U-C WEBS' founder Nardo KuitertBy Nardo Kuitert, U-C WEBS
[Published in The Wellington Advertiser, March 2009 for the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce]

Starting a website is usually no easy task. There are many things to consider, like:

  • What should the design look like?
  • Which images should be included?
  • Do I already have a good logo, or is this the time to revisit my corporate identity?
  • What should I be writing about?

Many people get a headache just imagining thinking about all of this. But you reap what you sow; without thinking these matters through, you can only expect your website to exist – not to perform.

Asking a friend or family member for help is always a good idea, as you expand your horizons a little bit. Getting input from a professional web developer is very valuable as well; he or she will be able to help you organize your thoughts and develop a site structure that works.

One area where professional feedback can be of even greater value is in the area of “Call to action”. What this means? I have been on many pages where I wondered what the site owners wanted me to do. Or even worse: I did not wonder about anything at all, and just left – confused. The fact that I have to ask myself “OK, what next?” means that the site owner did not put enough thought into his or her site. And because if the content of a site is not obvious and effortless, I’m out of there; to see if the next website is more customer-oriented.

Do your pages have an invitation for the visitor to act, like “Subscribe To Our Newsletter”, “Add To Cart” or even just a “Contact Us Today”? Without these clear calls to action, many visitors will just click around your site aimlessly – and leave.

A few tips:

  • Many call to action items are rectangular buttons; people expect them.
  • Make those buttons stand out, so people see them immediately when scanning the page.
  • Orange seems to be the best colour for those buttons, with red or yellow as second best.
  • Send a clear message with your buttons. So, not the ambiguous “Click here” (just the phrase “click here” does not indicate why people have to click), but something targeted like “Get Your Free Whitepaper”, “Ask For Your Free Quote ” or “Enroll Now!”.
  • Don’t just place the buttons near the end of the page, but also “above the fold”.

Want your visitors to do something on your site? All you have to do is ask…

Nardo Kuitert is an Internet Consultant with Fergus Website Development and Optimization firm U-C WEBS (www.u-cwebs.com). U-C WEBS also offers Internet advertising opportunities on www.ferguspages.com. (link opens in a new window)

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