Just about everyone has a website today. Certainly, if you’re in business one way or another, you have a website. And people have different objectives behind their sites. Some are content-driven. Others provide an online service and have sophisticated user interfaces. Others still are designed to entertain and amuse their visitors. But regardless what your website is designed to do, there are a few primary objectives you should keep in mind before you start building.
This first website objective is FOCUS. Your site needs to have a narrow and specific focus. Why is this? Because there are literally millions of websites out there and the visitors you’re lucky enough to attract will only take a few seconds to decide whether they’ll stick around or whether they’ll simply click the back button and continue browsing elsewhere. Within those few seconds, your site needs to communicate exactly what it’s designed to do so the visitor can decide if it meets his or her needs or not.
One of the best exercises to enhance the focus of your site is to establish a 15 to 25-word positioning statement that guides all your development activity going forward. Think about it like a mission statement. It should articulate exactly what your website does in just 15 to 25 words.
Another way to look at it is to do a Google search for a keyword in your field and see what comes up in the results page. Under each listing, there’s a short description of what that site is all about. As it turns out, the search engines get that description from the meta tags on those websites but it’s exactly the same thing. What do you want YOUR description to say?
Once you’ve established a positioning statement, you should display it prominently on your homepage. It should be one of the first things visitors see when they land on your website. And as I mentioned above, the same statement should be included in your meta tags as your site description. That way, the search engines know exactly what your site is about at the same time. And if your site shows up in a search results page, that description will show up as part of your listing.
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