Your website is not your storefront

I’ve just read another post about your website being your “storefront” – a place where you present all your goodies for perusal by a passer-by or where you present your business to a packed conference room – with the aim of satisfying your own business goals.

This view of your website is not completely incorrect, but it’s not the full truth either, and it’s an aspect where many websites fall down.

Your website is not where you make your sales pitch

At least, not at first! Your business goals for your website might well be to make more sales, to raise your own profile, to show how expert you are in your specific field. You may well be measuring the success of your website by how many visitors convert into clients, and actually, that’s all ok. But still, I’m going to challenge the “storefront” view.

Your website is a meeting place not a storefront

Think about it- when a vistor has come to your site, they have already decided to click on your site; they have already decided to enter, with hope… that you will solve their problem, or answer their question. THEIR problem. THEIR question. Your website visitor has not come to a presentation where they are ready to hear your sales pitch, nor are they just wandering down the High Street vaguely looking in shop windows. They have a specific need; a requirement for information or help, and they have ventured onto your site with the definite hope that you are going to help them.

It’s all about them

Did you spot that? It’s all about your visitor!! Do they care that you want to make sales? Do they worry about your site satisfying your goals? Nope. Nopety-nope! All they care about is themselves and the particular problem they want solved.

They want you to meet them where they are

Meet them. Where they are.

If you meet your website visitors where they are, if you welcome them in to your site and guide them to the solutions they are looking for, then you gain their trust, and then, slowly, they are likely to become your customers. But this is because you MET with them. You didn’t stand at the street side showing off your wares, you didn’t do a general sales pitch, you didn’t stand behind the counter in your shop, behind your beautifully crafted storefront. No, you actively went out to meet them, to understand their needs and to offer them a solution.

If websites spent more time meeting their customers and directly addressing their needs rather than showcasing the products the site wants to sell, the web would become a more friendly and usable place. All it takes is a slight mind-shift in how we view our own websites.

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