This article is great for any website with a small business target audience. From website providers to marketing services, this article explains the importance of calls to action. The small business owner can readily see the importance of calls to action, as a high percentage of sites, do not use them.
Over at Espresso.digital, a small business survey shows that 70% of small business websites do not have a call to action. Businesses do not build websites as a hobby. They build them to help grow their business, to sell more products or services. There are highly successful business websites that draw visitors, keep them engaged, and get them to take some action that ultimately results in a sale.
There are other business websites that have visitors arrive, only to slow them down for a very brief period before they move along. It’s a lot like a speed bump, a temporary slowing point with a resumption of their previous surfing very quickly.
A successful website uses words and images to urge a visitor to take some immediate action that the site owner needs in order to move them toward future business, a sale, or a business relationship. Sites can do a great job of sharing information and educating their prospects, but without calls to action the visitors usually leave with their new information and end up doing business elsewhere.
If your website doesn’t have planned and well-executed calls to action, it’s very likely just a speed bump in the visitor’s search for a vendor to meet their needs. Think of it like POS, Point of Sale, displays at the supermarket.
Even though you are there to buy groceries, as you go through the checkout line you are presented with items like magazines and snacks that draw your attention and get you to take the action of picking them up and buying them.
The supermarket has it a lot easier than your website, as you’re at the store to buy things. An impulse purchase when you’re idle at checkout is a much easier sell than trying to get a website visitor to take any action, as they’re surfing around looking for information and shopping by comparison.
It’s far easier to leave your website and check out another one than it is to leave a store and drive to another competitor.
The Product Sale
If you sell and ship products through your website, the call to action is simpler. The shopper is there with a specific product or product group as their target. If you present it well with lots of information and many images or video, then a competitive price could be the only call to action you need.
There is a way to do better, however. Offering a discount or add-on item for purchase while they’re viewing the item works well for many businesses. They use either a countdown timer to show an offer’s expiration, or they make it clear that the offer will not be available on a second visit.
The Service Sale
The sale of services is a bit more of a challenge. You can explain your services and differentiate yourself from the competition, but a more specific call to action is the best approach to spur them to contact you for further discussion or to order your services.
If your service is carpet-cleaning, a special coupon offer or a first-time customer special price per square foot by using an online coupon/form are calls to action that are known to be effective. A real estate agent can offer a free home valuation via email if the visitor fills out a short form about their home.
A CPA can offer a free look at last year’s tax return to see if there were legal ways to reduce tax liability. A mobile pet grooming service could have a “Suggest a Location” form to see if there is demand they’re missing and attract new business.
If your website is in that 70% group with no call to action, stop being a speed bump and become a destination with specific calls to action.
Without Calls to Action, Your Website is Just a Speed Bump