Why a website is not the same as a billboard
Posted on October 17th, 2016
I am sure that, like me, you have bean driving down the freeway and have seen a billboard. I am even sure that you have seen one and thought – that seems interesting. Then you went home and searched the company and maybe even found a website.
Did you catch the distinction. Billboards are huge posters along our roads and are a way for companies to get their poster in front of our eyes. Websites are troves of information you go and get. (Yes there are ads for websites – but it still requires another component – the ad) Websites are not jumping in front of people saying look at me – but rather they provide the next step.
Websites are for the user to use
Websites are not billboards. You can have many pages, you can scroll down the page, maybe you can even interact with it. A website is used – not seen. If the point of a website is to look good, then in my eyes it has failed. A website should provide the function that a user needs, and look good doing it. There is a point to every website. Here are some examples:
Connect users across the internet
Educate users on a product
Provide users with a point of sale service
Entertain the user
Some websites do multiple functions – they educate users on a product, and then sell.
That is not to say billboards are not beneficial to a customer – but it is hard to say that it is used by them.
Website use is prompted by a need
When is the last time you searched for something for no reason – the only correct answer is never. At the very least you were curious as to the answer. You search to learn information, find entertainment, or satisfy a need. You are even reading this article because of a need. Still not convinced, here are some examples
You are curious how many moose are really in Canada – so you search for an educational site to give you the answer.
You need to buy more clothes, so you search online for you favorite store – hoping to order online.
You use Netflix because you just need to see that latest movie.
You find an online game to entertain your bored nephew.
Since all websites satisfy a need to get your website going you are going to need to figure out what need it is you are satisfying for your customers and not why you need a website.