The Call to Action: Is Yours Working?
One of the primary purposes of a business website and blogging is to increase business. You want customers to be able to find you, to learn what you're about, to learn about what products or services you offer, and then contact you. This process of turning website visitors into customers is called conversion, and one of the best ways to waste conversion opportunities is to make it difficult for the customer to reach you.
The Call to Action: What is it?
What it is specifically can be anything: a button, a banner, a clickable graphic, or a simple link. Its purpose is to make it easy for website visitors to take the next step towards becoming a customer.
Properties of An Effective Call to Action
Specific: You want to drive the customer to take a particular action. “Contact me” may not be enough. “Get a free quote today,” or “Try our free demo,” are pointed and guide the visitor along the path.
Relevant: The call to action should have something to do with that page's content – that's what got the reader there in the first place. If the page is an article about recent advances in steel siding, then your call to action should urge the reader to contact you for a free estimate or click to download a brochure. If the page is an industry article about current market trends, you can provide a place to sign up for weekly updates or the monthly newsletter.
Useful: Sales may be your number one priority, but it isn't always the very first priority of a visitor to your website. If the page they landed on is an introductory page, your call to action should lead them to more in-depth information rather than going straight to a purchase. Doing otherwise may feel pushy.
Visible. Use contrasting colors for buttons and text, or set the link off to the side where it won't get drowned in other text. The Call to Action should be easy to distinguish from the rest of the page and should be somewhere that a reader would see while skimming the page.
Don't leave it out! “Like us on Facebook,” “Follow us on Twitter,” “Visit our idea board on Pinterest,” “Share your recent experience on our Facebook page.” Connecting with your social media outlets is a good way for customers to learn more about you, your company's reputation with other customers, and to help them decide if they want to do business with you. Make your social media outlets easy to find by using buttons, and keep those outlets updated so visitors find good content when they get there.
Other Tips For Conversion
Make sure your phone number is prominent on every page of your website. Not everyone is going to want to click around to find it.
Create a special offer, and promote it on your website with a coupon or other graphic. People like deals and coupons, give them what they're looking for.
Have samples available. Whether it is a brochure to download, a sample size or trial version of your product, or links to pictures, give customers that are on the fence the convincing they are looking for.
Call to Action: Here's Mine:
Show me the links!
Never let an article or blog post go without a call to action at the end. Send me some links to your recent blog posts and I'll give you the words you're missing to make 'em click.