Calls to action on your website are key to ensuring your site generates not only traffic but business
What is a call to action?! It’s the buzz phrase at the moment in website usability, its all about ways to improve your conversion and retention rates. Following the boom of pay per click, it has become all important to justify return on investment.
As you would expect in a high street shop, its not necessarily good enough to get the customer through the door to ensure a purchase. We have infinite options as buyers online, and you need to engage to make me think twice about making a purchase or enquiry with your business.
A call to action is exactly that, a request to your visitor to carry out an action that benefits them and your business. Whether a click, purchase, enquiry, review, like or any other action you might like your customer to experience. To do this you have to engage and convince them its a good idea.
This shows itself in every aspect of online sales and marketing, not just at the checkout or on the homepage, but each step of the way, from capturing their attention, leading them through a process and ultimately to a long term client-customer relationship.
Search engine content – the position and content of your business on the search engines is critical to generating volumes of visitors, whether organic or paid for these listings are still the most popular way to find information (social networks are part of this information directory but may become the leader in the near future)
The words and the tone of these listings is your first call to action – click on my site, read my blog, get the best fastest cheapest biggest here… NOW!!
Equally they may be in other forms of advertising or branding, placing the name/brand/idea in the mind of your target audience, along with key trigger images or words can envoke reaction. Direct sales marketing through banner adverts or promotions on other sites or mediums is a good example of this.
So getting visitors to your site is the call to action, and how you go about doing that is entirely based on your target audience, both online and offline methods can be really effective. In some cases the call to action is to log the image/experience so that in future if the person sees your brand or product it will seem familiar to them and make them more likely to engage with you further … click!!!
First site visit – the first impression of your business is already forming in terms of how they reached you, if it was by personal recommendation it could be starting from warm, if the visitors has a problem they are trying to resolve the feeling may begin more negatively.
As a person hits your website for the first time they immediately get a perspective of your business, its quality, its approachability, and its perceived relevance to them. In this sense the call to action is to stay on your site and look further. So this might be gained through calling the person to click deeper into your site with a message that stands out on the page, on a product page this may be promotions that make the sale more attractive, like quick or free delivery.
Even if a ‘completed sale’ is not made first time, other ‘calls to action’ can be executed on the site encouraging the visitor to engage with you further.. free further information, follow our blog, email news, competition.. things that benefit both your business and the customer, and encourages them to engage and provide their information to you.
Follow up actions – within your additional engagements should reside further calls to action to transform the potential customer to a paying customer, the aim is to convince them that they want to work with or buy from your business
Repeat calls to action – the repeat customer is the holy grail of customers, the ones that keep coming back for more, tell all their friends and generally champion your business. Keeping them engaged is a tricky business and one which requires a targeted and dedicated strategy.
We see the loyal customer ‘call to action’ reversed in social media now with people sharing their experiences, good and bad. Big brands are having to respond to these customer ‘calls to action’ very quickly to keep up appearances, especially those with a core customer service pledge. Other businesses are using it to effectively engage with their audience to discover new ways of improving their offerings, or simply to raise their profile within a particular niche.
There are 3 stages of buying, the idea and discovery, the shopping about and finally the purchase. At the first stage its all about information, it’s a key area to provide actions that enable you to continue the conversation with your user, whether its liking your facebook fan page, subscribing to your blog or email news, perhaps the temptation of a future discount to act as an incentive to engage.
Its equally clear to remember, yours might not be the first site someone has looked at, they might be at stage 2 and know what they want and now are looking for the best deal, make it easy for people to find things on your site, without having to click through reams of information, and call them to action at every step of the way, lead your potential market through the door, form a relationship and when they hit stage 3 they are primed to convert to a paying customer!