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Persuading website visitors to do what you want

Far too many business-to-business website owners look no further than competitors in their market sector when assessing if their website is up to scratch. That would be fine if your prospects’ activities on the web consisted of no more than looking at your website and those of your competitors. Sadly, your average visitor probably has some wonderful sites in their browsing history, and that’s what they’ll be comparing you to.

In an effort to appear “professional”, most business-to-business websites simply appear boring, which is a very different thing. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the calls-to-action. Websites which have no pretentions to appear staid have dramatic “click here” and “buy now” graphics, and are not embarrassed about it. And these techniques work. No matter how much you’ve convinced the prospects that your products are for them, it’s amazing how many won’t take matters further if you don’t encourage them to.

For a great guide to “buttons that work”, the inevitable place to turn is the designers’ site Smashing Magazine. In Call to Action Buttons: Examples and Best Practices there’s a lot of good discussion as well as dozens of examples and notes on why they might be effective.

Maybe most will be too loud for your MD’s liking. But do bear in mind that this is the sort of thing web users are becoming increasingly accustomed to seeing. I think there’s a happy medium, and it’s certainly something we discuss in depth with clients when we’re commissioned to do website rebuilds.

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