To create a useful website, you need to ask your self  “Why do people use the internet?” .

Understanding what motivates people to visit your site and what goals they are trying to achieve enables you to create a website that is engaging, useful and valuable.  The trick is to make sure their goals support your business goals, then your website will be valuable to both your visitors and your business.

Here is a list of 10 reasons people use the internet and how your website can benefit from that motivation.

1. To find information

The web is such a rich source of information. It is now possible to trace your family history as far back as records allow. Wikipedia is one of the most widely used wiki type based sites. There are numerous news channels that enable us to keep up to date with the latest news. Information on anything and everything is easily available. Most of information searches start with a search engine such as Google.

Your website should be an information rich site where people come to find information. This enables you to be seen as an expert and a thought leader in your chosen field.

2. To be educated

Online courses are appearing all over the internet. Universities and colleges provide distance learning to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access education. Experts are finding it easier to share their knowledge by e-learning. Make up lessons, music lessons, cooking demonstrations. It’s all out there.

Can you teach people how do do something using ? It will boost your credibility and expert status. Simple ‘how to’ videos can go a long way.

3. To solve problems

Want to know how to change a tyre? How can you help your baby sleep through the night? How to stop back ache? If you have a problem, chances are someone has written about their experience somewhere and how they solved it. The internet is bursting with people who want to help others by sharing their experiences.

What problems does your business solve? If you can show people how you can help them solve their problems they will keep coming back to your website when they have a problem. They will remember you because you have already helped them.

4. To being social

As a race, us humans are very sociable. We love being in groups, we love talking, we love sharing our ups and our downs, we need to laugh together and we need to cry together. The internet and its many successful social networks are proof of that. We are now more connected than before.

Sharing ‘back office’ information about your business shows a human side that people will connect with. Connecting on social media allows you to reach people you might not reach otherwise.

5. To communicate

Services like Skype and VOIP allow us to use the internet for talking to each other. There are numerous messaging services that allow the sending of text messages for quick communication.

Nothing can replace face to face meetings but it makes more sense to jump on Skype call if you want to reduce travel costs. It is good to give people an alternative method to communicate with you.

6. To store and share files using cloud storage

Dropbox and google drive are just a few of the great ways which we can store documents, photographs, music etc somewhere safe that is not on our computer. Increasing the accessibility of our files should our computers break or get stolen.

Being able to back up your business files in the cloud can help with peace of mind. Sharing files online can make your work accessible to clients or colleagues without the need for waiting for files to arrive by snail mail.

7. To use cloud applications

Adobe Creative Cloud is just one of many examples where programs that were once ran on our desktop such as Photoshop, can now be accessed from any device. You only need an internet connection.

There are many business tools such as CRMs or Email marketing that mean you don’t need to be in the office to continue your day to day business activities. Your office can be completely mobile. Many business tools can also integrate with your website for extra functionality e.g. cloud accounting tools can register online purchases and send out invoices.

8. To watch movies

Renting DVDs is fast becoming a thing of the past. NetFlix is one of several successful providers of streaming video straight to your TV.

People love watching video so it makes sense to include short video on your website where it makes sense to do so. Webinars are also popular as long as they are delivering value and not overly promotional.

9. To listen to music

There are also music services such as Apple music where you can listen to all your favourites hits with one monthly subscription.

10. To listen to podcasts

Podcasts are something you can create for your customers can download and listen to. They could be podcasts of you talking about something happening in your business that is useful and valuable to your customers.

11. To play games

Online gaming ranges from pre school kids colouring butterflies, to gambling in virtual casinos. The are games to satisfy every walk of life and every interest.

Gamification is becoming increasingly popular. Giving people the ability to play while on your website increases their engagement levels. Games can include quizzes, polls or prize draws.

12. To sell things

The internet has many platforms on which you can sell. If you are a shopkeeper you can create an online shop and increase your business drastically. If you are doing a garage clearance and just need to shift a few bits and bobs, sites like e-bay and Gumtree are useful.

Even if you don’t own a shop you can still sell your services online. This might help to streamline your processes.

13. To buy things

Equally, if you don’t want to trek to the shops, you can buy pretty much anything online. It is easy to compare prices and find bargains all from the comfort of your home.

14. To market their business

The power of digital marketing is increasing. With better tracking tools and cheeper pricing it is more accessible to small businesses than traditional marketing such as TV and radio.  Budget spends for the future are predicted to grow for digital marketing and decrease for traditional marketing.

If you are not involved in digital marketing you are missing out on a great opportunity

15. Finding customers

Combing marketing and social media, businesses can strike up conversations easier and quicker with potential customers online. Enabling them to find more leads and make more sales online.

As more potential customers visit your website it is important to have the ability to get their data so you can nurture them into a customer.

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