I’ve been designing and developing website for many years. I have built static portfolio sites all the way up to completely customized content management and ecommerce systems. Over the years I have learned a lot of lessons, some easy, some by trial and some lessons came the hard way with errors. One thing I can say definitively and universally:
If you don’t ask for the sale,
you will never get it.”
What does that mean? You have to have a good call to action (CTA). A CTA can be a button (like the BUY NOW above), it can be banner ad and it can just be text or text link. In all cases and no matter which method you use, a CTA is meant to help a visitor understand what you want them to do. The simplest example is an ecommerce website. At some point you want the visitor to purchase your product. Hopefully you’ve clearly defined the purpose or goal of your website (that helps). Hopefully you’ve done all the search engine optimization to get good quality traffic to your website. And hopefully you’ve have used best practice design/navigation/search to help funnel those visitors to the products and services that they have need for. So assuming all of those things and a customer makes it to the page they need to be on, a good CTA gets all up in their face and say’s “right here dummy, click me”. You shouldn’t hide the “buy now” or “add to cart” button. Use a bold color that sharply contrasts the color palette that you use on the website. You don’t have to use red or orange. If your sites primary color is one of those, it wouldn’t standout at all. Use text that is clear and binary, “buy now” and “purchase” for example. You can’t get more clear than those.
Ecommerce is not the only time you might need a good CTA. Every website should have a goal. In many cases the end goal or conversion is not an ecommerce transaction. Many times the purpose of a website is to encourage visitors to download something. Maybe you just want them to complete a form or sign up for a newsletter. Sometimes you just want to encourage visitors to call for more information. In all of these situations, you need a CTA. “Sign up for our Newsletter”, “Download Specification Sheet”, “Contact Us for More Information” or “Register to Win” are all great examples. If this is the purpose of your website, you need to drive the visitors eye to them. Again, using contrasting colors, bold and clear text and in the case of banner adds animation all accomplish that purpose.
Probably don’t use images like this though.
If you have any question about CTA or agree or disagree with me, let me hear from you in the comments below.
Greenville, SC – We are very pleased to launch the brand new web presence for Ryan L. Beasley, a Greenville, SC criminal lawyer. Ryan is a trial lawyer and provides criminal defense and civil litigation services. Ryan needed a website that was well placed in the seach engines, easy to navigate and easy to update.
We are very happy to announce that we have launched two brand new websites. Two new businesses have shiny new websites. The Gateway Clinic of Chiropractic in Laurens, SC and Carolina Search Services in Greenville, SC.
Recently opening their doors for business, the Gateway Clinic of Chiropractic is located in Laurens, SC and will serve the upstate of South Carolina. GCC focuses on Upper Cervical Care and have one goal in mind, to be your “Gateway” to good health. The new website features a clean and easily navigable design with the latest in search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.
Peggy Zabel, owner of Carolina Search Services, has over 30 years of professional and corporate research services. The company focuses on custom research, fact finding, literature searches, and document delivery. Like the GCC site, the CSS website has the latest in SEO techniques. The website design is also setup to feature all the companies services as well as their testimonials.
Greenville, SC – Performance Fuel, a leader in sport nutrition and endurance, performance and muscle recovery supplements, is please to announce the launch of their completely re-designed and re-developed website. The new website is fully dynamic and is easily updated with a custom developed content management system (CMS) by web|aggression. In addition, the site has been developed to consider all aspects of search engine optimization (SEO).
VISIT THIS SITE: Performance Fuel Sport Nutrition
So you developers, coders and Mac people don’t like Internet Explorer (IE) and you REALLY don’t like IE 6. I see it on Twitter, I see it in the media, I see it every where [http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/03/25/save-the-developers-stop-using-internet-explorer-6/]. I know some of you don’t like it because you prefer Safari or Firefox (I prefer Chrome). Some of you point out legitimate technical issues with IE6. Maybe it’s not as compliant as other browsers or maybe it doesn’t have as many cool plug-ins or the performance isn’t as impressive. Maybe you just don’t like The Man (Microsoft). Whatever the reason you hate IE or IE6, GET OVER IT.
Personally, I am not a big fan of IE6. Although I use IE8 on a daily basis, it is not my default browser. I also use Chrome, Firefox and Safari every day. I say all that to point out that I am a seasoned browser user and I don’t have any hidden agenda here.
The push to “ban” IE is humorous. For you all that are promoting the ban…I love the big banners on your websites (attempting to force users to upgrade) and the little icons attached to your profiles (with the line through the IE logo). That’s all real cute. You seem to think that the visitors to your websites (your customers) need to change (are wrong), “let’s force the upgrade”. <sarcasm>That is a great customer service attitude people.</sarcasm>
I know that other browsers are gaining market share. I have read articles that IE only has 50% of the browser market now. What market are you looking at? Most likely a tech site with a more tech savvy customer base. I maintain the analytics for well over 50 websites and while browsers like Firefox have gained ground Internet Explorer on average still has 75% of the traffic. Of IE’s 75% on average I would say IE6 is about 17%. That is a pretty large segment of your market. So do you want to ignore them because they have a crappy browser? I bet the clients you are developing the website for do not.
In a perfect world, everyone would have an updated browser that is fully compliant. We don’t live in a perfect world. Many of my clients still get traffic from IE5. Am I saying you have to support every browser forever…NO! But if you are getting significant traffic from the browser no matter what version, you need to support it.
What I am attempting to say here is…bite your lip, put in the IE exceptions and make the site work across all browsers. You may not like it, it may be a royal pain in the butt, but if you don’t you WILL risk losing a customer/client.
We are please to announce the launch of MHProviderSearch.com. Mental Health Provider Search is the new source to find mental health professionals in your area.
Please let us know what you think.