Generally speaking there is no right or wrong answer to this question; however it is important that you know the answer to this question for your company website. If you don’t you’re in serious danger of completely wasting one of your most important marketing and potentially revenue creating tools.
Traditionally, there are three main categories that most business websites will fall into:
- Selling products and/or services online
- Generating new leads for your business
- Establishing/confirming your credentials
The first of these categories, ecommerce, often requires the largest budget to set up and market on an ongoing basis. However, it creates direct revenue and can also generate sales leads as well as create a database of customers and potential customers for future marketing purposes.
The second of these categories, lead generation, often requires a smaller budget than ecommerce to set up, but can consume a lot of time/resources/budget on an ongoing basis. Exactly what this site produces can vary greatly depending on the marketing routes you use to lead people to your site, however the important thing is it generates new leads and potential sales for your business.
The third category, a credentials site, is the least expensive option to set up. It’s main role is to create or confirm a good impression on people that have already heard of you; however it will not (on purpose) generate any new leads for you.
Most businesses often don’t need ecommerce on their sites, especially small businesses. However, for small businesses especially, the lines between the second and third options can become distinctly blurred. The reason we mentioned that there are traditionally three main categories of business websites, is because we’re not sure there are three, we think there are hundreds all with a different ratio between credential site and lead generation.
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”Steve Jobs
What does your website need to do for your business?
What the purpose of your site becomes depends entirely on what you need it to do for your business. It is important to consistently take a step back and look at your website from an outside perspective, with the purpose you want it to serve in mind. If you were visiting your website for the first time would you fulfil that purpose for your business?
Always ask yourself that question. Don’t just ask “what do I want it to look like?” or “how many pages does it need?”; ask yourself “what does my website need to do for my business?”