One of the main aims of a business website is to generate new leads and customers. It is important to try and give as many options as possible for customers to interact with you and ask any questions they might have.

Skype buttonsToll free numbers and email are two popular choices. If you have customers that are not located in the same country as you, you might want to consider creating a Skype account for your business and have customers contact you through it. Skype is free to join and millions of people from around the world use it to make calls, as an instant messenger, conference calls and video conferencing.

As long as both parties have a stable, broad band internet connection, using Skype is basically free. You only need to pay for the service if you call land lines.

Skype also provides a number of buttons which you can add to your website, to let customers know when you are online and available for talking.

To add a Skype button to your website, visit this page on Skype's website.

Skype provides a couple of different designs for buttons. One is a static button and there is another one that automatically updates if the user is online or not.

You simply enter in the username of your Skype account and then choose the design. A small piece of Javascript is generated which you can then add to your website, which you can then simply copy and paste the code into your website, where you want it to appear.

If you use the dynamic button, so your customers can see if you are online or not, you need to change the privacy settings, in your Skype Account.

To do this, open Skype, then click the Tools menu, Options and then Privacy Settings. Then click "Show Advanced Options" . You then need to select the second last option on the page, "Allow my online status to be shown on the web". Finally click Save to save your settings.

If you hit refresh on your website, you should see your online status automatically updated.
You can see how it has been implemented on my partner's Lovina Property website.

Skype might not ever replace the regular telephone as a means for contact with customers, but if you have international customers, it can be a great way for them to call you without having to pay exorbitant international telephone rates.