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Why Your Web Site Needs a “Call to Action”

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People use the Internet for all sorts of things: Entertainment, Shopping, Information. Their path through the Internet may seem at times random, taking funny turns from topic to unrelated topic. However, at all times, people are open to opportunity and things of interest. I know there are times that I realise I am a long way away from what I originally started my search for.

What will happen though is that people will come across your Web site because they found something of interest. It may be a listing on a search engine, directory listing, article or other forms of advertising. The key thing is to take advantage of the visit to convert them into a customer. Conversions of visitors into customers is where the money is, no point having visitors that don’t end up doing what you want them to…whatever that is.

This is where a call to action is important. Why let chance determine whether someone does business with you? People have little time and clear, definite calls to action help people get to the right place for them as a prospective customer and you as the business owner.

So what works? There are a few key things to consider.

Placement: Where Should It Be?
It needs to be visible; the more visible the better. It needs to be “above the fold," in the part of your Web site visible without scrolling. Imagine it as a newspaper folder on the shop counter.  You only get to see the first half of the front page, same as your Web site.

If your call to action is below this, research states that between 70-90% of visitors will not scroll on the first page of their visit to your site.

Some sites have heat maps that show where people look the most, and spend the most time looking. Here is a view from Google regarding where to place Adsense ads, and here are real case studies on Web sites in the UK.

What to Say?
Ok, so you have decided where you want to put your call to action, so what should it say? This depends on what type of site you have and what you want people to do. Here are some examples:

  • Buy Now
  • Book Now
  • Act Now – offer expires May 31st
  • Get a free e-book by joining our newsletter NOW. Click here!

All these things are driving people towards the goal you wish them to complete.

Calls to action are important in increasing your visitors to customers. This is the art of conversion optimisation. Different wording, styles, and colour can make a difference too. The important thing is not to leave it to chance.  Let your visitors know what you want them to do and more of them will become customers.

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About Steven Gardner