What Are Calls to Action? Strategies for Placement

Call to Actions

Call to Actions

Content is King! This statement was never more true than it is today. Along with the internet came content marketing. For any business or organization to survive in this new world they must have a website and that website has to have a call to action. Now a Call to Action isn’t a new approach, it has been around for as long as people have wanted to entice others to do what they need them to do.

A new visitor to your site, most likely will not know the main purpose of your website or what you want them to do “buy this product”, “sign-up for my service or newsletter” – that is where Calls to Action come in. You need to tell your visitor why they need to do what you are asking them to in a very subtle, yet powerful manner.

Calls to Action that are well-placed and well-designed are critical to successful internet marketing. Calls to Action are a crucial tool used to turn a new visitor into a new lead or a paying customer. There is an art to writing effective Calls to Action, what works for one website or action most likely won’t work for another for a lot of different reasons. Testing is the best way to find the right calls to action for your target audience. The best method is to create two versions of the same page with different Calls to Action and gauge which one works the best for the desired result. This method is referred to as A/B testing, and it is a cornerstone for Call to Action creation and optimization. A/B testing is the idea of offering product A and product B, then monitoring how many people choose one or the other.

Factors to Determine the Correct Call to Action to Use

When deciding what kind of Call to Action to use on your website it is important to take the following considerations into account:

  • Where does the visitor fit in the sales funnel?  A new visitor isn’t in the funnel yet. A repeat visitor is already in the funnel. So you will need to customize a Call to Action to each type of visitor.

  • What are your visitors interests?  The topic of the page that the visitor entered your website on will tell you what information they are looking for. The Call to Action on that page will need to form a connection between the page content and what you want the visitor to do.

  • What type of offer will work best for your customers?  This takes some experimentation. Some websites are more effective with webinars and others get more traffic with e-books and white papers. With a varied approach, you will be able to come up with the right content mixture for your website.

  • What form of Call to Action will gain the most traffic?  Calls to Action can take the form of videos, contact forms and photos. Again, experimentation will help you discover what works best for your target audience.

Where You Should Place Your Call to Action on your Website

The placement of your Call to Action on your website is crucial. The call to action should be obvious to the visitor without being overbearing and its placement should make sense so it flows with the site’s content.

In most situations your Call to Action should be placed “above the fold”. This term comes from the newspapers and it literally means above where you fold a newspaper in half and create a fold. In regards to websites, this term means keep your Call to Action at the top of the site so the visitor doesn’t have to scroll down too far to find it. Again, without being overbearing, you want visitors to your website to see your Call to Action and be able to take advantage of it, without having to work too hard for it.

Another important consideration is to make sure that your Call to Action will deliver the visitor to the correct destination, where they can then be converted to a lead or customer. This destination is referred to as a Landing Page. Why would anyone want to buy your product or service if you can’t even get them to the correct page to do so?

Call to Action Optimization

When you have your Call to Action in place, you can then optimize it so it can obtain the highest click-through rates possible. Keep your Call to Action clean, simple and efficient. Creating a button or link with overbearing fancy fonts or several colors and a jumble of words is only going to turn your visitors off and drive them away rather than achieve your intention. A perfect visual to this theory is a garish blinky neon sign that says “Buy This” The last thing you want to do is come across as a desperate salesperson. A clean, concise message, that is well designed is much more effective and professional, not intimidating.

  • Your Call to Action should match the headlines on your landing page. Tests have proven that the more consistent you can keep the two, the higher your landing page conversion rate will be.

  • Include Calls to Action for different stages of the buying cycle. Different offers will appeal to different segments of the traffic visiting your site. In order to capture the maximum amount of traffic hitting your site you need to cast a wide net. It’s a good idea to include three Calls to Action on your website to capture an early, a mid-point and a late sales cycle visitor.

  • In addition to placing your most relevant Calls to Action on your homepage, also place them on every other website page and any blog posts you have. For example place them on any page that visitors will have access to including whitepapers, advertisements and any other pages on your site.

  • You should constantly test and monitor the efficiency of you Calls to Action to see how well they are accepted by your target audience. Test different messaging, colors and placement on your pages and see if you can get more pageviews on your landing pages.

Ultimately, you may need to play around with different calls to action before you find the one or two that work best for you. Remember to craft your call to action based on your target market and what you sell. Clearly outline what you want customers to do. If one call to action doesn’t provide the response you expected, try something different. Just like any marketing technique, trial and error may be your best guide for finding the perfect call to action for your business and target market.

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