Web Design Actions - May 2005

We design your web site for the actions you want your visitors to take.

At Sunshine Coast Web Design we design your web page to guide your future customers into taking those desired actions.

For example, a website selling opals wants the visitor to buy opals - simple enough! However the visitor may first need to research your opals. More on web design research here.

The whole point of a website is to get visitors to take action. If there isn't a particular action you want visitors to take, then you probably don't need a website. More on: Why have a website?

Despite this fundamental truth, it is amazing how many website owners have no idea what their primary goal is. Consequently, they don't know what their most-desired action is.


This is true for websites on the Sunshine Coast, in Brisbane, on the remote highlands of Peru or anywhere!

If the site owner doesn't know their own goal, there is no way visitors will be able to figure out what they are supposed to do. You must define your objectives.

NOTE: With all our hosting plans we provide a comprehensive web design statistics package that allows the owner to track what their web site visitors are doing.

Here's how to go about defining my objectives:

1. Define the action a visitor has to take.

Instead of thinking only in terms of end results, you have to consider what a visitor has to do to get to that result.

For example, "being profitable" is an end result. Of course, all websites want to do this, but it's not an effective goal because it doesn't define how you will get there. You must identify what action the visitor has to take in order for you to reach that goal. More on understanding website navigation or website links.

A goal like "presenting information about our company" also stops short of explaining what visitors are supposed to do. If visitors merely find out about your services and stop there, you haven't really accomplished anything. You need them to act on the information they have found.

What is the goal of presenting the information? Take my company as an example. Since we offer web design services, the goal of presenting information on our site is to get visitors to hire us.

2. Be specific.

Getting visitors to hire you is a nice goal, but it's still not specific. HOW is it going to happen?

Break things down and think on a more precise scale. In our case, the first step in getting someone to hire us is for them to request a quote. That is the most-desired action on our website. More on us as your web design professional.

Instead of just saying you want to be profitable, or that you want visitors to hire you, define exactly how that will happen.

Web Design Research

3. Don't try to generate fifteen different actions at once.

You must stay focused in order to be successful. If you try to accomplish too many things at once, you will limit your effectiveness at all of them.

Of course, most websites have more than one objective. It's usually necessary to have a few related goals. However, you should generally try to zero in on one or two prime objectives that surpass all others. Focus on getting visitors to an end goal, not on pummeling them with all sorts of options at once. More on web design function.

Advertise - Mistakes

4. Focus on making contact.

The primary goal of a website should almost always involve making contact with visitors in some way. This can happen by getting visitors to buy a product, but it can also happen by asking them to sign up for a newsletter, enter a contest, request a quote, sign up for a demo, ask for sale offers by email, etc.

Keep in mind that most people do not buy something from a website immediately. This is especially true with purchases that involve spending a significant amount, but it's true on a smaller scale as well. If your primary goal revolves totally around getting visitors to buy immediately, you could turn away customers who are not ready to commit immediately.

Think along the lines of establishing a relationship, as opposed to necessarily getting visitors to buy right now. More on web design basics.

How can you do this?

Come up with ways to get visitors involved without making them buy something immediately. Offer a newsletter, e-book, or something similar. Give them something to "take home" at no cost. Somehow, some way, establish a connection with your visitors.

To sum it up: Your website should revolve around generating a specific action on the visitor's part. Have you defined your most-desired action?

You may choose whoever you wish for your web designer. More info on hiring a web designer.

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