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5 Key Website Elements: Calls For Action

Sun, Mar 20th 2011 03:00 pm

Imagine a first time visitor stumbles upon your website. They're interested in your carefully worded content and impressed by your sleek and relevant new design. They like your site. Then what? Many people forget one of the most necessary elements of a successful website and that is a CALL FOR ACTION.

A call for action is the main reason you have a website in the first place!  Whether you want your site's visitors to purchase a product,  make an online donation, fill out a request form, or register for an event or program, they need to be directed where to go. It's the call for action that guides visitors to these different parts of your website, hopefully achieving results along the way.

How do I know if my calls for action are working?

You should continually test whether your calls for action work and be sure to update the ones that don't. One way to do this is through Analytics reporting. At 360PSG, our Analytics reporting records important information such as the number of visitors to your site, page views, and traffic patterns (how users are navigating your site). Our specialists then evaluate your results and consult with you directly on how to improve your calls for action and flow of traffic on your site. Consistently measuring and improving the effectiveness of your calls for action ensures that you're maximizing the return on your investment.  

Tips for creating calls for action

Effective calls for action will guide users exactly where you want them to go and generate results. However, before someone is willing to follow one of your calls for action, they need to understand why it's important for them to do so. Motivate visitors to take action by communicating the benefits of responding. Once you have their attention, keep them engaged with calls for action that:

  • Are placed above the fold - The fold is the part of your website that is visible in a browser before scrolling. Because it is immediately visible to all visitors, the most important calls for action should be prominently placed in this area.

  • Use action words - "Click Here" is just not an option. Period. So rather than writing a call for action that reads, "Click here to subscribe to our monthly newsletter!," you should try something like, "Keep up with us! Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! Your visitors will appreciate it.

  • Are distinct - Having too many calls for action on your site can be confusing to visitors and actually reduce their effectiveness. Limiting the number of calls for action to 2 or 3 high priority items will help eliminate confusion and drive traffic to the most important areas of your site.

  • Are clear and concise - Make sure that visitors understand what the primary call for action is, and what course of action to take first. If your goal is to have visitors complete a form, make sure that it is short and to the point - if too much information is required, visitors may not fill it out.

  • Use images for emphasis - Images, icons, and buttons are extremely useful when creating calls for action because they grab a visitor's attention before they even have a chance to read the text. Color, image size, and the amount of "white space" (blank area) around the call for action should all be taken into account, in order to maximize performance.

What's next?

If you already have the full control of Fission CMS, then go for it! Adding graphical and written calls for action to your site is a breeze.  However, if you're in need of more control of your site or would like to learn more about our Analytics reporting, don't be shy. Contact 360 PSG today at 716.829.7373 to get the ball rolling!