Assessing the website's objectives and reason-to-be
In any website creation project it is essential to properly determine the website's role(s) and objective(s), to better structure the project in question. The following is a non-exhaustive list of website roles:
- Informational website
- An informational website is designed to provide information on various subjects. These informative articles have no other role than providing valuable and practical information. The best example of such a website is Wikipedia. Blogs and news websites also fall into this category, however these types of websites also tend to have secondary objectives, such as visitor interaction and engagement.
- Commercial website
- A commercial website is designed to make online transactions and sales. These websites exist as a global sales-agent and their role involves presenting products and services, allowing cart selections and creating the most efficient sales-funnel possible. The goal is to convert as many visitors as possible into customers.
- Service portal website
- A blend of commercial and informative types, the service website will have two essential objectives. The first is to present a given line of services. The second is to convert as many visitors as possible into customers. Unlike the commercial e-commerce website, this type of website focuses on very few products/services and often offers a unique service with optional features.
- Business Card website
- A variant of the informational website type, the business card website has one main goal: present a company to the public. This website will present various aspects of a business, such as employees, services and products, market and investor information, store locators and contact information... Unlike the informational website, a business-card hopes to convince as many people as possible that the presented subject is trust-worthy, thus making the business-card website slightly biased and marketing-oriented.
- Support website
- Support sites come under many shapes and sizes; they could indirectly be of any of the previous types. However their unique objective is to improve and support another existing website, product, service or organization. An easy example of such a website: suppose a company, who sells hundreds of products online, has one particular product that is very profitable and in strong demand. A support site is ideal to market that product to a greater extent. The main reason why support websites exist is to allow new presentational structures and marketing tactics to be used on this external website, thus avoiding an odd mix of content on the principal website.
- Event website
- Much like an informative website, event websites have many important variations: they are short-lived and/or seasonal and they tend to be more localized. This greatly impacts the site's structure and relevant market-research.
|Informational||Commercial||Service Portal||Business Card||Support||Event|
There are many ways to structure and develop websites, each of which depends greatly on what role the website is to play. Based on its role, a website will be structured differently, it's content will be presented differently, the technical requirements will vary, the relevant keyword research will be conducted differently and website marketing strategy will vary widely.