Your Website Needs Calls to Action!
Not having calls to action (CTAs) is one of the ten most common SEO mistakes small business owners make.
What’s a Call to Action?
Why are CTAs important?
Do you want more orders? More inquiries from potential customers? How about more readers for your blog? More social shares? None of that is likely to happen without good calls to action.
If you’ve ever ordered a fast food burger, you were almost certainly asked “Do you want fries with that?” That’s a call to action, and it sells a lot more fries than if they don’t ask.
It’s a very important part of getting your website visitors to convert into customers, and it’s often overlooked in writing website content. A call to action can determine whether or not a visitor on your website does what you want them to.
Small Business Trends claims that 70% of small business websites lack a call to action.
And customers actually expect them. When they get to a breaking point in a page or reach the bottom, they often look for direction to help them move on to the next step – whatever that is.
How to create and use Calls to Action
There are a few guidelines for effective use of CTAs. Here are what I consider to be the most important of them.
- Almost all of your marketing content needs calls to action:
- blog posts
- web pages
- print ads
- Make them brief. Occasionally for SEO purposes, a call to action may be longer for the sake of including keywords, but in general they tend to work better if they’re brief.
- Make them clear – ambiguous CTAs don’t work.
- Demonstrate a benefit. Give your readers a reason to take the action you want them to take.
- It never hurts to emphasize that something is FREE!
- Use strong action verbs:
- Sign up
- Get Started
- Call Now
- Ask Us
- Get Help
- Wherever possible, avoid weak directions like “click here” or “learn more”.
- Make your CTA as specific as possible:
- Download my E- book
- Call to talk with us
- Sign up for our email newsletter
- Ask us a question
- Make your call to action stand out visually on the page.
- The best locations are at the end of a blog post or web page, in between separate topics on a page, in a side panel, or in a pop-up or slide-in.
Some in-depth reading
The Daily Egg has a nice article on examples that work.
Neil Patel suggests avoiding CTAs like Sign up — Buy now — Learn more. He offers some detailed advice on how to write calls to action that are more likely to convert visitors to customers.
And here are a few CTA’s of our own: