Like Me? Follow Me.
Let’s face it; even intelligent people are not that intelligent when they’re online. They look at photos of cats that use very poor grammar, they call each other names in blog comments and they decorate their MySpace profiles with hot pink text on bright yellow backgrounds and loads of glitter graphics. You should never assume that any visitor understands anything.
Or, more to the point, just because a visitor has found your website does not mean that he knows what to do once he’s there.
One of the first rules of internet marketing is that you have to give your visitors what in the industry is known as a "call-to-action." You want to tell him "OK, you’ve seen this page and digested the information, now this is what you do next."
For example, if you sell several sizes of blue widgets through your online shop you will want to tell your users “Buy widgets now in our online shop” and provide a link to the shop. You want to do this both at the top of the page and the bottom, preferably in text and in a graphic. So you could have a graphical banner near the top of the page telling the user what to do which links to your shop and an emphasized line of text at the bottom, also providing a link.
If you offer a recommendation service where a customer can provide details of what features they want out of a widget and you will tell them which of your widgets best suits their needs, then you could additionally provide a phone number or a form to fill out to get a response. If you don’t make your phone number obvious, people will not necessarily bother to look for it. Instead they will go find one of your competitors.
Your calls-to-action can be anything from encouraging users to download a brochure, phone for an appointment, sign up for a newsletter or buy a product, but they need to be clear, they need to be obvious and you need at least one (and no more than three) on every page of your website.
You may have the most informative page on the website about certain products and services but unless you tell users that they can buy products and services from you all they will take away from the page is the knowledge that certain products and services have many uses. Then they will go buy from a site which informs them in that they should “Buy immediately and with abandon from us!”
Now, go comment on this post, post haste.