The rise of the digital era has brought the professional website to the forefront of nearly all organizational marketing strategies. Chances are you’ve dedicated a shockingly large amount of resources to the development and upkeep of your website over the years. Fortunately, analytics platforms, such as Google Analytics, and marketers worldwide have made great strides in the attribution of website traffic to tangible, financial results. Ten years ago, the idea of tracing a new business deal all the way back to a simple Google search 5 months ago was unfathomable. Today, technology allows that to happen.
I will dive more into attribution in future posts. Today, I’m here to talk about one particular ingredient that will get the ball rolling and significantly increase your chances of achieving objective and tangible results from your website. After all, what good do all of these advanced attribution tactics provide if you have no results to attribute?
The Secret Sauce
Which one ingredient of website design holds the potential to tremendously improve the return of your website investment? The Call to Action (CTA). According to HubSpot, a leader in website design and lead generation, a CTA is “an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action”. The key phrase here is “take action”; every CTA includes a verb. Here are some examples:
- Read our latest blog post!
- Download our new case study!
- View our new fact sheet on Multiple Sclerosis
- Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter
- Call us for more information about our upcoming RA trial!
- Listen to our latest podcast!
- Take a visual tour
- Learn more!
The CTA does not necessarily have to offer a download, though a lot of them do so. Feel free to get creative with your offering, so long as you are offering value to your visitors (more about offering value in future posts). If you need some inspiration, Marketo, another key player in the digital marketing realm, has provided 6 must-have CTAs in a recent blog post. While the offering can vary, each CTA does need to be simple and clear; image you are talking to a 3-year-old. Short, actionable phrases as you see above will eliminate any ambiguity and provide a sense of urgency that entices the viewer to follow your demand.
Livestrong does a great job with clear CTAs that you can’t help but click on! Each scrolling banner on the homepage has a bold, clear, and enticing “Learn More” button that directs you to understand more about the organization or otherwise engage with it. Also note the static blue banner across the bottom of the page. As you journey around the Livestrong website, you will notice impressive CTAs on every page. For example, when you take a look at the Take Action page, you will see “Register”, “Find”, “Share”, and “Go” about 3/4 of the way down. CTAs don’t get any better than this!
Your visitors have already shown the first sign of engagement with your company by finding and navigating to your website- don’t leave them hanging! Guide your visitors down a clear path with this action item to keep them engaged with your brand and move them along a path of education. Use this opportunity as a miniature sales pitch to offer visitors a taste of the value you provide through a case study, white paper, ebook, or other form of promotional content. This tactic will begin to push website visitors down the sales funnel and increase the likelihood that they will convert into a tangible business opportunity for your company.
Not so Secret
When you take a step back and think about why you’ve dedicated resources to develop and maintain a website in the first place, the secret sauce does not seem that entirely secret. While your website serves many purposes, its primary responsibility is to inform visitors about your organization in hopes that they develop a favorable perception of and eventually engage with your company. What better way to encourage this engagement than a clear, bold, obvious CTA that shows off your competencies and begins to move the visitor down a predetermined path?
Ready to get started? When creating your CTAs, be sure to follow HubSpot’s Complete Checklist for Creating Compelling Calls-To-Action!