A call-to-action is an absolute must-have for any website–no matter what its purpose. Visitors who engage stay on the site longer and that not only increase conversion levels, it decreases bounce rate.
You can spend hours looking at call to action examples, but in the end, they still only be examples of call to action which don’t do you much good. What you really need to do is not copy one or more call-to-action buttons, but understand just what a CTA is and how it can best be implemented to get visitors to act and follow-through.
And those follow-ups are vital to your online success. Visitors won’t act unless compelled. Nor will they act unless your website explicitly tells them what action to take. It’s not barking orders or coercion, it’s merely giving them direction that will end-up benefiting them in some way.
Why a CTA is Invaluable
The technical call to action definition is content, images, audio, or video which prompts a reader or viewer to perform an immediate activity. For websites, these can be phrases such as “Talk to Us Now”, “Click Here”, or “Call Now”. In both traditional marketing, as well as website design, an advertisement, promotion or even sales copy is considered to be wholly incomplete and ineffective without a marketing call-to-action.
What’s more, your website should contain ubiquitous contact information. This is a necessity because some visitors might feel uncomfortable with making a purchase or performing a directed activity. It also gives them the reassurance that there’s a person behind the business blog posts and they can ask questions.
Your call to action and contact info should be on every landing page so customers don’t have to spend time trying to find out how to reach you to make a purchase. Invite your customers to call or email you. —Inc.com
What the best call to action does is not “boss” people around. It promises a benefit and encourages interaction between them and a company. With a level of personability, visitors are more likely to follow a CTA rather than ignore it. So, while it has to be compelling, it likewise must be trustworthy.
The Top Call-to-Action Must-Haves
As the nearby block quote points out, a website that wants to up its conversion rates ought to have two elements on every single page: a call to action and contact information. Though there may be some measure of redundancy in doing so, it ensures visitors have ample opportunity to take action. In other words, a visitor might not want to sign-up for a newsletter but do want to be included in your RSS feed or follow your company on a social network. Or, they might want to reach out about a strategic partnership.
If you want visitors to follow your CTA, then it will have to include certain elements which make it persuading. So, let’s look at the must-haves for a call to action:
- Start with the right action. Think about what it is you want visitors to do most. Do you want them to get a quote? Do you want them to phone your sales team? Do you want them to register for a newsletter? Or do you want them to click a link to a product page? Whatever that thing is, that should be the action you include.
- Make your CTA actionable. Okay, that sounds repetitious but it’s true. Whatever your call-to-action directs people to do, it should allow them to do it. So, if its an email, then make sure it auto-populates with the right address and subject line. If its a chat button, it has to connect. If its to get a quote, then have it deliver on its promise. In short, it has to function as “advertised”.
- Use the K.I.S.S. principle. Follow the old rule of keeping it simple. Give enough information to pique their interest but don’t overload. Start your CTA with an action verb. Words like “Talk”, “Get”, “Contact” and “Call” are good examples.
- Make it important; make it stand-out. Your call-to-action should be highly visible on your site. That doesn’t mean putting dozens of CTAs on each page, it means making it conspicuous. Use a contrasting color to make it stand-out and easy to read fonts.
- Be consistent with your CTA. Put it in the same place on each page–the header is usually one of the best places, and, keep it consistent in language. Repetition works and changing-up the wording might confuse visitors.