Why your Website needs a “Call to Action”

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 website 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 helps 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” , this is the part of your website 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 website.

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 at. Here is a view from Google regarding where to place Adsense ads. While here are real case studies on Websites in the UK

What to Say?

Ok, so you have decided where you want t 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.

Summary

Call To Actions are important in increasing your visitors to customers. This is the art of conversion optimisation.

Try different wording and styles, 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.

Market Research for Website Owners – Know your Market

In my SEO courses, one of the key things I talk about at the start is the need to do good research. Having resources at your disposal to find information related to your business and your website.

Doing business online is a bit like shooting blind without the right information, you know there is something out there, but you might die from starvation before you are lucky enough to shoot something.

Whether you have a website already, or are looking to start one soon, this is a key step.

When you are looking at your markets, you need to identify who is most likely to need your services.

Men, Women, Old, Young.

Here is a good article from Webpronews on the buying habits of men and women.

I think there are some key things like:

both genders agree that ease of use is the most important aspect of usability. Pose as a visitor. How easy it is to upload/download/view/purchase? However, men prize download speed over easy navigation, while women place both easy navigation and accessibility ahead of download speed.

This can make some serious difference to the way your site has been designed, but also in the path people must pass to complete the action you are wanting (subscription, purchases etc)

And an interesting generalisation

unless your website is very niche, that when you design a site for general use, you’re really designing a site for women. If you can make it fast and easy, and leave out the purple, men will like it, too.

In addition to market research, research around keywords and key phrases is another important step on the road to making your website work for your business.

Many sites are built with no regard to how it is presented to a search engine. Consideration must be given to the words and phrases that people use to find what you are selling.

Put yourself in your buyers shoes, what solutions do you provide to their problems and more importantly, what are they searching for. By mimicking their enquiries with the search engines, you are in a better position to be found.

Tools like Wordtracker (7 day trial, but costs USD329 for a year, or USD59 for a month) are great to find out what people are searching for. Your web stats only show what your are found for, not what you are NOT found for.

For a free alternative, use Google Adwords Keyword Tool, to find words and phrases that you could include in your text on your website.

Research and information gathering doesn’t end once the site is built.

Key statistics can help you make informed decisions on changes to your website. I talk to many website owners who don’t know how many visitors they get every month, how many enquiries they get, where there visitors are coming from.

This information is critical to being able to make a difference to the way your website is performing.

Conversions of visitors into purchasers is what the website is all about. Sometimes, people spend too much time and effort getting people to their website, rather than spending time on getting those who are already there, making purchases on the site.

On a previous post I linked to a video on the same site that talked about e-commerce optimisation and making things as easy as possible for people to make a purchase.

Immersing yourself in information about your website and the markets you are attracting is the best way to arm yourself for the battle with other websites in your industry.

It could make all the difference.