Purpose: What’s Your Website For?

Whether you’re having your first website built, spiffing up one you’ve had for a long time, or creating a strategy to get the most out of your current website, it’s good to think occasionally about your website’s purpose. Chances are good that it does — or should do —  all three of the things described below.

Serve your current clients

Your current patients, customers, members, or clients should find your website useful. Depending on your organization, your website may provide your hours, phone number, and directions to people who quickly check on those things. It might let your visitors shop, book appointments, pay their bills, or register their kids. Increasingly, people prefer to be able to do as much as possible digitally. If there is something your target audience wants to be able to do with you, do your best to make sure they can do it on your website.

Sometimes we work with people who choose to send their clients elsewhere to accomplish basic tasks. We understand. It seems simpler to have people view a Google calendar or check in for an appointment at Phreesia. But those actions won’t help your people get in the habit of visiting your website. And that is something you want. You have more control over your message at your website than anywhere else.

Think about social media platforms. They make a real effort to keep people at their sites rather than sending them somewhere else. True, they are selling ads and you might not be. But that’s not the only reason. They want to help their clients to feel that opening up Instagram or seeing what’s going on at X is a good thing to do whenever you’ve got a free minute. They want to make themselves valuable. You can do the same, but not by making people leave your website when they want to get something done.

Introduce you to new clients

Your website is the best salesperson you havre. Even when you have actual salespeople or hardworking ads or great word of mouth, pretty much everyone who ends up calling you or coming in will have checked out your website first.

People need multiple touchpoint with new information before they take action. The classic rule of thumb is that they need 5-12 contacts before they actually convert. Here’s one way that might happen:

  1. She hears about genetic testing on the news.
  2. A friend mentions genetic testing.
  3. She Googles genetic testing. She finds one of your blog posts in the search results and visits your website.
  4. She sees your ad for your genetic testing service on social media.
  5. She clicks through the ad and visits your website again.
  6. She signs up for your newsletter.
  7. She receives your newsletter and signs up for the special offer.

There are almost limitless different possible combinations of actions that can make up the path to purchase. But your website will almost certainly be involved in at least a few of the steps.

Educate, inspire, or entertain

Your website might be mostly about service or marketing. But a more successful website probably has a larger purpose. You’re helping to educate your readers about their health, to inspire them to try a new vegetable with your awesome recipes, or to brighten their day with something fun.

You know your larger purpose. Just don’t forget about it.

A website that is entirely transactional is less likely to succeed than one that has a greater purpose.







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