4 Tips To Get Visitors To Click

    October 16, 2003

On many sites, it’s impossible to lead visitors straight to your primary goal on the home page. Getting visitors to take your most-desired action often means you have to use your home page to channel them down a certain path. You have to guide visitors through a set of choices before they can actually complete the action you want them to take.

It’s true that some websites revolve around a single product or a single service, in which case, it’s easier to move visitors to your primary goal immediately on the home page. However, your website may offer two or more products or services that are somewhat unrelated to each other, or that target slightly different audiences.

For example, I have a client who offers wedding planning (a service) as well as wedding invitations (products). Another client has his business divided into three major services-one each for small, medium and large businesses. A third client provides training classes for a particular piece of software, but he also offers consulting and support for that same software.

In all of these cases, the home page of the site has to offer multiple options for different groups of people. The goal of the main page is to get visitors to select the main category representing their needs.

If you have a site like this, visitors have to make a decision on your home page about which choice to select. This has to happen before they can pursue your end goal (which should almost always be for them to make contact with you in some way).

The crucial issue is getting visitors to click. And the sooner you get them to do that, the better off you are.

Why is this that action so important?

First, by getting visitors onto a sub page, you can eliminate distractions which might be present on the home page. After all, the main page has to offer multiple choices to accommodate different needs. But once the visitor has chosen a path, you can drop any elements that aren’t relevant to that particular path. You’re able to concentrate on leading the visitor through to your end goal.

Another benefit is that once visitors have moved to the second page, they’ll be primed to focus their attention. They’ve made a conscious choice to pursue something specific, which means they’ ll be more prepared psychologically to concentrate.

Finally, clicking a specific option means the visitor has engaged. Granted, the level of commitment is very small-the visitor can easily leave in short order. Never underestimate how fleeting a visitor’s attention span can be! Nevertheless, getting visitors to click is a small step in the right direction. They’ve taken action.

Of course, the practical question is, “How do I entice visitors to choose?” Remember these 4 tips:

1. Be vigorous. Use contrasts in color and size to help attract attention to the main options. Use clear, dynamic language to describe the different choices. Don’t take your vigor to extremes, however. You don’t want to look like you’re begging visitors to choose an option.

2. Keep it short and simple. If the focus of your main page is to get visitors to choose one option, get them to do that first. Then delve into more depth on the next pages. Important note: Long copy is not bad in itself, even on the main page. However, it’s used for a different purpose.

3. Don’t make it TOO short and simple. Visitors need enough information to make an informed decision. They ought to know precisely which category they fit into, so the choices should not be vague. Simply having three buttons in the middle of your home page without any explanatory copy doesn’t cut it.

4. Prioritize options. Your main page may require 15+ links, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prioritize them. If visitors see too many choices that are all ranked equally, they won’t be able to evaluate them all and won’t feel motivated to pursue any of them. Generally, you should have 2-4 main options that stand out in importance over all the rest.

You’ve got your work cut out for you. Get them to click!

Does your site have the essential ingredients that make customers buy? Jamie Kiley can help you find out exactly how your site needs to be improved. Sign up for a site review today at http://www.kianta.com.

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