Knowing what call to action to put on website will be the difference between a real workhorse or a pretty pony that your business owns.
I do a lot of work with people before we even start creating their website to determine what we need to layout and what elements to include. It’s no use just building a website if we don’t know the goals the business owner has for it… So we take time to ensure that the objectives for the website are understood by all stakeholders.
There is one question I like to ask when we look at each page on a website – “What’s the one thing you want visitors to do when they come to this page”. So many times when we build our websites (and yes, I’m including myself here), we fail to put a call to action on our pages. We imagine (or at least I do) that our words and images on the page will be so compelling, our visitors will know exactly what to do. Unfortunately, in our zeal to share information with our visitors, we often overwhelm them with the details and it’s not clear what the next logical step to engage with us, is – we don’t put a call to action. We need to make it really easy for our visitors to know what to do….
Ask yourself how many times you’ve been to a site, found lots of great information but just not known what the next step to take is… or it’s not been easy to find a way to actually engage with the business.
Oh, but isn’t a Call To Action ‘hypey’…
A call to action is simply something that lets your website visitor know what to do next. It’s only “hypey”, if you want it to be. The Call To Action doesn’t have to be Red, Black and Red graphics saying “click here” or include big red arrows that point to the ‘offer’. The Call To Action on your web page can be elegant and respectful – sometimes maybe it should stand out and use “shock techniques” but it doesn’t have to.
I don’t want to “sell” from my website
I respect that – you don’t want to have a website that is constantly pushing visitors to make a purchase or buy from you but let’s be brutally honest – we’re all selling something in one form or another. We’re selling ourselves, our capabilities, the stories we tell on our blogs… and we WANT people to engage with us – in short we want to provide a business call to action. Whether that engagement is to actually make a purchase, join our marketing lists, signup to get regular updates, or simply to keep visiting and become part of our larger community really becomes immaterial – we want them to engage with us.
If you approach building your website with the mindset that you “aren’t selling anything”, then you’re going to be spending a lot of time, energy and money on an asset that does nothing.
It’s time to get over the fact that you’re selling from your site, embrace it and apply you’re own style to it.
So What Are You Selling
This could be the hardest question you will ever answer in your business – what are you selling? If you’re in business and building a business website, you’re most likely selling something but do you really know what that is?
The easiest way to work out what “you’re selling” is to ask yourself “What’s the one thing you want people to do when they get here…” – do you want them to:
- Call you
- Fill in a form to contact you
- Answer a survey
- Buy a product
- Sign up to get regular updates
- Tell their friends
- Like on Facebook…
These are just a few examples and the possibilities, whilst being a variation on a theme, are endless.
How to include a Call To Action
As I said above, a call to action doesn’t have be a garish image with bright red arrows that flash – that might help but depending on the niche you’re in, it might not too! You need to be really aware of what your Target Audience responds to and capitalise on that. If you don’t know what you’re Target Audience appreciates – do some testing, see what gets great engagement and what doesn’t (testing and tracking are key here!).
Call To Action Examples
Here are some ideas of adding Call To Actions to your website:
- Use a form on your website so that people can get updates in their inbox.
This should be eye catching and it should offer them something of value in exchange for their details. This form can be displayed to the side of your main content area, it can be embedded in blog posts directly (with the right tools or theme), it can be appended to the end of pages and posts or it could be one of those dreaded pop ups. There is no one right answer – you may find one technique works better for one niche or a combination may work. You could use Mailchimp’s RSS Driven or AWeber’s Blog Broadcast functionality to share your latest updates. If you don’t, and you have a WordPress blog, check out the subscriber functionality in JetPack.
- Add Like and Share buttons.
Whether or not you like or use Social Media, a good percentage of your website visitors will – make sharing your content ultra easy by adding sharing buttons (I recommend sharing buttons for Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and Linked In as a minimum). Share This is a great Social Media sharing service that works across just about any platform.
- Embed Contact forms at the bottom of most pages
It always amazes me that after I’ve read about a businesses services / offerings, I have to click to their contact page to get their phone number or fill in their contact form. We’ve had great success in adding the contact forms to pages where a direct action is likely – like services or products pages. With the right setup, we can also track which pages the forms are submitted from which helps a heap in refining our strategies
- Make Phone numbers ‘clickable’
OK, this doesn’t work for desktop viewers, but if you make your phone numbers “clickable” visitors who use a phone to browse your site can call you directly. No messing around with having to try and copy and paste the number, or remember it, it connects them directly with you.
That’s just a couple of ideas on adding Call To Actions to your website. You’ll need to test out what works best for your target audience and your website.