shopping online Your company just spent thousands on a new website design. You crafted the perfect blend of search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising – what happened to your sales? Where did you go wrong?

The explanation is simple: you forgot to include a call to action or your call to action is weak. As visitors scroll down to the bottom of your homepage, they don’t have any idea what to do next or where to click. Say good-bye to potential sales as lost customers vanish into cyberspace.
A “call to action” is an advertising concept that requests or directs a consumer to take that next step to purchase products or services. You might request visitors to fill out a form or call you for a free consultation. The biggest mistake with a call to action is thinking that visitors KNOW what’s expected of them – they don’t.
Think of calls to action as an answer to your website visitor’s question: “Ok, I like this site and I’ve had fun visiting – what do I do next?” It’s up to you to invite them to take the next step.
You could have the most dynamic, persuasive copy scattered throughout your site, but that still won’t motivate visitors to sign up for your newsletter or call you. You need that call to action right there – front and center!
What if you include calls to action on your site but no one is taking ACTION? Calls to action can be creative and catchy, but don’t go overboard with confusing language – keep it simple and direct.
Bad example: Click here! This is a bland “no-action” statement. No offer is included and it doesn’t entice your readers to take that next step.
Good example: Call Us Today or a FREE Home Inspection! This call to action specifically states the reason WHY you want visitors to take action and what they get in return – they will receive a free home inspection.
Place the call to action on every website page. On the homepage, the call to action needs to stand out and should be placed high (in the central column of the page).
Your call to action really depends on your marketing goals. Do you want more sign-ups for your newsletter? Do you want more people to purchase your newly released DVD? These simple tips can help you create a dynamic call to action:

  • Underline or link keywords to make the offer stand out – Sign Up for Our Newsletter and Receive Tips on How to Reduce Your Energy Bill this Summer!
  • Offer an incentive such as a free product or discount to encourage visitors to take that next step: Donate Today to The Make-A-Wish Foundation and Receive a FREE T-Shirt!
  • Use active words and urgent phrases such as: register, subscribe, buy and “for a limited time only.”