How to Have Effective Calls to Action on Your Website

onlinemarketing-componentsYou’ve put a lot of attention into the look and feel of your website, yet you’re not seeing visitors convert to customers as often as you’d like. This is an excellent opportunity to look at your web copy to determine whether it’s effective at getting people to do what you want them to on your website.

Effective Calls to Action

Getting people to do what you want them to isn’t some sort of crazy magic. It’s a matter of guiding them to do a specific thing through what’s known as a call to action, or CTA.

A call to action is simply the wording you use to nudge someone to do something. It could be in bold at the bottom of a web page, in a sidebar, or in a big red button. Wherever it is, your call to action should, in no uncertain terms, be clear and let visitors know what they need to do next.

Why You Need Them

A web page without a call to action is simply an informative page of copy. There’s no clincher. Now, people aren’t stupid, but sometimes you’ve got to make them feel like they’ll miss out if they don’t take that action. Your copy should tell them all the benefits of buying your product or subscribing to your email list. But that’s not enough. You need just a gentle push — and that’s your call to action — that will make them fall into your sales funnel.

And, in fact, people come to expect them. They’re looking for what to do next. They’re curious about what happens after they click that text. So meet their expectations by including strong calls to action on your website.

Secrets to Successful Calls to Action

The biggest tip I can give you for your calls to action is to only use one on a page. That is to say: give only one option. You can have that same call to action several times on the same page. Just don’t create different options (Subscribe now! Buy here! Sign up!) or you’ll overwhelm your visitors, and they won’t take any action at all.

Each page on your website should have its own call to action, and it might be different from those on other pages. Even your emails and your blog need calls to action!

While the best place for a nice, visible call to action is at the end of your web copy, if you have longer copy, you can also sprinkle other versions of the same CTA throughout the page. It may take some testing to determine the best position for your calls to action that will get the most clicks, as well as how many is the right amount before website visitors feel inundated by your CTAs.

Getting Your CTA Copy Right

The more precise you are with your call to action copy, the more likely people will be to take the action you want them to. Use strong command words like:

  • Click
  • Buy
  • Subscribe
  • Register

These words make it absolutely clear what you want visitors to do. If you can fit in a benefit as well (which may be challenging if you’re space-constrained, like you are on a button), do so:

  • Click to learn more
  • Buy yours before supplies run out
  • Subscribe to our email to save 25%
  • Register to amp up your selling game

You want people to think, “If I do this, I’ll reap some pretty great benefits, so I’m going to do it.”

Just make sure the benefits are in line with what your customer wants, not what you want.

Another tip is to make your call to action time-sensitive. People need to call now or sign up today. This gives people impetus to take action now rather than putting it off until later. When you’ve got someone on your website, you want them to do that one thing before they leave your site and forget about you, so that’s why time is of the essence.

If you’re trying to get people to buy something and are offering a discount, always use numbers to show how much they can save. That could be “shave 25% off of your order when you buy today” or “get this product for just $19.99 plus a free gift, for a limited time.”

Using numbers is more concrete than just talking general savings, and you’ll likely see a higher conversion from these types of CTAs.

Pay Attention to Results

If you look at how many people clicked a given call to action link, you can get valuable information about which verbiage, color button, and placement got the best results. Maybe one landing page with a flashing blue button got a lot more purchases than one with eight mentions and a yellow button. This is fabulous data that you can use to shape your future call to action creation strategy.

Play around with different wording, color buttons, offers, and placement, and see which get you the best results.

Having strong calls to action on your website are essential to get people to take the actions you want them to.

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