Every element on your website has a persuasion role to fill. Otherwise what is the point? If the purpose of your site isn’t to persuade your visitors to do something, then you need to rethink what the purpose of your website is. Even if it is just to read the next article that you have written.
The Business Dictionary defines persuasion as:
a process aimed at changing a person’s (or a group’s) attitude or behavior toward some event, idea, object, or other person(s), by using written or spoken words to convey information, feelings, or reasoning, or a combination of them.
A process of changing behaviour by using written words to convey information.
Internet users have short attention spans and make quick decisions based on what they see and what they read. If your website doesn’t persuade your visitors to stay on your website then their current behaviour will kick in – and that is to leave. And then they are gone forever.
move your visitors further
You must move your visitors further into your conversion process of closing in on the purpose of your site.
If you write articles then you probably want them to leave their details so that you can let them know when you publish your next post. If you sell items then you want them to add items to their cart and then checkout.
But … even a simple add-to-cart button can undermine this forward momentum. And the key is that you won’t know whether that button is a culprit unless you test. Your goal is to create a system that meets the needs of your customers. And when you better serve your customers, you better serve your business. Testing allows you to hear what they have to say.
In 1923 Claude Hopkins wrote:
Almost any question can be answered cheaply, quickly and finally, by a test campaign. And that’s the way to answer them – not by arguments around a table. Go to the court of last resort – buyers of your products.
So once you have identified the reason that you have a website, the next step is to identify all those areas where you can persuade your visitors to move the process forward. A next or previous button. Add to cart. Checkout. Subscribe. Read. Share. Recommend etc. All those items that convey information to change behavior.
And then you need to test, test and do more testing to see why your visitors are, or are not doing what you want them to do.
Good luck … but before you go can I persuade you to subscribe to my newsletter? 🙂