Do you know what you want people to do when they’ve looked at each page on your website? Every page should have a purpose, whether that’s to send the reader to another page with more information or to contact you by phone or email, or fill in a form, complete a survey, download a free report – the options are many!

It always astonishes me how so many websites tell people all the exciting things their product or service offers and then don’t ask for action. It’s like a sales assistant in a shop demonstrating the item you’re interested in and stopping short of asking you if you are going to buy it.

If you want to make your website work, you need to ask people to take action – and you need to make that action easy for them to take. This means that when you say ‘explore our product range now’ you don’t then expect them to scroll back up to the top of the page, find the menu, work out which page they want and then click through. You make the words ‘explore our product range now’ into a link so it’s almost a knee-jerk reaction to click on that and they’re exactly where you want them to go.

A couple of ‘don’ts’:

  • Don’t hide the link by just making the words a different colour or bold – people are not mind-readers and might not recognise that is a link. Use the web standard underline (ideally in blue) so there is no mistaking it.
  • Don’t say ‘click here for our services page’ and just make ‘click here’ into the link – that’s not a call to action and people using a screen reader will only hear ‘click here’; which doesn’t tell them anything useful!
  • If you’ve got a page you particularly want people to visit create a mini-ad and install it in the right hand column near the scroll bar so they have a clear and attractive call to action, with a button that looks like it takes them somewhere. Don’t rely on people guessing that the box is a link; many won’t.

    Online we are mostly impatient and lazy! We want results quickly and we don’t want to have to work hard to get them – make it easy for your site visitor to do what you want them to do.
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