Using a call to action
An effective call-to-action will offer a solution to a problem and clearly express the advantages of responding. Ideally, each page of a website should contain some sort of “call-to-action” such as:
- Buying a specific product
- Visiting an affiliate link
- Downloading a file
- Filling in a form
- Registering an account
- Subscribing to a newsletter or feed
- Calling a phone number
Your call to action does not need to be the same on every page. Instead you can use smaller as “stepping stones” that help your website to achieve it’s ultimate goal or goals.
For example, the main purposes of a restaurant could be to increase the number of reservations and take-out orders.
“Stepping stones” or page-specific goals could include:
- Downloading a PDF of the take-out menu
- Sharing the website with friends
- Signing up for a weekly specials mailing list
The written content, photographs and site structure all work together towards these goals.
Potential clients of a web design company would certainly first want to see a portfolio of work before requesting a quote or consultation. Therefore, the secondary call to action can be to direct visitors towards the design portfolio page, with the eventual objective of selling a web design package.
Building trust and demonstrating value
Web users are becoming increasingly skeptical. Looking at the amount of worthless information and scams out there, you can’t really blame them either. Before you can drive a user to act, you will often need to create familiarity, build trust, demonstrate industry knowledge and often even offer something of value for free.
Identify a need and offer an answer
Some time-tested sales techniques that can be effectively applied to increasing conversions include:
- Offering an incentive: Free gifts and discounted prices can sweeten the deal. Often, these free gifts can add value to the client, without being an incremental cost to you such as an e-book or automatically generated report.
- Create urgency: Limited time offers can motivate users to act impulsively.
Creating a focal point on every page
When it comes to the appearance of the call to action there are no defined rules, but plenty of guidelines. Ordinarily, the main call to action is visible above fold in the main content area and can be repeated at the end of the page if necessary.
It should stand out through careful application of colour, relative sizing and negative space.
The main idea is to keep pages simple and uncluttered so that there is a definite focal point. Focusing and limiting the content, choices and actions available on a page ensures that users aren’t overwhelmed or distracted and are more prone to complete the call to action.
Language usage on even simple elements such as contact forms or buttons is critical. A button labeled “Submit” tells the user what the process will be, which is largely irrelevant to them. A label such as “Send Message” or “Sign Me Up” clearly describes what the button actually does.
Avoid Dead Ends
Visitors to your website should not have to the think very hard about what to do next – tell users how they can react on the information they have just seen by leading them on. If the user reaches a dead-end they will leave without responding to your call.