Helping Jack with web design

My friend Jack sent me a note about helping him redesign his site. He gave me a few choices about what I liked, and no surprise, I didn’t like any of the choices (multiple choice is not my forte). Here’s what I wrote back:

Here’s what I think about a web page:

You only have four paths:
1. get someone to buy something right now
2. get someone to give you their email address so you can build a relationship
3. get someone to tell a friend
4. get someone to go to another page on your site.

That’s it. Only four things worth doing.

So, what are you trying to accomplish? (Hint: picking one works better than picking two, and picking more than two is silly.)

I think we’ve learned that for most ecommerce sites, #2 and #3 are the ways to win. If you visit, you can see that the entire site is built around this sort of thinking.

So, my advice to you is to figure out what you want, then figure out what you can get, and obsessively focus on doing just that.