Your “Call to Action” – Getting visitors to meet a website objective


Two weeks ago, we talked about reviewing why your company has a website. We explored why your site exists, what will get someone to visit your site again and again, and how you will measure success.

There are really two parts to any of the aforementioned website goals, 1) figuring out a reason to get a person to visit your site in the first place, and 2) having that visitor complete an action. Let’s explore this second point in more depth.  Completing an action can take many shapes and forms. This could be anything from filling out a contact form, subscribing for an email newsletter, volunteering for an event, or if you do sell a product online, to put something in your shopping cart and checkout.

Each of these can be called a “Call to Action” (aka CTA).  The “Call to Action” brings together the goals of the site by providing something that is measurable, provides a destination for a visitor and really brings focus to the website experience.

But how do you get someone to complete your “Call to Action”?

  1. Make sure its highly visible. Put it on every page.
  2. Bring focus to the CTA. Make it a colorful link or button to draw attention to it. Put white space around it so it stands out.
  3. Keep your CTA in the same general space and near the top of the page. Don’t force your visitor to scroll all the way to the bottom to find out what to do.
  4. Do not have more than one or two CTA’s on any given page of your site. You don’t want to confuse the visitor with too many choices.
  5. Use words that encourage action (verbs like “Call”, “Buy”, “Subscribe”) and avoid cliche terms like “Click here”.
  6. Create a sense of urgency and a need to act now with terms such as “for a short time only” and “offer expires mm/dd/yyyy”.
  7. Be sure to clearly communicate what the user will receive when they take action. If its a newsletter, describe the frequency, if its a file download, tell the user the size and the file type.
  8. When your CTA is a form, make sure you only collect the data your really need. Each additional form element can reduce responses by more than 10% each in some cases.
  9. If you do have a CTA that requires a lot of time or monetary commitment, have a secondary CTA that is easier for a visitor to take action on like signing up for a newsletter.
  10. Provide a small incentive for your CTA. Give a coupon or special whitepaper.

Have you implemented a “Call to Action” that was particularly effective? Let us know what has worked for you.

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