Understanding Calls to Action on Your Website

Published Dec, 1 2011
Content Marketing

Even if your website is getting strong traffic from your search and other marketing campaigns, the real issue is whether or not your website is successfully supporting your business goals by channeling this traffic to the appropriate places and then converting it successfully.

Building strong calls to action (CTA) into your business website is often treated as an afterthought to the website design and production process. However, without clear calls to action, it is unlikely that your business website will be effective in generating a desirable return on investment (ROI). Without clear calls to action, your website will essentially be an online brochure, rather than an interactive marketing channel. So how do we build better calls to action exactly?

Well, that’s a question that may take you years of trial and error to really answer. To be perfectly honest, we’re still working on ways to improve our own calls to action here at Perfect Pitch Concepts. For those of you who may be totally unfamiliar to this topic, whenever you see large buttons to click on a website (such as the one below) or forms to complete, those are examples of calls to action.

The answer to this depends very much on the nature and goals of your particular business, but we’d like to discuss a few fundamental concepts that every interactive marketing manager should be considering. Most of these concepts could easily be unpacked into individual posts of their own, and we plan to do just that in the near future so be sure to stay tuned to our blog.

When considering whether your business has a strong call to action, you must first know what the core business goals are for your interactive marketing channel. Are you selling something, trying to generate new leads, trying to convert existing customer leads, building a customer service portal, or perhaps your website is only meant to create impressions on visitors and increase your general brand exposure? These business goals, and the conversion on these goals, should be the key performance indicators of your business website, and not necessarily how much traffic or visitors you can drive to the site as some people may assume. After all, if your website does not convert visitors into customers, then increasing traffic will not have optimal returns anyway, right?

Once you understand specific business goals of your website, the next step is to make sure that you can tie those goals to specific pages on your website. For example, a business that seeks to generate a new customer lead could easily tie that business goal to the successful completion of an online sales inquiry or contact form. We would know that anytime a visitor actually submitted one of these forms, that this would indicate that the visitor had been successfully converted into a new sales lead. Yes, your business website would officially now have clear business metrics by which you can gauge its effectiveness. This may also give you some insights into that often hard-to-define return on investment (ROI), which will help you convince the bosses, clients, or anyone else you must sell on the import of investing in strong interactive marketing channels in this day and age.

Now that you have defined a clear path to conversion for your target business goal (which would be the “thank you” page for the online inquiry/contact form in the previously mentioned scenario) then you must make sure that the website has a clear path to that target conversion goal that can be easily seen on every page throughout the site. Again, the specifics of this will vary for each project, but the fundamental idea here is to get website managers to constantly be thinking about whether or not each page on the website is clearly directing the visitor to the desired conversion goal.

There is clearly much, much more to discuss on this topic, and I’m positive that we’ll be posting some more entries relating to this subject in the future. In the meantime, we encourage you to learn more by hitting the search engines, or by downloading Hubspot’s great ebook on the topic: