple Steps...
Address Compatibility Issues
If a website visitor is unable to view
the website's content, they are obviously going to be
unable to complete the desired action. The compatibility
issues could be related to technology or usability.
Avoid using technologies that require the website visitor
to download a plug-in before they can view the website
content. If providing content using flash is important
to you, you should also provide a flash-free version
as well. Also, do not alienate website visitors who
might have a disability -- use proper web construct,
provide alt tags for images, and avoid using a color
scheme that will cause confusion.
Define A Clear Navigation Path
A website's navigation should provide
the visitor with a clear path. Information architecture
is the organization and categorization of online content
-- the process of creating clarity and organizing online
information in a purposeful, and logical way. Prioritize
and emphasize the most important items on the website.
Give visitors a clear path to what they are seeking.
Each and every page should intuitively provide them
links to additional information and purchase options.
Minimize choices and other website distractions.
Website visitors should be provided a clear path of
action. Do not provide the website visitor an abundance
of choices -- studies show that a large number of choices
often puts the consumer off. It is generally recommended
that you provide no more than 3 choices. Keep your message
concise and on-topic. Website visitors will often just
scan a webpage rather than reading it, so bulleted lists
and headlines might be used to emphasize your message.
It may sound like a cliche, but it's the
little things that can make the biggest difference.
Pay attention to all aspects of your website. Defining
the specific website objectives and purpose will help
to encourage the desired action or behavior from your
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds
and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for
audio recording and editing software.
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