The One Question That Can Make A Website Work

Think about your website for a minute.  Think about what your home page says to users who visit the site.

What does your site say to those visitors?

No, that’s not the one question, that will come later.

For now, just consider what a website visitor does when he gets to your home page.  What’s on the home page?  A slider with 4 or 5 slides, each listing one of your products and a snappy caption?  A main navigation that has all the expected tabs like Home, About Us, Services and Contact Us?  Is there a content area that has a couple paragraphs about how much you care about your customers, or welcoming people to the site?

My bet is that your site – yes, yours! – has some combination of these things.

And for what?

What do these things do for you?  For the website?  For your business?

Yes, yes…I understand that I have asked many more than one question.  But I still haven’t asked the important one.

Start thinking about what a person does when they get to your site.  After you consider the Home Page, then think about what happens when they encounter an interior page.

What is it that a person will do?

Will he X out of the site?

Click the back button?

Read a blog post?

Examine your service offerings?

Read testimonials?

Fill out a contact form?

Click through an image gallery?

A user could do any number of things.  All this brings us to the big question.  The ONE question.  Answer this, and you may want to chuck your entire website out the window…

What is is that you want your website to do?

Sound obvious?

It’s not.

You MUST answer this question.  It should be a single answer.  Shoot for answering it in one sentence, less than 15 words.  Something like:  I want to capture qualified sales leads by phone and contact form.

That would be a fine goal for your website.

So if that’s your one thing, how does your website do that today?

The slider, the product and service lists, the blog posts, the image galleries…  Do these things take users down the path toward “capturing qualified sales leads?”

Here at Conversion Pipeline, we look at a lot of websites.  Nine times out of ten the site does nothing to convert a user into a lead.  Those sites that do, often do it kicking and screaming.

Website users need to be taken by the hand and told what to do.  You have to take your one thing – your website goal – and convert that into a simple instruction for qualified targets.  The instruction must speak to the target in a way that will compel him to act.  The only way to compel action is if your target becomes emotionally involved in taking the action.  The emotion we’re talking about is nothing more than a qualifying agent.

Let’s take an example to clarify this.  Let’s say you have a real estate site and you want  to get new listings – you want to sell more homes.  The goal of your website is to get more people to contact you for help selling their home.

What should your instruction be?

How about:  “Find Out How Much Your Home is Worth => Find Out Now”

If the goal is to capture leads for home listings, anyone who will take this step has passed a critical qualification.

Now all we need to do is make a trade – how much the home is worth  for a name and email address.

Voila!  A new lead has been captured.

9 out of 10 sites we look at have no discernible goal. 

Usually, we can tweak the sites we work with so that they will function as intended.  And you’d be surprised by the number of  clients we have to tell, “…before we start driving traffic, you need a new site.”

If you have not asked yourself what your website is supposed to be doing, you need to.   Then you need to answer yourself honestly.

Or… find a marketing expert to help you answer the question.