Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
You have great content with solid SEO and a nice hook to get eyes on your page, but that’s not translating to conversions. Is there something wrong with your conversion points? What gives?
Before you scratch your head and go back to the drawing board – or give up completely – take a critical look at your conversion points and how clear your intentions are at each. One of the most common culprits is sometimes the smallest: your Call to Action (CTA).
What is a CTA?
A call-to-action is a sentence that clearly instructs the reader to perform a specific task. The same holds wherever the CTA ends up in content.
Visitors will not take action if your website’s call-to-actions are weak and non-compelling. If your CTA conversion rates are low and your efforts aren’t working, you lose money to competitors.
Why Customers Don’t Hear Your CTA
Ideally, you should have a CTA prominently placed at each critical contact point, such as on your landing page, at the end of a video introduction, on each email, and within the content itself. Your content creation should proceed with the CTA in mind.
The problem with some calls to action is that no clearly defined action is involved. Customers aren’t mind-readers and don’t have time for guessing games.
When someone visits your website or landing page, they want a clear, actionable directive for what you want them to do next.
So, what can you do to strengthen your CTA?
Use Your Words
Words are powerful and can evoke emotions and feelings. Make sure your CTAs include power words that inspire people to click. You have to speak to a person’s pain points.
A pain point is a certain problem that customers experience. Of course, this is where research wins the day. A customer’s pain point is as unique as each customer. Keep in mind that not every prospect is aware of his or her challenges. This is where your marketing material and CTA can help customers realize they have problems and that your products and services can provide a solution.
What are they afraid of? Address those fears and provide a solution they can live with. Above all, be truthful. State what your services or products can provide with honesty.
For most B2C customers, emotion is a strong motivator. Use words that convey an emotion or illicit enthusiasm so your visitors are more compelled to act. Make sure to accompany the words with punctuation that makes the point.
- “Buy Now!”
- “Learn more”
- “Ready to change your Life?”
- “Talk To Us”
Any added value, like discounts or freebies, should be included in the CTA.
Start With a Strong Command Word
Notice what each of the above examples has in common? They begin with a strong action word.
The verbiage should also fit the desired action. If you’re selling a product, use words like “Buy” or “Shop.” Looking to increase your subscribers? Label your CTA button with “Enroll Here” and “Subscribe now.” When you want them to get more information, use words like “Learn more” or “Find out how.”
Such terminology subconsciously creates an imperative that compels people to act.
Design Around Your CTA
You can use words and images to complement your CTA and get a powerful response. Action words work! “Buy now and get 70% off.” Provide them with a benefit and give them something to express joy over. People love what they perceive as a bargain. “Plan your dream vacation in England” is another example of using an action sentence that resonates with people.
Understand and Leverage Devices
The rules about how many CTAs to add to a page or where to place a conversion point changes occasionally. I remember some rather annoying and lengthy landing pages and marketing emails that went on and on and included a CTA button or action phrase between every other paragraph.
How many CTAs per page depends on the length and purpose of the content. Most of the time, they should be near the end of the page to avoid breaking up the flow. The content itself should be compelling enough to lead them there. However, don’t be afraid to A/B test placement at the beginning or middle.
With the rise of mobile devices, the consideration now should be placement, appearance, and functionality across multiple devices. When designing the platform containing your CTA, consider how it will look on a PC, tablet, and smartphone screen. Many page builders will give you a preview by device type.
As a rule of thumb, optimize everything for mobile, which will still look good on other types of screens. The reverse is not true. That means checking button placement and size on a mobile device as well as topography and other considerations that you’d overlook when creating a CTA for a PC monitor.
Leverage the Power of FOMO
If you want to compel someone to act, make them think they will lose something important by not acting. This is a principle in marketing known as FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). You can use this and motivate people to jump on the bandwagon.
You don’t necessarily need to come out and say, “Buy my stuff, or you’ll regret it,” or “Everybody else is doing it; why shouldn’t you?” A more subtle and effective way is through lifestyle-oriented or user-generated images or video content that demonstrate your brand in action, accompanied by text that invites your audience to join the fun, get relief, or whatever pain point you’re addressing. If the offer is time-sensitive, highlight that point to lend a sense of immediacy. “Sale ends Tuesday” or “Shop today while supplies last.”
However, it’s important to be authentic when applying this suggestion. High-pressure tactics that are false or misleading do nothing to promote brand trust or loyalty.
Write in a Clear Tone
Use the grammar and tone that matches that of your audience. Your text should be easy to read and understood at a glance. While you may have a lot to share in your content, make sure your CTA is short, effective, and concise. At a glance, visitors working through your site should know how they will benefit.
Don’t be Afraid to Be Creative or Brash
Savvy consumers are sometimes immune to traditional, sales-y language. Sometimes you have to be more subtle or creative, even bold. Experiment with phrasing and language, and A/B test to see which wording gets the best results.
For this to be effective rather than offensive, you need to …
Know Your Audience
To compel your audience to act, you must know what motivates them. Ensure your products and services are related to their needs and that whatever you direct them to explore will work in their industry.
More conservative or older visitors will be more likely to respond better to more traditional, direct CTAs. Younger audiences or customers responding to a more trendy product will respond well when you’re casual or speak their language. Just make sure that it comes off as authentic rather than pandering.
Give Them a Reason to Act
If you want someone to act in a certain way, tell them why they should. In other words, customers want to know, “What’s in it for me?”
Create CTAs that combine your unique selling point with a value proposition they can’t resist. Tell them in a language they’ll understand. “This is what you’ll gain by taking this action.”
Sprinkle CTAs Throughout The Sales Funnel
Remember, CTAs should exist throughout your sales funnel. Test and tease customers at every conversion point along the sales journey. Your visitors will buy when you present them with popular offers of the day, promote those popular offers, and offer special deals they cannot pass up. Find ways to get them to pick up their abandoned carts and keep shopping.
Test And Revise Your CTA
Remember that you may not write a winning CTA the first or second time around. Test and revise to ensure the hammer hits the nail on the head. Adjust your strategies to maximize customer conversions once you find a CTA or several that work.
You can lead a customer to your website, but you need to tell them what you want them to do when they arrive. Unless your website is purely for entertainment, you need a clear call to action to motivate them to act.
It doesn’t need to be huge or scream “Buy Me Now” to get their attention. But, your content should lead the way, like breadcrumbs, to a place where they can act on the information you provide in no uncertain terms.
Need some help to devise an effective marketing or SEO strategy? Talk to a digital marketing professional today.