Think your website is good enough? Think again.

I’ve spent a lot of time networking with people in an array of businesses across several industry sectors. These are the decision-makers. The purse-holders. And these are the business owners shaken to their roots by the economy.

The conversation begins with the usual exchange of what-do-you-do questions and answers. Since it’s my passion and it also happens to be my business, I eventually lead the conversation to the topic of online marketing in business. Often, the CEO says, “I like my website. It’s pretty good. We had it updated last year, and I really don’t think we need to make any changes.”

“Great!” I say. “Your conversion rate must be terrific. Do you mind me asking you what your numbers look like?”

“Conversion rate?” he asks casually.

“When people find you online — in this case, your website — what amount of that traffic is actually prompted to follow your call to action on the website? Do you get calls to your office, or do your visitors make a purchase on the website?” I ask.

“I’m not sure. I leave all that to our IT people. But, it must be good enough — we’re still in business,” he states.

I can’t argue with that. But, I can make an argument with “good enough.” It’s just not acceptable in business these days to have a website that does nothing more than conduct a one-way conversation with people online. Your website is not a brochure, although many owners think of it that way. It is vastly more powerful, if set up correctly.

When is “good enough” harming your business? When it’s not bringing you the results you need. Here’s what isn’t good enough — traffic to your site that leads to a dead end. No calls, no sales, no business. People aren’t visiting your website to see beautiful graphics and Flash content, unless that’s what your business specializes in. They visit your site to learn, to interact, to move in your direction, if you get them pointed that way. They begin to form a relationship with you online; they begin to make an emotional connection that leads to action in favor of your business’ bottom line. That’s a call to action. That’s moving toward “better” instead of “good enough.”

It’s rough out there. Marketing dollars need to be invested more prudently than ever before. The competition for attention online, let alone business, is ferocious. You have to make sure that your website is working for you — not just getting by on “good enough.”

Think about the call to action on your own business website. This is NOT the phone number or contact us page. Your call to action acts as a green light — a traffic signal — to “DO THIS NOW.” It’s an imperative — couched in a friendly little button or link that tells your visitor to take a left or a right turn, straight to you. When your website helps your visitors, it’s helping your bottom line. That’s good enough.


Create a Call to Action

We build a lot of web sites. We also rebuild a lot of web sites. And I can tell you that a lot of web sites don’t have a clear focus. A well-designed web site needs to have a clearly defined call to action for each and every page.

There might be several different calls to action on a site. Perhaps on the main page the call to action is to simply click a given link to learn more about a specific service or product. For interior pages of a web site, one of the most common mistakes I hear from web site owners is “The goal of this page is to inform or educate the visitor”. That, in itself, isn’t a bad goal but there still must be a call to action after the educating has been done. A simple “to learn more, call us at 555 555-5555” then gives the visitor something concrete to do after they’ve been informed.

You’ve seen or heard good calls to action on TV and radio. Call now. Operators are standing by. Call in the next 20 minutes for a special discount. Visit us on the web at . . . All of these are calls to action. For ecommerce web sites, the calls are much clearer. Add to Cart, Buy Now, Checkout, Details, etc.

You can have a variety of different calls depending on the purpose and scope of the site and of the individual page. Some good calls to action include:

  • Request to call
  • Add to cart / Buy now
  • Fill out this form
  • Email us
  • Complete a survey
  • Create a registration
  • Provide your info in order to be entered in a drawing
  • Become a member and we’ll give you more information

As you can see, there are many choices and ways you can craft your call to action. Go back and take a look at your web site. Do you have a clear call to action on each page?


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