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So far Stuart has created 23 blog entries.

Calls to Action

calls to action will increase your bottom line onlineThere are times in the web design business where you get a phone call from a client that leaves you wondering whether or not you somehow managed to wake up in a totally different world to the one you went to sleep in. A world where basic website elements such as calls to action are of no importance.

A couple of months ago we were building a website for a new client and when they were happy with it we made it live.

The next day I got a phone call from a close relative of the client who told me that he needed to talk to me because his relative (our client) really didn’t know much about websites and there was something on every page of the website that needed to be changed.

That was a little surprising but, because I knew that this person had bankrolled the website, I felt that I should listen.

Basically what this person objected to, and wanted changed, was the call to action at the foot of every page. Our client was selling a service so the call to action asked people to call his number to arrange a free quote.

Calls to action are fundamental

Calls to action are fundamental to any website that is selling a product or service … they have been for all the years that Toni and I have been in this business and they will be for years to come. Basically calls to action are a necessary part of a website because, if you don’t ask you don’t get.

When it comes to websites and encouraging people to buy what you’re selling, you have to tell people what to do and if you don’t tell them they leave without doing anything positive.

However, according to the guy who called me, calls to action were a sign of desperation and he wanted me to remove every one of them. And he had the experience to back up his demands … he had built a website.

Yes, one website and that was enough to make him an expert.

I won’t detail our discussion but the calls to action are still there on every page of the website and the website, combined with our client’s Facebook business page, is working very well … as we knew it would.

Actually, over the years, we’ve had a number of people who questioned whether or not they needed a call to action. We’ve been told that calls to action are too aggressive … that people don’t need a call to action to tell them to buy a product or call about a service … people know what to do without those rude and blatant calls to action.

Do they? Any A/B testing where A has a call to action and B does not will quickly show you that without a call to action on every relevant page your website won’t work as effectively as you would want it to.

So no matter what you might think of those directives to buy now or call now be sure to include them because they work.

By |January 3rd, 2016|Websites|Comments Off on Calls to Action

3 Fundamental Rules of Web Design

ClipboardHere are 3 rules of web design that you should ALWAYS remember when you are thinking of designing your website, re-designing your website or making alternations to your website.

Forget any one of them and your website could turn into a waste of time, money and space.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should
There are lots of things you can do with a website and lots of things you can include in your website.

You can have bright colours, flashing lights, dancing bears, your favourite music from your teenage years and much more but just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

If your website is about selling your products or services how will dancing bears and your favourite music improve your chances of making a sale?

If your website is about business, then your website needs to look professional. It needs to look like a business website.

It needs to send a message to the people who visit your website that they can rely on your business.

Will dancing bears, flashing lights and music do that for you? I think not.

Just because you do doesn’t mean anyone else does
Beauty might be in the eye of the beholder but when it comes to websites the “beauty” perceived by the website owner is seldom what anyone else sees.

You might like pastel colours, unusual fonts and something quite different for the navigation but is that what your site visitors want to find?

Do they want to have to squint to ready your text or struggle with fonts that may look wonderful but are impossible to read?

When it comes to business websites your potential customers want the information clearly displayed in a format that they can understand.

If they can’t find the information that they are looking for then they leave because they know that someone else will give them what they want.

If you’re not in the business of entertaining then don’t try and entertain.
If you have a business website then it’s there to sell your products or your services … and maybe do a little educating as well.

It’s not there to entertain people and the more you try to entertain the fewer sales your website will generate. When people come to a business website they expect information and some way to buy what you’re selling … they don’t want to be entertained and if you try they will perceive that as being a waste of their time.

While most people tend to waste a lot of time online they don’t want to do it when they are trying to do business.

Every item that goes into building your business website should be there for no other reason than to sell your products or services.

Anything that doesn’t do that is a waste of space and will only encourage people to look somewhere else for what they want.

By |December 29th, 2015|Websites|Comments Off on 3 Fundamental Rules of Web Design

Your Website is Not About You

WarningI know, the title of this post clearly sounds as though I have lost my marbles.

How could your website not be about you?

If your website is not about you then who is it about?

Well the simple fact is that I haven’t lost anything and I am definitely not joking when I say that your business website should never be about you.

I know that is undoubtedly hard to accept or believe and if you don’t accept what I have just said then you’re not alone. A great many business website owners, and web designers, out there don’t understand that fundamental fact.

They believe that their website is very definitely about them and they want to tell their customers all they can about themselves … but their potential customers, and your potential customers, don’t care.

All any potential customer cares about when they visit a website is what’s in it for them. What will the product or service that a business website is selling do for them?

They don’t care if you have been in business for five months or 500 years. They don’t care if you are carrying on a family tradition or honouring the memory of someone who was near and dear to you but has now passed away.

They don’t care if you love dogs, drive an exotic sports car and are only seen at the best parties. All they care about is what your product or service will do for them.

Will it improve their life? Will it save them money? Will it solve some problem that they have been struggling with for years?

Can they have it immediately? Will they have to wait for weeks to have it delivered? Does it come in their favourite colour? Will they be the first on their block to own one? Will they be able to return it if it doesn’t work?

Will you really deliver it or are you going to take their money and skip the country with it?

Those are just some of the things that people are interested in when they are visiting your business website.

Is your website going to answer those questions or is it going to tell them over and over again how good you are and how wonderful your product is?

If you don’t answer their questions; if all you want to do is make yourself, or your business, look good then your potential customers are going to leave without buying a thing.

In short, your website needs to stress the benefits of owning your product or using your service.

By |December 27th, 2015|Websites|Comments Off on Your Website is Not About You