Let me tell you a little story.
Pretend for a moment, that I’m on your website. I’ve read your amazing copy on your services page, and I’m thinking, “Yes, this is perfect. This person knows how to solve my problem.”
The next obvious step is to find out how to hire you. I scroll down the page, but find nothing. It’s a dead end. There’s nowhere to click!
This happens when you don’t provide a clear path for visitors to hire you and give you their money!
That’s a BIG problem. In all of the website reviews I’ve done over the past few months, I’ve hit way too many dead end pages.
If you haven’t provided a link to a purchase page or a contact page, you’ve lost an opportunity to convert a visitor to a client. You’re not clearly guiding your visitors through your website and are missing clear Calls to Action.
What is a Call to Action?
Strategic website design involves guiding your visitors through your website. You do that by providing links and buttons that direct them where to go next, kind of like a street sign or a map.
The directions that you give your readers are called Calls to Action, or CTA’s.
If you don’t have a Call to Action, at the end of a page, it’s like hitting a dead end.
This is NOT good, especially when it’s your services page, as illustrated in the above scenario.
But, CTA’s aren’t always BUY buttons. Think of them as any kind of guidepost to further engage and direct your readers.
Where do you need Calls to Action?
You need them at the end of your pages, to guide visitors where to go next whether that’s your portfolio, your contact page, or the big red BUY button that goes to your shopping cart.
You can have CTA’s:
- in your email optins both at the top of your site and at the bottom in the footer, directing your readers to keep in touch with you and your amazing content
- in your email newsletters, directing your readers to “read more”
- in the middle of blog posts directing them to subscribe and get the cool PDF you created that goes along with your blog post
A CTA can be:
- a button that goes to another page or an email optin
- a text link
- or it can even be a clickable image or icon, but generally it has some sort of text
Website headers almost always have CTA buttons, too, guiding visitors on the first step of their journey.
Standard CTA Text
These CTA’s are standard, and you probably have them on your website somewhere. They communicate clearly which is what you want.
- Let’s Chat/Connect
- Click here
- Learn More
- Sign Me Up
- Send it
- See What’s New
- Get it
- I’m ready
- Yes, Please
- Let’s Get Started
- Add to Cart
- Shop Now
- Request a _______________
- Get the Guide
- Get/Try __________ for Free
Generally, a CTA should tell your visitor WHY they should click and WHAT they’ll get when they do click.
CTA’s and button copy is also a commonly tested feature of websites. You can do it yourself, too. Switch up the copy on your buttons and see what happens. If you get more conversions with the one piece of copy then another, perfect.
Use the copy that converts.
Have Some CTA Fun
One of the weekly emails I get comes from WPMU dev, a company that provides WordPress support and develops plugins and themes.
Their emails are one of my favorites because they always have super creative Calls to Action in them. Never do you see “read more.” I click on the links in their emails not because they tell me what I’ll get or because they communicate the benefits clearly. Nope, I click on them purely out of curiosity. They’re fun!
This past week, their email got me thinking.
So, I brainstormed a list of CTA’s. These are fun for emails and possibly optins on your website. I probably wouldn’t use these in your header or on your main pages as they don’t necessarily communicate the WHY or the WHAT people get for clicking.
And, if you’re a very staid and serious business person, you might not want to use any of these and instead, stick with the tried and true list above which communicate much more clearly.
But it might be kind of fun to test some of these out. See if any of them impact your conversion rates or click through rates in your emails or in content upgrades in your blog posts.
Here are a few that are a little more creative but still communicate clearly:
Ready, Set, Go
3, 2, 1…Get It
Or, you can really go for it. You might not want to use these ideas on your website, but they’re fun for links in your emails or on blog posts. Think about your brand and the tone you want to convey
Then, have a little fun!
Use song lyrics:
“Hello! It’s Me You’re Looking for!” – a little Lionel Ritchie anyone?
It’s now or never
Great Balls o’Fire
Hear Me Roar
Don’t Stop Believing
Movin’ On Up
You’re Killin’ Me Smalls
I’m Your Huckleberry
You had me at “hello”
I’ve got a golden ticket!!!
As you wish
Rain drops on roses
I want the fairy tale
Cliches that we all recognize:
bull in a china shop
cut to the chase
easy as pie
follow your heart
in a jiffy
you’re the boss
play by the rules (or not)
spilling the beans
see the light
quick as lightning
be an agent of change
hope is not a strategy
I’m not saying switching up your CTA’s will lead to massive amounts of engagement on your site, but from a psychological perspective, they’re all about disruption.
Disrupting the norm catches people’s attention, and in your posts and emails, the goal is to grab people’s attention.
“See the Light” or “Submit”? I think I’d rather “see the light,” thank you very much.
If nothing else, switching up the CTA copy is fun, but I am running a few “tests.” Hey, why not?
If you check out my sidebar, I changed the optin on my 5-day quick email course from the super catchy “Let’s Plan Your Site” to the possibly slightly more catchy, “Crash Course.” Since my email course is all about web design strategy, I switched my footer button to “Hope is Not a Strategy.”
We’ll see if that ups my optins, and I’ll let you know – that’s my “test.”
Do you want in on the email course? It’s a quick 5 Day course to make your website work for you.
Take Some Action on Your CTA’s
1) Make sure that you don’t have any dead end pages. Go through your website and make sure that you’ve created a journey that gets your visitors to your end goal with CTA’s at the end of each page.
2) Have some fun with your CTA’s, but make sure they “go” with your brand and tone of your website. If you don’t want to play with them on your website, have some fun in your next email newsletter.
Running an online business is hard. So, why not have a little fun every now and again, hey?
If you try this or come up with any great CTA’s of your own, I’d love to see them in the comments!