Why You (and your website) Need A Primary Purpose

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As you can imagine, trying to navigate an ocean without a compass or some sense of direction is impossible. You’ll be floating adrift for day, until finally you succumb to dehydration, shrivel up and die.

And so it is with websites… (how’s that for an exciting lead in!).

If you’re trying to “make it” out here on the internet, building up a website or a business, it’s hard to go somewhere if you don’t exactly know where it is you’re going. I’m going to be focusing pretty much solely on defining your website’s primary purpose, but just as importantly – and this should get you in the right frame of mind – you need to think about your own primary purpose as well (hint: the two effect each other).

Defining Your Website’s Primary Purpose

Part of the content of my eBook on lowering your website’s bounce rates was a focus on a case study. My client’s website was a little haphazard and because of that we didn’t know what we wanted the customer to do. Essentially the answer was that we want to get them to the contact page so they can find the phone number and give him a call for a quote (he’s a painter).

An important segue: Put your email in over there on the right and I’ll send you this eBook for free…

Without the primary purpose defined his website’s design had no purpose either.

Having some sort of goal, some action/s that you want your customers to take is an important step in the design process and one that should hold up you designing actions until you define it.

Some specific examples of primary purposes are:

  1. Giving me a phone call or contact me somehow
  2. Signing up for a newsletter
  3. Buying something online
  4. Downloading something
  5. Commenting
  6. Subscribing
  7. … you get the picture.

A Path Through Your Website

If you want lower bounce rates, that is, less people leaving before they have a chance to explore your website, then you need to give them a path through your website. To do this we need that primary purpose in place before a single bit of digital ink touches the page.

All roads should eventually lead to them taking some form of action and there’s many ways you can achieve this (look out for this how to article soon).

Your Keywords Should Relate To Your Primary Purpose

If your goal is to sell an eBook on dog training, you can bet that your website should focus around dog training. If it’s about making cat jackets then you’re selling to the wrong market.

Aligning your keywords with your target action means that you can pull in visitors looking to perform the action you want them to take.

For example, my client’s painting website features articles on how to do some complex painting tasks in a Do It Yourself style article. Seems counter intuitive right? He’s a painting business, he wants people to pay for this stuff. What is great though is most people see how full on the task is going to be and the anticipation of such a monster task leads them to think maybe a professional would do a better job.

Guess where they are when that revelation happens?

Without a primary purpose, this would be a dead end. It’s hard to canvass only customers who think they know what they need. Often times, it’s the customers that are browsing around your topic that can be the most valuable.

Measurement And Analysis

In my eBook, I harp on about how his statistics looked without his primary purpose and now with his primary purpose. By using measurement to see what effect your changes are having you can categorically say whether the changes you’re making at having a positive effect on the website or not.

In an article coming soon I’ll show you how to use Google Analytics to track these actions that you want your visitors to take (if you’re want to do some more research before I get to it check out Google Analytics Goals).

Lower Your Bounce Rates

One of the biggest overlooked reasons that your website isn’t doing as well as it could be is because your design sucks and your bounce rates are way too high. It’s the old adage of “selling to new customers is more expensive than selling to your existing customers” all over again!

People see getting more traffic as the answer, often this makes the situation worse. Capture what you already have by lowering your website’s bounce rates.

I’m going to spend a little while getting deep on this issue and discussing all you can do to create positive change in your visitor’s habits.

Looking for a coding job? See our job listings page. Click here to view →

About Josh Kohlbach

Josh is a programmer, entrepreneur and the founder of Code My Own Road. He started this website to help programmers with business stuff and also to get things straight in his head. You can read more about Code My Own Road and Josh on the About page

8 Responses to Why You (and your website) Need A Primary Purpose

  1. agende October 1, 2010 at 3:25 am #

    Hi, to start with I want to tell you that I follow your blog. Great post, I totally agree with you. Have a great day mate.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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