Use Website Call-to-Actions Right for the Best Results

Roy McClean
Jul 10, 2013
Use Website Call-to-Actions Right for the Best Results

So you're shopping for a nice sweater. You're not sure what you want but you decide to go shopping downtown in the clothing district.

You walk into the first store. And a shop employee races up to you at the front door with an expensive cashmere sweater, gets right in your face and yells "Buy this. It's $500!". You're just looking to see what's available. What are you going to do? Get offended and walk out? Yeah, that wouldn't be a surprise if you did.

Then you walk into the next store. You're ready to buy but you can't find a store clerk. You don't know how to make your purchase. What are you going to do? Leave? That wouldn't be a surprize.

What was wrong here? You got offered too early in the first case. In the second case you didn't know where to turn to when you were ready to purchase. The "call-to-actions" at the store weren't in-sync with what you needed.

Get Your Calls-to-Action In-Sync

Having your "calls-to-action" in-sync with your website visitors is equally important. A good retail store knows that some people are just looking and don't want help immediately, some people have questions and need attention, others need a strong incentive to buy, and some are ready to buy so they need to make the purchase easy and convenient for these customers.

Designing a good website addresses different needs for different visitors as well. Keep in mind the buying process and what type of product you are offering.

If you are selling something expensive, like buying a car, that typically requires research that results in numerous visits to your website before a visitor decides to buy or contact you as a lead. If you're selling relatively inexpensive products you might be more aggressive in your approach hoping for the impulse buy.

We like to "layer" calls-to-action on our clients sites.

'Lurkers' & Those Early in the Buying Process

For those earlier in the buying cycle we want to make sure the site is organized allowing visitors to get to the information they are looking for easily. Adding content to your website that encourages these people to return is a good call-to-action. Good content and information offered in a blog, video or photo gallery is helpful here. Really good product pictures and descriptions also make a big difference with this group. Referrals and testimonials can also establish you from the competition and encourage this type of early buyer to return to your website. Making your content easy to bookmark or share your content is a good call with buyers early in the buying process. These are appropriate calls-to-action for these types of visitors.

Getting Closer to Taking Action?

If someone is further down the buying process but not ready to buy offer calls-to-action that address this type of visitor. Providing white papers such as technical reports or how-to guides are examples of calls-to-action that would be appropriate here. Help people gather more information to make an educated purpose. Offering an email subscription can also appropriate calls-to-action for these types of people. They want to get to know you better. Whatever you can offer to create a relationship is a winning ticket for this type of visitor.

Make It Easy for Those Ready to Buy

And what about the person who is ready to buy? You better make it incredibly clear on how your products or services can be purchased or how they can contact you if you are generating leads. Buttons or text that is clearly laid out with contrasting colour surrounded by some white space can make a huge difference. I sometimes refer to BOB here… the big orange button that shows people quite clearly that if they click here they can start the purchase process. Offering clearly laid out delivery charges and taxes, guarantees, and privacy assurances works well for people ready to buy on your website.

Layer Your Calls-to-Action

The best designed websites offer a variety of types of calls-to-action; often on the same page. The bottom line is that if the call-to-action is customized to match your sites' content with your visitor and their particular place in the buying cycle both you and your website visitors win.

Now Your Turn!

  1. If you are "just looking" what calls-to-action would add to encourage you to return to your website? What pages on your website need this type of call-to-action?
  2. If you are in that "researching" phase of the buying process what calls-to-action would be help you with this? What pages on your website need this type of call-to-action?
  3. And if you are ready to buy what's going to work to convince you to buy now from a particular website? What pages on your website need this type of call-to-action?

Answer these questions, apply them to the right pages on your website and your call-to-actions will boost your business big time!

Why Not Take the Next Step?

Call to Actions Done Right

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