Are You Making These Mistakes On Your Website? (Part 2)

Your website is one of the most important marketing tools your business can have. It is your 24/7 salesperson that never sleeps. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most ignored parts of your business. Last time I talked about the issue of having an outdated website. This is the second of a series of articles that discuss common website mistakes, and how to correct them.

No Clear Call To Action

When I arrive at a website, I want to know one thing – what to do next. If I have to stop and figure out what to do, my interest level decreases and my chance of using your product or service diminishes.

An easy to use, well laid out website is a joy to use. When I can easily find my way around, and know exactly where to click, it becomes a very good user experience me. Steve Krug wrote a great book back in 2005 called “Don’t Make Me Think“. While he goes into many facets of website design elements, the basic theme throughout the book was to keep things simple and to let users know what we want them to do once they get there.

A “Call To Action” is just that – asking your visitors to do something. When visitors reach your website, what is it that you want then to do? Do you want them to :

  1. Call you?
  2. Email you?
  3. Buy something?
  4. Hire you?
  5. Download a PDF?
  6. Register for an event?
  7. Make a donation?

Everything you have on your website should lead the user to that call to action. Your content must not only clearly explain the features of your product or service, but must also speak to the benefits, thus encouraging your client to take action. The call to action itself must be very visible and very obvious. Here are a few suggestions for effect calls to action.

1. Make the call to action very obvious – Use a button with a contrasting colour, make the button large and place it in an area where it is easily seen. In the case of Firefox, they choose a mainly green button against an orange background. The downward pointing arrow lets the user know that they will be downloading something – in this case the latest Firebox browser for Mac. The button also lets the user know the download is free.

Firefox Call To Action

2. Explain the benefits – Give your readers a reason to click, call, download, buy, order, etc. In the case of Akismet (a WordPress plugin for controlling spam), the website states the problem (unwanted spam), the feature (Protection against spam within minutes), and the benefit (say goodbye to spam). The button is in a contrasting colour, so you immediately notice it on the page.

Akismet Call To Action

3. Make use of large fonts – Make a bold statement using larger than normal fonts. In this example, the actual button can handle being smaller, because the eye is first drawn by the larger font. The button is in a contrasting colour which effectively draws your eye to it.

HBloom Call To Action

Now it’s time to take a look at your own website. Do you have a clear call to action? Is it easy to see? Are you drawing your visitors to the action you want them to carry out?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments. I’d be glad to have a look at your website and give you some advice on how to improve your call to action.

 

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Mark Pridham

Mark Pridham is the owner of The Pridham Group, a digital agency based in Saint John, New Brunswick. A life long resident of Saint John, Mark is passionate about design, entrepreneurship, and supporting and promoting local businesses.

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