Do you know what you’re trying to accomplish with your website? Do you have a goal for it beyond just hoping that people check it out? Have you considered what the actual purpose of your site is?
Far too often, the answers to these questions is no. And if you don’t have an understanding of what you’re trying to get out of your website, then it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get anything out of it.
To help you figure out what to get out of your website, I’d recommend asking yourself the following questions about every single page on your site. These questions are simple, but taking them into account whenever you add content to your site will help you get more out of what you do.
What’s The Purpose Of Your Page?
Every single page on your site should serve a distinct purpose beyond just presenting your content. In most cases, the purpose of your content pages will be to attract new potential fans and convert them into actual fans. Assuming that’s the case, you want to design your page to serve that purpose.
Here’s an example of how that can work:
Let’s say you create a page to show off your latest video. By posting that video on your site, you hope it will be found by new potential fans who will be introduced to what you do.
But most people stop there – they’ve posted the content to attract potential fans, but they haven’t provided an opportunity to convert that potential fan into an actual fan because they haven’t included a clear way for a person who likes the video to connect to them. Remember: the purpose of your page isn’t to display your content, it’s to convert potential fans into actual fans!
So, just as important as posting the video on that page, is posting a way you want somebody to connect to you – recommend that they join your email list, or subscribe to your YouTube channel, or follow you on Facebook and Twitter.
Just because you may have those methods in your sidebar or buried at the top or bottom of your site, it doesn’t mean people will see them. The purpose of your page is to convert fans, so you want to put a reference to how you want to convert them as close as possible to the actual content they’re enjoying.
That’s why you’ll notice on Connected Comedy that on the bottom of every post I have a plug asking people to subscribe to my Free Tips Newsletter – because I want to encourage that connection and not just hope they find the newsletter signup in my sidebar.
While the purpose of most of your pages will likely be to convert fans, there may be other purposes you have as well. For example, maybe it’s to get somebody to buy your album, or come see your next show, or engage with you by posting a comment. There’s lots of different valid purposes for a page, but what’s important is that you have one and take the necessary steps to accomplish it.
There Can Only Be One Purpose
When you start to consider the purpose of your pages, you’re undoubtedly going to realize you want your pages to serve multiple purposes – we all do.
You’ll want people to become fans, buy your stuff, share your content, and do a million other things that seem important. Your instinct will be to ask people to do all of these things (or at least give them the option to), but you’ll have a lot more success if you focus on one main purpose and try to accomplish that.
Pick the one thing you most want people to do and concentrate on that as your purpose – you’ll get much better results. It’s fine to have different purposes for different pages, but on each individual page I’d recommend focusing on one thing, because when you give people a bunch of different options they become much less likely to do any of them. Ask for one thing, and you’ll likely get one thing.
Who Is The Audience For Your Page?
Here’s another thing worth thinking about when you create pages on your website – who is the audience for that particular page?
Not every page is designed for everybody, and it’s worth taking a second to consider who will view each individual page on your site and catering those pages to that audience.
For example, is the home page of your site more likely to be viewed by people who are already your fans or people who are just discovering you? Most likely, it will be people who just discovered you so you’re going to want to create the page in a way that it introduces them to your world. Don’t assume they know much about you and your work.
On the other hand, a page designed to sell your album is likely to be read by people who are already your fans so you want to create that page in a way that is directed at them.
This also extends to your content. A blog post referencing tweets people sent to you should be designed for that audience. But a blog post about the latest Lindsay Lohan adventure was likely created to attract some new visitors who are interested in Lohan but may not have ever heard of you – again, adjust your page accordingly.
What Action Do You Want Visitors To Take?
Once you’ve decided what the purpose of your page is and who the audience is for it, you should think about what the one action is you want that audience to take when they discover your page. Once you get somebody to a page, there’s only one click they can make on that page – so be very clear and thoughtful about what you want that click to be.
Most importantly, understand that when somebody visits a page on your site there should ALWAYS be an action you want them to take beyond just reading whatever content is on the page.
Your content is your marketing – it’s what draws new potential fans into your site. But the action is your “sale” – it’s how you ultimately build your fanbase. If you’re just posting content and not encouraging actions on your page, then you’re doing the equivalent of placing ads in a newspaper for a product that you don’t actually sell.
That’s a pretty ineffective way to build a business…and a fanbase.