What’s Your Most-Desired Action?

    February 5, 2004

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.

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.

Guess what: 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.

Here’s how to go about it:

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.

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.

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

3. Don’t try to generate sixteen 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.

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.

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?

Does your site have the essential ingredients that make customers buy? Jamie Kiley can help you find out exactly how your site needs to be improved. Sign up for a site review today at http://www.kianta.com.

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