Why are you in business?
You may be like others in thinking - "It's because I want to live a lifestyle that suits me" or maybe because "I don't like working under a Boss who expects certain conditions that I don't agree with"
But in reality those and the many other "reasons" are simply a result that you're looking for.
Let me explain...
You see to have the lifestyle, the dream hours or not having a "boss"...
You need to make money
So really then, the reason you're in business is to "make money"
While that may seem obvious, let me ask you another simple question...
Why do you have a website? Is it...
- To tell people about your business
- To be found in the "Telephone Directory" of the world
- So that clients can get updated information about your products or services
- To sell your products and services
All of these reasons are valid and it is why so much emphasis is placed on SEO - and rightfully so.
But the overriding reason for having a website is...
You guessed it - To make money - the very same reason you're in business in the first place.
Would it surprise you then to know that research indicates a lot of business websites are actually having the opposite effect! And what's more - that business owners don't even realise it's happening.
What does that mean exactly?
Well simply this... If your website makes it difficult for users to do business with you, they walk out... and they walk out in an average of 10 seconds!
Let's imagine the same situation in a "bricks and mortar" store for a moment...
Imagine 1000 people walking into your store...
That would be brilliant you say! But...
...what if only 1 out of those 1000 people actually bought from you, the other 999 just walked in glanced over the store and walked out again!
Not so great now is it... in fact you would probably investigate a way to increase the number of people who bought from you - very very quickly.
This is the exact scenario happening on a large number of websites.
Yet many business owners don't see a problem. They may realise that 78.5% of the population use the internet to research a product or service online... So they invest in SEO - perfect.
But they don't realise that they then only have an average of 10 seconds to make the person trust them enough to investigate further.
Let me expand...
In 10 seconds you have to grab the attention and trust of a visitor before just to get them to stay and investigate your business... then you have to keep that trust and attention long enough to encourage them to purchase from you.
You see an old view of the internet persists in peoples minds. It's a view that encourages business owners to see their website as simply a place of information... After all the internet is often referred to as the "Information Super Highway" isn't it?
Everybody knows you have to have a website... but a website is believed to only be there as a supplement to your existing business.
While that may have been true, and still should provide that type of supplemental information - it should no longer be the focus of your website... That focus should answer the question "How can my website become a profitable part of my business?"
So how would you go about making your website profitable?
Here are 3 simple questions that you can ask yourself right now to see if your website is working for you.
- What is the primary product or service I offer which makes me the most money?
- What has the most prominence on my website?
(Go to your website and close your eyes... when you open them the first thing that stands out is what has the most prominence - or an alternative method - squint at your home page and the area that draws your attention is the one that has the most prominence)
- Is the product or service you chose in question 1 the focus of the most prominent section of your website?
If you answered "No"... then you need to sit with your web designer again... and soon, your website is not helping your business make money.
In todays economic climate you need every part of your business to work together to help you become successful.
This is only my opinion of course, one that's been shaped from 12+ years of working in with on building the internet...
Maybe you disagree that making money should be the primary focus of a website? Perhaps you see a website as more of a customer service that you provide! either way let me know your thoughts in the comments below.