Your Call to Action

Posted by Hedley Swann on 26 March, 2013 in Small Business Strategy

Most of us have been on a website, liked the content, and have been ready to make a purchasing decision only to be frustrated by the effort it took to find our next step. That next step (which should be easy) is the website\'s Call to Action. A Call to Action is the action that the website is trying to get visitors to complete.

Common Calls to Action are:

  • Phone numbers
  • Online forms
  • Newsletter signup
  • Subscribe to social media
  • Maps
  • Add to Cart and Check Out

Having a weak Call to Action is a surefire way of losing website conversions. So, what makes a strong Call To Action (CTA)? Let's find out.

Website goals and calls to action

The desired CTA of your small business website should align with the goals of the website and the goals of the visitor. Consider the following.

Jim and his friends want to get involved in social sport, and Jim is searching the web for a local Darwin volleyball league for him and his friends to join. He finds the website of a local business who runs social volleyball competitions. Jim likes the look of the business, the setup of the competition, the prices for playing etc.

The content of the site has won Jim over. What might Jim's goals be at this point?

Jim would likely want to:

  • Register his team
  • Speak to someone at the business
  • Pay for his teams registration
  • Be kept up to date with the latest venue information
  • Go and check out the venue in person, and perhaps watch a few games

The volleyball business would likely have the goal of attracting new teams to their competition. Identifying CTA's that help both Jim and the volleyball business are key.

In this case, both parties could be well served by:

  • A prominently displayed contact phone number
  • An online team registration form
  • A general enquiry form
  • Newsletter signup form
  • Social media subscribe buttons, such as Facebook "Like"
  • A prominently displayed address and interactive map

By identifying appropriate CTA's, the effectiveness of a Darwin small business website can be substantially increased.

It is also important to prioritise your small business website CTA's. If generating new enquiries is the primary goal of the website, then the priority CTA's might be the phone number and team registration form, while the interactive map and newsletter signup form may be less prominent.

What makes an effective call to action:

Now that we have decided on our CTA's and how we will prioritise them, how do we display them for maximum effect?

An effective CTA should:

  • Visually stand out from the rest of the page content
  • Display consistently whenever it appears
  • Tell visitors what to expect
  • Be prominently, and appropriately, positioned on the page

Ensuring that our website CTA's stand out makes them easy to locate, decipher and remember. This will pay dividends when a potential customer is ready to act, and they're looking for a next step.

Take Away

We now know what a Call to Action is, and how to establish which ones are appropriate for our small business website. We know how to prioritise our CTA's to match the goals of the business with the goals of our website visitors. It is also important to ensure that the design of our business website CTA's are obvious and descriptive to ensure maximum engagement.