A call to action - or a CTA - is probably the most important part of any page. When you’re writing copy for your website, it doesn’t just need to instruct. It needs to take your visitors by the arm and guide them gently (but with a little force) to the areas of the site you’d like them to see.
Think of it like giving a tour around your home. You’d spend a while showing off your kitchen, or your newly-decorated living room, but you’d probably skip the downstairs loo in favour of looking out of the back door into the garden. A good CTA will help your visitors see the pages you want them to see - and glance over the pages that might not be useful to them.
For example, if a visitor comes to your website via a blog post that has interested them, you’ll want to send them directly to a page of your business’ site dealing with what that blog post covers. That way, you’ve piqued their interest and capitalised from it, rather than let them tail off and travel on to the next website that takes their fancy.
What’s a good CTA?
A good call to action is short and to the point, and encourages visitors to take action. Things like:
Click here to find out more!
Contact me now to learn how.
See more amazing pics here.
See for yourself.
Click now to find out how.
Did you feel the need to click on those sentences even though they weren’t links? It’s okay. Copywriters all over the internet have created CTAs that speak to you directly and they’ve become such a natural form of navigation, you might find yourself clicking without realising it.
Where do you put a call to action, then?
Writing a good call to action isn’t natural to a writer who doesn’t spend much time online, which is why digital copywriters are such naturals at incorporating them. It’s about placement as much as it is about the words they use.
Placing your 'action phrase' into the right part of your page will encourage visitors to click. But remember, you don’t want them bouncing straight off your page without at least taking in some of your content.
The best suggestion is to place your first clickable link after your first main paragraph, to grab hold of your quick-reading content skimmers. Then, place another one two-thirds of the way through, with a slightly different message. Finally, end your piece with some punchy words that encourage your fine-tooth-combers to take action after they’ve fully considered your piece.
Make your content flow towards your CTAs
Your calls to action will not be effective if you don’t tailor your content to ebb towards them. As Billy McCaffrey says at Wordstream, command verbs in your paragraphs can really make a difference when it comes to causing your visitors to act on their impulses.
What are command verbs?
Telling your customers what to do is something you can only really do online, so make the most of it!
A good use of command verbs:
Want to save money? Buy now. Our early bird offers expire on Wednesday, don’t miss out!
A bad use of command verbs:
We have lots of offers on our site at the moment. Buy now.
Can you see the difference in how you feel? The first sentence feels exciting, like being let into a VIP sale. The second… not so much.
Take a look at your content and see how you could increase its effectiveness using command verbs. You might be surprised how quickly you see results!
As a digital copywriting specialist, I’m here to help you with any and all of your CTA conundrums. Let’s chat about how I can help you make your website more effective at ensnaring your inbound visitors.