Call to Action: An Essential Guide

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You’ve set up your sparkly new business and, with bursting enthusiasm, you start to use word of mouth to spread the word with friends, family and acquaintances. The general reply after the perfunctory congratulations is ‘you definitely need a website’.

You decide they are right (which they are) and you set about creating a site that is filled with compelling descriptions of your product with attractive pictures in between and you sit back and smile and know that this part of your work is complete.

It isn’t

Take a look at your website again.

It looks great, has fantastic text but does it align with your business goals?

Of course it does you say, it describes what I do and sell and there’s a contact page for leads and inquiries; so I’m good.

You are not.

call to action

Your website is a representation of your business and should, in itself, have its own goals. You want your target audience to avail of your products/services and the only way to guide them to do this is by using strategic Call to Actions on your site.

What is a Call to Action?

A call to action (commonly known as a CTA) is a link or button that is situated on your website to guide prospective leads to a landing page where they can perform an action of your choice.

These links or buttons are usually placed on website pages that attract high volumes of traffic due to their content type. The CTA then can guide that traffic to a landing page with a more specific goal that requires the visitor to complete an action that will benefit the business.

Benefits of a Call to Action

The benefits of a call to action vary with the type of request. This is why it is advantageous to place different types of CTA’s in various places and relate it to the content substance attached.

Learn or read more

You have driven traffic to your website and created fantastic content that garners attention. Once you have someone who is interested in your content then guide them to either a more in depth piece of writing or a product or service that relates to the context of the piece. Read More or Learn More should generate a click here.

call to action

Generate subscribers

People who read your content and find it valuable will more likely want to read more. They might not want to make a lead commitment now but they may like to keep tabs on your business and the content produced until they progress to a potential lead.

Gain new leads

We all know the benefits of creating a warm lead and, usually, if someone has taken the trouble to visit your website, they are interested in your business type. Like a spider to a fly, you want a good call to action to entice them to the specifics of your business and then have a reason for them to take further steps to be nurtured to the sales close.

Increase social following

call to actionEveryone wants more social media followers! We understand the importance of developing the right audience so we have a following of quality and who better than someone who has already shown interest by clicking on to your website!

Promote social sharing

What better way to spread the word about your business and the content on your website then through peer to peer sharing; for free. Having advocates of your business share your content creates organic audience growth and drives more traffic to your site that could become potential leads. It’s even better if industry influencers share your content due to their large following and the quality of their network.

Trial a new product

You may have warm leads that understand the value of your business yet are hesitant to take the plunge and become a sale. This call to action can give them a taster for free and get you one step closer to a sales close.

Promote an event

You may be having a private sale or be conducting a webinar, training session or conference. What better way to get people to sign up for the event than through your website. With this type of call to action you can create awareness or generate ticket sales; make it exclusive to entice people to feel that it is something they cannot miss.

Create a sale

The ultimate goal! It’s the reason why you created a website in the first place. All the call to action work done in creating leads and raising awareness boils down to customer creation. Make sure the content related to the placement of this call to action clearly emphasises the benefit of clicking on to the CTA and generating the sale.

Call to Action Creation Tips

New and innovative ways to create compelling visuals with call to actions are appearing regularly. Placing links and buttons are still great ways to add call to actions, however now you have the opportunity to create fantastic pop ups and heading banners that can remain fixed on significant pages of your site. Be imaginative with colours and shapes but make sure that they represent your brand to the optimum.

Buttons

Start with content that flies and the rest follows. A great way to guide visitors to other areas of your site is to attract with brief yet compelling content that makes the reader want more. Buttons that say Read More or Learn More can entice the visitor to do just that!

Links

Links are less attractive so, when you can, place an image alongside. Again, as with all CTA’s, the content it is placed beside should be the driving factor in the visitor taking the next step through a click.

call to action

Pop Ups

call to actionPop Ups can appear on the front or side of a page at intervals of your choice. Make sure you are strategic when using popups. They can be off putting if they detract a person from reading the content they specifically came to your site for. Employ sensibility in choosing the time and frequency and number of pages in which the same call to action ‘pops up’ on your site. We use Icegram to create simple pop ups on our site.

 

Bars

Bars can be unobtrusive yet eye catching and can be placed on all pages of your site. With the size of space available, make sure you use brevity when creating a clear and compelling message with your call to action. We use Hello Bar for the CTA’s on our site.

call to action

Text

When creating the text you need create an effective message with minimum wording. Don’t promise something that may not be there; manage expectations accordingly.

Use dynamic verbs at the start of your CTA. Words like Subscribe, Enter, Download, Win and Get Your invite the reader to take an action whilst knowing exactly what to expect.

Make sure the wording is clear and visible yet, as mentioned above, does not take away from the main content of the page.

Placement

When placing a call to action on your site, it should be relevant to the content already there. The CTA should be the next natural step that the visitor takes after reading that content.

Place your CTA’s on high traffic pages. If you have an active blog with valuable content; that is the ideal place.

Unobtrusive CTA’s, such as bars and CTA’s placed in the sidebar area of your site, are excellent for generic call to actions that may not place well with specific content topics.

Always place a call to action at the foot of a blog post. You will have worked hard to create compelling content for nothing if you don’t.

What types of Call to Actions do you have on your website? Let us know!

 

Cool Tool - Twitter CardsYou can create great Call To Actions with Website Twitter Cards! Take a look!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eileen McCabe

Eileen’s creative imprint weaves an interesting trail across the internet where she has written for many businesses within a wealth of diverse industries. A specialist in content creation and promotion, she also enjoys wearing the project management hat and has worked on many digital campaigns with established stakeholders. Having written extensively for both web and print media, Eileen believes that content should be written with specific goals in mind where words drive engagement, leads and ultimately sales. A co-author on a number of Social Business Reports, she has found that regular content creation that adds value to the online audience will most definitely add value to your brand reputation too.

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