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Submitted by Jason Turnbull

Have you ever left a website because you couldn't figure out how to buy something or it took 5 clicks just to find what you wanted?

Sometimes a website is perfect at identifying the call-to-action, but you have no idea what it will do. Will it take you to an information page or will it lead you down the Internet version of the Wonderland rabbit hole, wasting your time and spamming you with irrelevant details.

It's easy to criticize, but identifying what is wrong is the best way to learn what is right.

When you come across one of these websites that torture you with frustration, take a moment to compare it with your own small business website design. Find the reason it sucks and do the opposite.

Avoiding confusion

As an example, take a look at webuyanycar.com

Difficult to understand call-to-action

This isn't the worst small business website in the world, but it successfully confused the heck out of me. If you were wanting to sell your car, which action would be most important to you?

Possibly the "Value my car" option?

Apparently the post-it board...

Submitted by Jason Turnbull

The supermarket Gondolas are so damn good at getting our attention. I hate it. I always consider the products in those huge displays at the end of the aisle, accompanied by that terribly cheesy sales sign.

The fact is... they work. As we discussed in our Click Happiness post, it gets your attention.

It's possible to achieve that same attention grabbing effect with your business website, but it's not easy. In fact, we have all been guilty of playing hide and seek with our visitors at some stage or another. It's not intentional but it is the unwanted result we achieve by not following some core principles. Not sure what I mean?

Check out this marketing website. (Screenshot below)

Marketing website that is cluttered

It sells tickets to marketing events, offers a newsletter subscription and asks you to connect with them on social websites. Standard call-to-action options many of us provide. (In this post I am referring to call-to-action as the buttons or forms that allow your visitors to buy your products or sign up to your services).

When I came across this site for the first time, I felt like...

Submitted by Jason Turnbull

How supermarkets make great calls to action

What is the difference between getting the sale or letting a customer slip through the cracks of your website into the hands of the competition?

Visibility.

Have you ever paid attention to the specials available in a supermarket? Next time you visit any supermarket, pay close attention to their slick impulse buying strategy. They face their important specials toward the entrance and are positioned at the end of the aisles, also known as Gondolas... Sorry Venice, supermarkets stole the name of your romantic boats.

These Gondolas display large signage, have plenty of space and make the specials more obvious than a lie coming from Pinocchio. Whilst I'm not a big fan of supermarkets in general, you can learn from their marketing.

What works in the offline world, commonly works in the online world.

For some reason, many of us still fill our websites like the regular shopping aisles instead of the Gondolas. So many options presented at once, our visitors don't know where or how to take action. It's too hard for visitors to stick around trying to navigate a website that appears more confusing than Joaquin Phoenix's change from acting to rapping.

So how do you turn your site from a shopping aisle to a Gondola?

Make it easy.

Easy to...

Submitted by Jason Turnbull

5 website advantages that lead to free advertising

Free small business advertising. Forget all of the other business website advantages for just a moment because free advertising tops them all. Television, radio and magazine commercials all cost a small fortune. Guest blogging, newsletters and Twitter don't cost a cent.

Okay so we are stretching the truth a little. Free is never truly free, it always comes with some sort of time or effort cost, the advertising we speak of will not cost you anything financially. So you could say it is financially free.

I can just picture the critics saying "Time is money!"... and they would be right. Either way, you won't pay cash for these forms of advertising.

Whilst there is going to be a lot of "free" talk in this post, we promise we won't dance on the back of a Zumba truck or try to sell you a Snuggie (surely everyone realizes this is a robe worn backwards?). The free talk we are referring to is free advertising online with your website.

Blogging On Your Own Website

The best part of business blogging, leverage.

One message can reach thousands of people. Want to advertise your products or services, write blog posts containing handy tips and tutorials for using your product....

Submitted by Jason Turnbull

Go crazy with your small business logo

I am the first to admit that designing a professional small business logo is a mentally tough job. The general process works as follows:

Brainstorm > Pull out hair > Concept design > Pull out hair > Design refinement > No hair left > Client is happy.

Currently we are working on one of the toughest designs possible. A complete redesign of a popular website we created a number of years ago. Most designers would agree that creating your own designs are insanely difficult because you have to act as your own client... and yes, some kind of weird role play does occasionally occur.

Would it be easier for us to turn to the dark side and find a template logo or website design to use? Of course.

Would a template logo and website design be professional?

Not a chance.

What's the problem?

Stating the obvious, we are a professional design company so template designs are out of the question. That should go without saying. But let's forget about our credentials for a moment. Let's focus on the website design in question.

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