A Call to Action (CTA) is as simple as the name suggests; you are encouraging the visitors to your blog or website to proceed from the page they are reading, onto a next step.
You could have the most engaging copy in the world, but if the reader isn’t invited to do anything once they have read it, they will leave your website and be of no benefit to your business.
Not all calls-to-action are relevant to all businesses, so it is vital to ascertain what you need your readers to do in order to make your web presence fruitful. It is the window to your business and the CTA your sign saying, “Come on in and buy.”
What is a Call To Action?
A CTA is the button on your webpage that invites the visitor to take action. The action they take is a step in the process of them becoming a client. You could have for example, four calls-to-action throughout your website.
The first one, on the homepage would invite the reader to READ MORE and they take the first step. The second one might ask them to SUBSCRIBE so they give you their email address.
Depending on your business, you can then ask them to share your website with friends, to gain more leads. Finally, you can close a sale in whatever form that takes.
How to Design a Call To Action
Your CTA needs an action word or instruction on it, for visitors to engage and click. Whether you need subscribers, sales, followers or donations, creating an attention-grabbing button will make it happen.
It’s usual to try out various types of calls-to-action before finding one that works best for your business. You need to put yourself in the reader’s seat to sense what step by step process will be logical for them and subsequently beneficial to you.
The success of each CTA can be easily monitored using an A/B Testing process. Using a platform like VWO will give you information based on the data that has passed through your Call To Action button.
Like the shop window sign, the CTA needs to attract the reader’s attention, before they move on. Typically, bright contrasting colours with bold, clear instructions are most effective, but there are several other key marketing strategies to consider.
What Works for You?
It’s important to focus on what you aim to achieve before slapping CTA’s all over your website or blog; you don’t want to confuse or frustrate visitors. Lead Generation is essentially the first CTA button and is used for data collection of your readers. The simplest way to do this would be with a Submission Form.
Neil Patel has a great guide for creating your perfect CTA’s and is in itself, a great example of CTA use. The visitor answers questions, clicking through to every one, before reaching the information they’re looking for.
Make your first CTA enticing and worthwhile to the potential lead, offering them more insight and information on the subject that they are currently looking into. A free download is a good carrot to dangle at this point, if appropriate for your business.
Other factors such as placement on the page, clearly defined benefits to the reader and sometimes placing a time limit or sense of urgency will improve click rate.
To ensure readers proceed along your trail, show only part of your material on the homepage with a Read More button pulling them through the front door to explore more of your blog or website.
Showing all the good stuff upfront may satisfy their need and they will leave.
A great, somewhat extreme example of this is entrepreneur and author, Gary Vaynerchuck. This sales-driven site is full of calls-to-action and you can’t reach any information without clicking on Click Here! Read More! Subscribe!
In the side bar there are more snippets of information about upcoming events, podcasts, subscriptions – all beckoning you to click through or sign up. The side bar will remain in place on other pages, so if it doesn’t grab you on the homepage, he can still get you to subscribe further down the line.
At this point he’s still nurturing the lead, they have committed to receiving more information and have lingered on the blog, exploring different pages.
Once the reader has clicked through, they are more likely to give their email address in order to listen to a podcast or read a newsletter, their interest has now been piqued. If Gary had no CTA’s on his website, the visitors would read the material and move away.
Effective calls-to-action are the key to making your website purposeful and beneficial to your business. Creating an attractive shop window is fruitless if it doesn’t entice people inside.
If you need help developing your business’ message and optimising your CTA, make sure to get in touch with us here.