Understanding A Website’s Purpose

Do you know your website’s purpose?

I spend a lot of my time on the Internet. Though I do some print-based or other writing, most of my work is social media and website marketing. When I’m not writing for the web, I’m researching on it. 

I research my clients’ fields. I explore new ways to do my job better. 

I also use the Internet to buy my dogs medicine and toys,  seek out the best ways to cook, and learn when the next season of Resident Alien, The After Party, Severance, and anything Star Wars & Marvel will next release. 

Typically, I take a class on my exercise bike before an offline lunch. 

Most evenings (after walking the dogs, of course), my wife and I watch a show on a streaming service. 

Oh yeah, I also write emails to clients and get my news through the Internet. 

That’s a lot of time online! But there are also many different reasons to be online, and many devices I interact with differently for each of those reasons. 

It’s not as if I’m on the Internet all day doom-scrolling (though I’m not immune, particularly in the darkest days of Covid). No, for each of those activities, I have a distinct purpose. 

For quick questions, I use my smartphone. For my job, I use my computer, and at night I use a smart TV. And when I connect to my bike, I’m there specifically for a class, ideally one with good music and an instructor who makes me laugh enough that I can forget I’m exercising. 

So what does that have to do with your business? 

You need to understand your website’s purpose as well as the intent of the people who are using it. 

Different Website Purposes

To get a good understanding of what different websites’ purposes are, think about what you do online in a day or read my earlier examples. 

If I go to the online pharmacy to get my dog’s flea medicine, I aim to buy a particular product. So I’m not dallying around. I go, find and buy. 

When I’m researching, I am seeking out information. Maybe I’m researching the business of you, my newest client. I want to be informed. There’s a decent chance I want to go down some rabbit holes. But in the case of a release date for a show, I may just want the answer to my question. 

And as for streaming a TV show, which is technically happening through the Internet, my goal is to be entertained. You may have a similar plan when you go to youtube, TikTok, or your favorite site for doom scrolling. 

So why do people go to your website? 

Your Website’s Purpose

For most small businesses, your website’s purpose is to inform unless you sell items directly from an online store. But your site has another goal: persuasion.


If you have an e-commerce business, your website’s purpose is unique. For example, you are not necessarily trying to inform customers about your business or drive them to your store or service because they can purchase directly from your site. 

Depending on the site itself and your customer base, you may still have a persuasive element to your site, but something like an online pharmacy or Amazon doesn’t need to persuade. People are there to buy. 

So what does that mean for your site? It means your site should be devoted to efficiently facilitating transactions with as little other fluff as possible. People buy products online because they want them to be easy. 

So ensure that the shopping experience is intuitive and that people can easily find any product you sell. 

Informative Text

All websites have some level of informative text if for nothing else than to let users quickly know they’ve reached the right place. Certain sights have more informative text than others. 

While my website’s purpose is ostensibly to drive sales, you are reading a blog full of informative text right now. So why is that? 

I work in a field not easily understood by the general public. Part of my job is teaching people what’s important about my work. 

I also use informative text to help people do some of what I do on their own. I know a large percentage of people will do it themselves, at least to start with, and nothing I do will change that. But if I become a valuable resource, they may use me later. 

Potential customers may be unsure whether to go DIY or hire a pro. They may also wonder if I’m the pro to hire. 

Again, informative text helps here too. Which means there’s a thin line between informative and persuasive text. 

Persuasive Text

Finally, part of your website will be persuasive. You want to show people you’re the best business for the job. But you don’t necessarily want to persuade everyone visiting your site to buy from you. 

Part of your website’s job is to appeal to your ideal customer. If you appeal to everyone, you’re probably lying! We all have our strengths. Yours may be price. It may be service, or it may be something else. 

My standout skill is helping people find their voice and speaking in it. I don’t just create a copy. I produce quality copy that expresses what you want to communicate clearly and in your voice.

Different Search Intent 

Part of creating good website copy is understanding different search intent. People have written thousands of words on the sales funnel! So you (or your writer) should know that different website copy serves different purposes. 

And you should understand the search intent of specific phrases and write your content accordingly. 

Honestly, this is a big subject to throw toward the end of a blog, but I promise to speak more about it later. 

Do You Know Your Website’s Purpose? 

So, do you know your website’s purpose? And equally importantly, is your website meeting that purpose?

I can help.

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