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  • Writer's pictureDaywey Chen

Whats the goal of your website?

Updated: May 26, 2020

Anything you spend time on should have a goal, only when you have a clearly defined goal, you will be able to create an outstanding product and services.

Having a website in this era is nothing special, in fact not having a website for your business may be considered special instead. When you hear a name of a company, when you meet someone at a trade show, when you are planning your vacation trip, when you are looking for a restaurant to eat at, when you are looking for a product or service...Where do you go to search for these information?...Websites

We all know that websites are very important in the internet age, it's the communication bridge between you and the customer. However, are you able to clearly define the reasons for you to have a website?

Define clear goals for your website, Define why you are having a website. Don't have a website because others have it

Having clearly defined reasons and goals is vitally important to deigning a successful website. Depending on the reasons and goals, your website would be designed differently in terms of website functions, user flow, user interface, content...etc.

Furthermore, only when you have defined the reasons for your website, you will then be able to set the right kiey performance indicators (KPI) for the website. Setting the right KPI for the website is vitally important to the continuous improvement of the platform.

Not long after I joined a printing press manufacturing company, I was told to lead the development of our new website at the company. When I was given the responsibility, the first question that I asked the General Manager was, Why? why are we building a new website and abandoning the old one? The answer that I got back was "because our old website doesn't look good" Well yes, I agree the website doesn't look good but that shouldn't be the purpose of us building a new website. I went on explaining to the team that yes, most often a successful website looks pretty and professional, but pretty website doesn't identify a successful website. A website can look very beautiful and yet be an unsuccessful website at the same time. How can that be? Well, success should be identified by whether the website has served its goals. At the end of the day, if an ugly website is able to serve its goals, then it is a successful website. Therefore, there is no reason to build an new one.

Base your decision to build a new website or not on whether the old website had served its goals, not based on how the old website looks

In general, there are four different types of websites, serving four different goals

Many times, business website is a hybrid of a few

1. Lead generation website

Lead generation website's goal is to collect leads. To collect as much information from the customers as possible without spoiling the user experience. This type of website is usually for companies that sells product with a high pricing, for B2B business models, for product purchase decisions that requires longer period of time. For instance, software companies like IBM, Salesforce, SAP, Oracles falls into this particular category. To adopt a software package into the company could cost millions of dollars, it's not a decision that could be made online. Many meetings need to take place between parties before a decision could be made. Therefore, the goal of the website is to have the potential customer leave their information with the website, so that a sales person could arrange a meeting to follow up in person.

Common KPI includes:

a) number of newsletter signup

b) number of inquiry form submitted

c) number of membership registration

2. Content website

Content website's goal is to get as many website visitors as possible, and to keep getting the visitors back and to stay on the website as long as possible. These are usually media sites, for example, Bloomberg, Times, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter...These types of website generate revenues mainly from advertisement or subscription.

Common KPI includes:

a) number of website visitors

b) number of website visits / sessions (traffic volume)

c) session duration (time on site)

d) user retention rate

e) number of subscription user

3. Self-serving website

Self serving website's goal is to let the customer fix their own problem, to achieve lower customer service cost for the company. Sometimes the website FAQ contents are generated by the business, sometimes the contents are generated by the online communities themselves, where people that have encountered the problem before goes onto the website to share their fixing experience with others. Common example includes consumer brands like Microsoft, and Panasonic. For instance, Microsoft puts up 'service packs' for their MS office users to download online. MS office function related questions are posted on the platform so customers could search up the information and learn to solve the issues themselves.

Common KPI includes:

a) number of downloads

b) number of FAQ views

c) received physical customer service calls

4. Transaction website

Traction website are the E-commerce websites like Amazon, ebay, Agoda, Tripadvisor, Alibaba, JD, Walmart, Rakuten, Groupon...many of the online behemoth. These companies are usually B2C companies selling consumer products comparatively at a much lower price range compare to business use products. Decisions could be completed and purchased online.

Common KPI includes:

a) number of website visitors

b) number of website visits / sessions (traffic volume)

c) session duration (time on site)

d) user retention rate

e) number of subscription user / number of registered stores

f) Life time value(LTV) of consumers

g) sales amount / average sales per user / average user per transaction

h) shopping cart abandonment rate

At my company our website's main goal is to collect leads and potential customer's information, since our printing press machines price range is in the Millions (USD). Decisions could not be made online.

With this clearly defined goal, the purpose of building a new website is to create one that can outperform the old one in terms of the number of product inquiries received, the number of newsletter signed up, number of questions submitted, and the number of membership registration. Knowing clearly what are website KPI or performance metrics are, we can now go ahead and design our website's function, user flow, content, design layout around these goals.

Below is a draft of a mind map, laying out the website design plan around the Lead generation purpose

To Provide a few examples of BEFORE and AFTER


Before: the home page of the website does not have an easy "contact us" function designed into it, there are no membership registration function and the newsletter signup function couldn't be found on the homepage (its been embedded deep into the website).

After: Call to action for newsletter subscription and questions submission is found on the home page and on most of the other pages as well. The call to action is prevalent throughout the website. The new home page of the website is designed in a way to allow visitors to quickly understand what are the main products of the company, what are the key advantage of the company, and why I should trust this brand?


Before: The product line is being laid out in front of the website visitors, but there is no way for the visitors to identify the difference between the different products. The user experience is very poor.

After: Information is organized in a way to educate user under what circumstances should he consider this particular product line, associating machine functions with operational goals. To layout the main difference between each of the machines within the product line. At the same time you can find the call to action for newsletter subscription and questions submission on this page.


Before: The product description is not organized in a way for website visitor to understand easily.

After: The product description is organized by topics and by sub-topics. For instance, topics includes 1. Standard Specification 2. Product Highlight 3. Application 4. Video.

Sub- topics under the product highlight is broken down by the "benefits to users" 1. operation comfort 2. print quality 3. quick job change 4. Remote service assistance 5. Industrial 4.0 and 6. Safety. Users can now quickly identify the main product features, and decides if he is interested in this machine. Furthermore, the call to action "Add this press to inquiry" button is found both at the top of the page and at the bottom of the page, making it convenient for the users. Another call to action feature "sign up to watch video" is designed into the product page to encourage users to become a registered member.

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