There Are Only 3 Things You Can Do Online
During a recent foray into the world of coding, the marketing team sat down with our CTO Jody Hamilton. We’d recently learned that a website is built upon a content database, not unlike an Excel spreadsheet. The code calls up the appropriate information from the database to display on the site. We wanted to know what a database looks like, and what the code that organizes that content looks like.
Jody explained that while people think of websites as powerful tools, in reality, a user can only do a very limited number of things. Here they are, in no particular order:
- View text and images
- Fill out a form
- Click on a link
And that’s it. Mind blown. Everything else is built upon those three actions. Pretty much every business in the universe needs a robust website to present itself to potential or current customers and employees. And yet, it all boils down to a very small number of behaviors.
When you understand that your digital toolbox is based on these actions, you can start to make better marketing decisions. You can ask:
- What do you want your visitor to read and see?
- What information do you want to get from a form fill?
- What links do you want the user to click?
Everything you build should be based on the answers to these questions. Your graphics, images, animations, and copy are the domain of question 1. The information you need to qualify your leads is the domain of question 2. Your calls to action and user path is answered with question 3.
It’s a relief to realize that all the complexity of your site is an expansion of these three actions. On the other hand, it’s daunting to know that all the bells and whistles in the world won’t change the facts.
As you embark upon your site design, understand that there are not a lot of choices in your digital inventory. It’s not developers who create an engaging experience. That task is best left to the imagination of the marketing team.