Let’s face it. Nowadays, people on the internet are more distracted than ever.
They start by reading a news article and end up watching an obscure YouTube video 20 minutes later. Internet media has made people more susceptible to attention shifts. This means that it is the job of a small business owner, as the marketer of a company, to drive attention toward a business’ goals. One way to do this on a company’s website is through calls-to-action.
Calls-to-Action (CTAs) are images or text that prompt visitors to take a desired action, such as subscribe to a newsletter or download an eBook. As seen in the chart to the right, effective calls-to-action direct traffic to a specific page that is intended to convert visitors into leads. Think about CTAs as road signs for prospective customers, whereby they direct users down a path to take a desired action on a website.
In order to increase visitor-to-lead conversion opportunities, create multiple calls-to-action, distribute them across a website properly and carefully plan their execution.
So, where do you begin?
Let’s explore some marketing tips for making website CTAs more effective:
Create Based on Behavior
A great place to start when developing calls-to-action on a website is in Google Analytics. The buyer’s journey is defined as the pages that a user views on the website before the conversion occurs. Using Google Analytics, identify the path that users most frequently take upon arriving to the website. Pinpoint a specific page and see which pages the majority of users visit after that page.
For example, let’s say a business wants to encourage visitors to fill out a form on the “About” page. This small business’ owner notices that users most often visit the “About” page after viewing a given service page. So, this particular company should consider adding a CTA centered around the business’ unique value to that service page, in an effort to drive them from that service page to the “About” page. The key to user insights in Google Analytics is making educated guesses about what website visitors want to see next. The longer a small business keeps a user on its website, the more likely that user is to convert into a customer.
Location Is Key
Leveraging the power of calls-to-action includes the optimization of their placement. Without careful planning, a CTA could be overlooked or disregarded.
Calls-to-action should be spread across a website on multiple pages. The homepage, a common starting place, should direct visitors to three or more pages via calls-to-action. Each call-to-action should be catered to different sections of the website, targeting different user personas. Find ways to connect otherwise unrelated pages, such as the aforementioned example of service pages linking to an“About” page.
CTAs can also be included within the content. Just because someone already converted into a lead by downloading an ebook or reading a blog post, doesn’t mean that a business shouldn’t continue to nurture them with other related content. Create a chain of related posts by implementing calls-to-action. Continue to bring the user value and the likelihood of their conversion into a customer will steadily increase.
Clever and Optimized
Arguably the most important factor to a CTA’s success is its presentation. Keep it simple when crafting calls-to-action. Include a shortened, easy-to-remember URL in the text. Be clear about what is being offered. Be sure that there is value in what is being offered. For example, in exchange for a user submitting his or her email address to a mailing list, he or she gains access to a free eBook or an industry guide.
Begin with an action verb in the copy, such as “Download” or “Register,” to make a CTA action-oriented. Don’t “bait and switch” or trick users. Provide what they’re looking for. A successful call-to-action should tell them what to expect next.
Make calls-to-action clickable with links or buttons. Consider the colors of these calls-to-action, whether they are a button, link or image. There should be no mistake about where to click. Make all calls-to-action bolder and bigger than the rest of the content on the page. Test different messaging, colors, and page placement, and see which combination results in more page views on the landing pages.