I’m sure by now most of you have heard of a “call-to-action.” How could you not? After all, it is all over the Internet, and, as your web developer and online partner, you have heard it from me, too. But what is a call-to-action really? Is it a catchy button on your web site that your customers click because it’s pretty or trendy, or because you think that is what they want to see? Or is it a path that you have created for your audience to choose because that is where you want to lead them? You have a web site, you have pages and you have products and services. What do you want your audience to do with your content?
Every page on your site should be published for a specific reason. It should have a goal and an action that site visitors can take. If you have a blog post that includes details about a service, you should link to that service page at the end of the post. Give them something to do next. If they find value in your content and your call-to-action is relevant, they will click it. Goal achieved. From that click, your web site analytics will log the action and you will know it worked.
You have to make is easy for your audience. Lead them through your site. Not everyone that comes to your site starts on the home page. Organic search results or pay-per-click campaigns will bring them to specific pages and, from there, you have to make it easy for them to take action.
Calls-to-action aren’t new, of course. We use them all of the time, every day, online and offline. What is one way Amazon generates swift and seamless purchases? A handy button that says “Buy Now with One-Click.” How does Facebook encourage friends, families, businesses and organizations to grow an audience? The “Like” button. What does the New York Times want you to do after reading ten posts for free? “Subscribe.”
We all are engaged with online calls-to-action. But what about your business? If you don’t add a call-to-action to every page on your site, you are missing opportunities and lowering your return on investment.
There are various reasons calls-to-action are not added to pages. In most cases, it’s either too time consuming to do it right or there isn’t a strategy in the first place. One way to simplify this process is to use a tool to help build the link and make it look like it belongs there. We built a WordPress plugin called Post Call to Action to solve this very problem.
Post Call to Action adds a box within the WordPress post editor that allows you to link that page to an existing page within your site. Once it is linked up, it displays a call-to-action bar at the bottom of your blog post. There is a settings page where you can change the colors and font sizes to match your site. Just select the page from the metabox and you’re done. That’s it.
This will help increase online conversions by directing your visitors to where you want them next. So, in the spirit of this post, you’ll see the plugin in action below. In this example I’d like everyone to see our web development page to see some of the recent projects we have completed. With a simple page selection in the post editor, it builds this nice and simple call to action bar.