Have you ever seen the movie Serendipity?
It’s one of my favorite romantic comedies and it comes to mind when I think about how people use the calls-to-action (CTAs) on their website.
Bear with me. This will make sense soon.
The story goes that two people meet, have a heart-eyed-emoji kinda evening and decide to exchange telephone numbers. BUT they write the digits on a random $5 bill and on the inside cover of a book.
They could have just handed the numbers over to each other like normal people who don’t actually exist in romantic comedies, but they decided to leave their relationship in the hands of fate.
Silly if you ask me, but it makes for a good movie that I watch over and over again.
It takes them yeeeeears to find each other’s phone numbers, and when they do finally find them, they have to go through a million hoops before they actually meet up (you’ll have to watch the movie to see what I mean because I don’t want to spoil it for you). Needless to say, it’s bonkers and definitely not real life.
But seriously, friends! It’s the worst strategy ever.
Don’t leave your relationship with your ideal customers up to fate, like I’ve seen so many do. And definitely, don’t expect ideal customers to find you later down the road after a chance encounter with your brand.
You need to use calls-to-action (everywhere), and you need to build a relationship with your right people to make your business work in the long run.
Your website is the perfect place to build that relationship, and your Calls-to-Action are how you do it.
You may think that as a web designer I have to believe that everyone with a small business needs a website…but it’s true! I do think that, but it’s not just to pad my own wallet.
Your website is the home-base to send people to when you hand out your business card or when you post to social media. Handing out business cards without a website address on it is a little serendipitous, just like sending out social media posts without a purpose is a waste of time.
So, yep. I do think that you need a website, but you also need to DO something with your website.
If you use Calls-to-Action well, your website can serve as a lovely salesperson, waiting to:
- tell your brand message to the world so that the right followers will connect with you,
- share your products and services so that you can make a living doing what you love,
- and remind people to come back to visit you time and time again to keep updated about what you’re doing and find out about your new offerings.
If you want to get people to connect, to purchase your products, and to become happy return customers, you’ll need to use CTAs on your website to get them to do the things that support your overall goals.
It’s as simple as that.
You need a call-to-action on EVERY SINGLE PAGE of your website that reflects your business goals.
Each call-to-action should be specific and clear about what you want people to do when they land on each page. Don’t make people think or wonder what to do next. That’s like writing your phone number on a slip of paper and the paper blowing away in the wind.
Being vague and not asking or telling people what to do is leaving it up to chance. Instead, what you can do is plan out the action that you want people to take and include a specific CTA on every single page of your website.
These actions can exist in many forms, so you should be purposeful when you choose the one to highlight on each page.
Clicking a link is considered one action, as is filling out a form, or scheduling a one-on-one call, or downloading a freebie. There are many different CTAs that you can use, it just depends on what you need to do to guide your person down the customer buying path.
Create a list of the things that you need people to do to get to the end goal; buying your product or service. Then, go page by page through your site, and figure out what the logical thing is for people to do next on each of them.
To figure out which call-to-action you should use, you can think of the purpose and goal of the page, plus the value that your ideal customer will get from performing the action.
Purpose & Goal + Value = Your Call-to-action
So you need to get your reader to take a specific action, that will help them reach the goal and purpose that you’ve decided on for that page.
Each page might have a different action and goal, and sometimes you might have a secondary goal or action that’s not as important. It’s okay to have that secondary or more passive CTA but start with the most important one.
Your website needs to be working for you, so start now with an ultimate goal for each page and post.
I would start with your About Page because it’s the best place to begin that relationship.
In fact, the whole goal of your About Page is to form your “relationship” with your reader.
They’ll read the page, make a connection with you because they think you’re rad and because they love your message, and then they’ll fill out a form to start your free seven-day challenge, or whatever opt-in you choose.
After they’ve finished the challenge, you’d follow up by sending an email and also invite them to join a new course that you just launched or to sign up for your subscription service.
If you’re writing a blog post, you’ll want the user to read the post and then maybe fill out a form to download a free content upgrade (like a worksheet).
The person will go from being a casual reader to being a subscriber who may read many of your posts, or who will buy your products or services at a later date. You’ll move them from being on the outside to being on the inside where you can further guide them along the path.
As you can see, you can have many different CTAs that fit different scenarios, but that all lead back to the customer path.
How you move your followers down the path comes from planning and strategy. Not in a sneaky-I-want-all-your-money type of way, but in a guiding them along let’s-be-best-friends kinda way.
Each call-to-action is a stopping point in the journey that will lead your ideal customer further down the path, or that will cause the wrong people to turn around and get off the path altogether.
(I know you might be thinking that you want to keep everyone on the customer path, but it’s simply not how it should be done. You only want to keep the people who are the right fit.)
So if you want the right people to take action on your website, you’ll need to focus on what they can do that will move them towards your goal, but that will also give them the best value. Because you want your friends to have the best, right?