The “The End” of the blogosphere – calls-to-action (CTAs) are the expected finish to any blog as well as well-placed breadcrumbs throughout your site and marketing. When you were in school first learning to write a paper, your final paragraph was supposed to sum up your point for the reader – the CTA has to do that – and motivate that reader to act on the point you’ve made.
So let’s break down this surprisingly strategic feature.
Like we said, CTAs motivate your readers to some kind of action, whether it’s booking a demo, creating a free trial, or simply visiting a website – CTAs are intended to backlink to ideal destinations for your business.
CTAs help grease the wheels so to speak and provide a clear next step to put a user into your sales funnel – odds are, if they’ve made it to the end of your blog they’re likely interested in what you have to offer. This brings us to the other side of the CTA coin when it comes to blogs specifically; SEO.
A CTA is worthless if no one sees it – so making sure your content is SEO optimized will boost your search ability and bring in already interested traffic.
Though often seen at the end of content, a CTA can effectively exist anywhere on your site, or in your marketing campaigns, social media, email signatures, and even support documentation. To figure out the best placement for a CTA you need to ask yourself three primary questions:
Who is the CTA for?
Like with any type of sales or content efforts, you need to know your audience. But it has to go beyond the general audience of your site. Is your CTA targeting free trialists? Those yet to test your solution? Existing clients? Each level of site visitor from potential client to power user has their own set of requirements and questions.
Where will the target audience look?
Once you’ve determined who your CTA is for, ask yourself where that subset is most likely to be. If they are potential clients, they may most likely exist completely externally from your site – in which case email campaigns and social media outreach are the best locations for your CTA along with key pages of your website that are clearly defined such as; book a demo, or sign up for a free trial.
What information will the target user need most?
Once you have your target group and you’ve determined the best CTA placements, it’s time to compose your message.
CTAs can be “sneaky” in that they can simply exist as a button, Contact Us. With CTAs it’s important to remember that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel in order to be effective. Oftentimes, an expected CTA is more powerful because it doesn’t ask the user to rethink the question they are asking or reframe the information they are looking for.
Why is a sales team necessary? Or a content team? To answer this we need to talk about speed, particularly page speed – users are likely to bounce anywhere between just 17-50 milliseconds if your website isn’t loading. The same concept applies to capture rates and conversions. CTAs are about clearly marking pathways for users – it’s a lot more about directing traffic efficiently than it is about crafting a catchy tagline to attract attention. The best CTAs are the ones that are easiest to find and understand, here’s some more classics:
These are all great examples of CTAs that are commonly used as elements or graphics on web pages. If you came here to learn more about crafting more subtle CTAs then keep reading.
Sometimes CTAs are subtle – they may be used to validate your product, or to get a user to keep their attention on specific content so they don’t miss beneficial information.
Here’s just three of our sneaky (and one self-serving) favorites:
Businesses have business hours, our personal lives have social norms (don’t call during dinner time), and CTAs have a place and a time. A bold CTA doesn’t need to exist in a strange place or appear as a pop up in the middle of a checkout process in order to get noticed. CTAs are expected and useful so the best practice is to build off the existing structure in a way that fits the personality of your business.
All businesses are tech businesses now, and even something as unassuming as a call to action has a vast behind the scenes structure and history. It’s a lot to navigate and implementing this tool effectively can be challenging – especially if you’re still flushing out your pipelines and getting to know your user base. We’ve got a history of improving conversions through CTAs and agile solutions. Want to learn more? Let’s get started.