Have you ever visited a website and found yourself unsure of what you are supposed to do?

Perhaps you wanted to make a purchase or get more information but there was no way to do so.

Now try to remember what you ended up doing on this seemingly dead-end website. Chances are, you clicked away and continued on your Internet travels (probably straight to their competitors’ sites!)

This is a great example of why all websites need clear and compelling Call to Actions. Without them, visitors lack direction and you risk losing their attention and missing out on a lead or a sale.

What is a Call to Action?

By definition, a Call to Action (CTA) is a short statement (generally one or two sentences long) that encourages a person to take a specific action…the next action you want your visitor to take!

Within the context of your website a Call to Action is like your online sales force. It guides your visitors through the sales process and compels them to take each next step towards becoming a client or customer.

Visit almost any successful website and you will see CTA’s such as:

  • Buy now
  • Download a trial version
  • Register for our newsletter
  • Email our Sales Department
  • Call our sales team

Within the proper context, these action statements can be extremely effective in providing direction and help keep the visitor moving towards completing the goal set forth by the website.

If Content is King, then CTAs are the Jewels on the Crown

One of the main strategies of Search Engine Optimization is to write high quality, original content focused around targeted keyword phrases that will provide value to your visitors.

You must have original and valuable content in order to earn long term rankings in the Search Engines – this is why SEO Professionals say, “Content is King”. However, once your site content has earned you rankings it will do nothing but sit on your website unless it actively engages your visitors.

Your website may have an excellent article outlining the benefits of upgrading to energy-efficient kitchen appliances yet if you do not provide the opportunity to browse a product list or request more information, your visitor will likely head over to your competitor’s site when they are ready to upgrade.

Don’t be afraid to “ask for the sale” as the old axiom goes.

You could say that action statements are the jewels on the content king’s crown. Just as the jewels make the crown extremely valuable the action statements make your content equally as valuable. These jewels compel your visitors to take action and ultimately persuade them to become your customer.

Call to Action Statements Help Increase Your ROI

As in all business activities we recognize that revenue must be greater than expenses if you want a “return on investment”.

In terms of marketing your website through Search Engine Optimization it helps to imagine a giant funnel with a wide top and a narrow bottom.

Now picture Google at the top of the funnel sending qualified visitors to your site based on the visitor’s search queries. This is exactly what happens when you invest in Search Engine Optimization. You invest resources (both time and money) into attracting more visitors to your website.

As visitors enter your website and move down the funnel they can either:

  1. Lose interest and leave your website before completing an action or…
  2. Like what they see and take further action; such as requesting a quote [warm lead] or making a purchase

Unfortunately, a lot of visitors exit before getting to where you want them to go or doing what you want them to do. The purpose of a Call to Action statement is to prevent this; CTAs help pull visitors through the funnel so they don’t get lost or stuck halfway through.

There are tools to help you judge where visitors exit, lose interest or take the appropriate action.

Thanks to Google Analytics you can track all of this activity. In addition to a lot of other valuable data, Google Analytics lets you pinpoint exactly where visitors enter your site, where they navigate to within your site and where they leave your site.

Perhaps visitors exit because they found what they were looking for or perhaps they exit because the Call to Action on your web pages is not strong enough.

Either way, it is important to use Analytics to improve your CTA statements so that they can help convert more visitors into customers. As your conversion rate increases so does your ROI.

Take the next step and read Part 2: How to Write Compelling Call to Actions for your Website.

About the Author:

1st on the List Promotion, Inc. is a professional Search Engine Optimization marketing firm that specializes in creating unique SE strategies for its clients across the US and Canada. To contact an SEO Representative please call Toll Free 1-888-262-6687 or complete the Contact Form.