Big Picture #1
A Web site must do at least one of two things, but probably both:
• Turn a stranger into a friend, and a friend into a customer.
• Talk in a tone of voice that persuades people to believe the story you’re telling.
Big Picture #2
A Web site can cause only four things to happen in the moments after someone sees it:
• She clicks and goes somewhere else you want her to go.
• She clicks and gives you permission to follow up by email or phone.
• She clicks and buys something.
• She tells a friend, either by clicking or by blogging or phoning or talking.
If your site is attempting to do more than this, you’re wasting time and money and, more important, focus.
A Web page isn’t a place the way Starbucks is a place. A Web page is a step in a process. The steps on the stoop in front of your house understand (if steps understand anything) that they exist in order to get you up or down. If you asked the architect what any particular step is for, she wouldn’t hesitate. The answer is obvious. The purpose of this step is to get you to the next step. That’s it.
You have to choose.
You are never going to please everyone, so you shouldn’t try. If you do, you’ll fail at pleasing anyone. Instead, imagine who your very best audience is and go straight for the heart of that group—and ignore everyone else.
Your best audience? Your best audience has three components:
1. It’s large.
2. It’s likely to click on your AdWords or find you in some other way.
3. It’s likely to respond to your message.
If it’s not #3, the other two don’t matter. If it’s not #2 and #3, then #1 doesn’t matter. But if all three work—if you can find a large enough audience that’s interested enough to click and focused enough to respond to the story in the vernacular you use to tell it—then that’s the audience you want.
-Seth Godin, KNOCK KNOCK.
Seth Godin’s Incomplete Guide to Building a Web Site that Works