Web 2.0 - Does Your Site Have A Target?

by steve j cowan - Date: 2007-04-04 - Word Count: 693 Share This!

In my previous article, I highlighted what I call my 'favorite restaurant' approach to assessing whether your website really does its job properly, that is, in a way that is going to really make it Web 2.0 friendly.

This approach basically says that there are many factors that turn a particular restaurant into your favorite. Perhaps its great staff, a fantastic ambience, obviously terrific food, cleanliness, convenience and so on.

Your website should be exactly he same. Look at every constituent part of the site and work out exactly what they add to the overall picture.

Then, ask yourself the next (and perhaps most) critical question, which is, what is the specific objective of each of those constituent parts.

What EXACTLY is each and every part of your website actually designed to achieve?

In other words, do NOT look at the site as a whole. Break it down into tiny sections, analyze those sections and see if they truly have an objective.

To me, understanding this simple, basic idea of objectives is the single most crucial factor in the success of any website.

Everything, but everything on your site must have an objective - otherwise, its nothing more than clutter, visual 'noise' getting in the way of your message getting through to your site viewer.

Look at a few of the most obviously successful Web 2.0 enabled sites - My Space, You Tube, Classmates or Friendster, and they all share this one key feature.

That is, a total focus on achieving the sites objectives, and nothing on the site that is not part of this objective driven approach.

So, I'd like to posit a few ideas and techniques that might help you unearth your own core objectives, and thus help to clarify exactly what your target visitor rally wants.

Primarily, it is extremely important not to forget the fundamentals or basics.

First and foremost, the internet is nothing more than a digital medium for getting good old fashioned information out into the big wide world.

Whatever is published, whether in digital format, or in newspaper, magazines, journals, on TV or on the radio, it is all published as a direct response to the never ending desire or need for information.

Whether your site is successful or a failure will hinge on precisely that need for information, and how well you satisfy that need.

But it is important to understand that there are many, many different needs out there, even within a very tightly focused niche, and it is vital that your site attempts to satisfy as many of these needs as possible.

In fact, this should not really be too difficult, certainly not as daunting a task as it perhaps sounds.

For example, your site might carry information that you know people want, and also the ability, through interactivity with our site viewers, to discover further information for them. You may tell them things about their niche interest that they do not necessarily need to know, but which is nevertheless interesting.

Your site can, in fact, do any or all of these things at the same time, and indeed, should aim to do so.

All websites, of whatever particular type, should be predicated on this need to satisfy multiple needs. The interactivity between site and viewer that is at the heart of the Web 2.0 concept is critical to this concept.

When you build your site, remember that, at the most basic level of human existence, the truth is that the pursuit of achieving objectives drives every thing that we do.

People visit your website because they want to satisfy a desire of their own, a goal that they have, and it is your job to make sure that they do this on your site.

In turn, by doing this, you will achieve your own objectives as a commercial website publisher, whether it is to make money directly from site sales, to generate an increase in traffic, or whatever.

And the easiest way of achieving this? Always know exactly what your site visitors want by asking them questions, and more specifically, the right questions.

It is this interactivity that is a central plank of the Web 2.0 concept that will make your site successful in the long run.

Related Tags: web design, interactive, web 2.0, interactivity

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