I heard a story recently about a guy who used to own a local machinery sales and rental business back in the early days of e-commerce. Eager to go cyber, the story goes, he wanted a website for his store.
He got one made.
His website looked good and showed off all the stuff he had in the store. Lots of boy toys. Lawn mowers, leaf blowers, dirt diggy things.
Man, was he ever proud.
Then the angry customer phone calls and emails arrived.
Customers couldn’t figure out how to buy from him. They couldn’t find the "Add to Cart" button or an online purchase form. He and his staff had to spend time explaining (and apologizing) to these irritated folk that their store didn’t actually sell anything online. Customers had to rent or buy that flashy lawnmower in person.
You know what the big mistake was, besides pissing off his potential customers?
He didn’t have a goal for his website.
He simply wanted to have a web presence - and this choice hurt his reputation and lost him customers.
You need a goal for your website.
You need to decide what you want your web visitors to do when they visit your website.
DON'T BE THAT GUY
Ok, there are some valuable learnings in the above story.
You have a local bricks and mortar store. You don’t have an e-commerce store - in other words, you're not selling online. People have to visit you in person (or at the very least call you) in order to buy from you.
If you build a website for a local store, what is the most important goal for that website?
You might have a few goals, but let’s face it: the most important goal for the website is encouraging visitors to drop by your store.
Every single page on your website should encourage your web visitors to stop by, drop by, visit or call your store.
Every single page should be clear that nothing is for sale via the website. Don’t confuse your potential customers.
Know your goal, know what you want your customers to do when they visit your website and pay attention to the results.
If you’re planning to build your own website or you already have one - what is the main goal for it?