The importance of a call to action
A homepage without a call to action is incomplete. It is a necessary part of any homepage or landing page on your website. Why? Because your call to action tells your reader what they should do next, it gives focus and logic to your page and it is the single most significant thing you can do to increase your lead generation.
If you’re unsure about your call to action then it is definitely a question you should ask your web designer about!
What is a call to action?
A call to action (or CTA) is the term marketers give to words that directly urge the reader to take an immediate action.
Some common call to actions you’ll have seen include
- Buy now
- Read more
- Learn more
- Get in touch
- Sign up (for emails, for newsletters, free giveaway etc)
- Register (for emails, for newsletters etc)
Why your call to action is the most important step to better lead generation
In a nutshell it’s because human beings are lazy. It takes brainpower to think about/figure out what I might want to do next after viewing this page. By telling me what you want me to do it makes the decision easier – and I’m far more likely to do it than if I had had to make my own choice.
The research and consensus is there – if you tell someone what to do they are far more likely to do it. The most retweeted tweets on twitter include the words ‘Please retweet’; you’ll get more calls if you ask them to ‘Call you now’, and more people will click on your landing pages if you direct people to them.
Planning your call to action(s)
You should plan on having just one call to action per page. You need to keep it simple – if you have too many call to actions there will be too much choice and your readers once again won’t know what to do (research in supermarkets, for instance, shows that the more varieties of a product someone is shown the less likely they are to purchase any).
Make sure that from your homepage you are presenting your viewer with a logical call-to-action which takes them to where they want to be next. It’s all about ensuring that you have the right amount of content before you take them to your final sales, order or contact page (i.e. you need to convince them before you sell to them).
Take a look at this article which explains this point really well.
Writing your call to action
Next to your header, your call to action is the most important content on the page – don’t make the mistake of whacking this out quickly. Take your time and think about what will be the most effective wording.
The most effective call to actions are:
- Short (3 or 4 words are the optimum)
- Use active ‘power’ words (Buy, Get, Receive, Subscribe)
- Indicate instant gratification (Now, Today, Limited Offer, Exclusive, One day only)
- [optional] Include a value statement telling you the benefit
The relationship between your call to action and great design
The design of your webpage is vital for effectively emphasising your call to action. Where it is on the page, how big it is, and how much space is around it is all vital. Your designer should take care of this for you but the important things to remember are:
- Have your call to action in a contrast colour
- Put your call to action in a button (vastly increases click-through rate)
- Have arrows pointing to your call to action (emphasises and suggests a logical order of actions to take)
- Make a good use of whitespace to emphasise it effectively
Want to learn more? We talk more about using whitespace to create a logical focus to your design in our whitespace in web design article.