Lesson #5 - Calls to Action [Video with transcipt]

A call-to-action is used to catch the interest of your site visitor and direct them to a Landing page where they will hopefully express interest in your offer and enter the lead funnel. In this video you will learn:

  • Design best practices for a call-to-action
  • When and where to use calls-to-action on your website
  • Absolute non-negotiables for calls-to-action




Calls to action, or as we affectionately refer to them as CTAs, are absolutely essential to ensuring that people are participating with and experiencing your site in the way that you want them to.

You undoubtedly know that one of the basic principles of web design and user experience is to make things very, very painfully easy for our user.

We want to make these decisions almost for them.

We don't want someone to question where they should go from page to page, what they should be doing on our site.

Of course, we want to provide them with a lot of options, but we really want to make it very, very simple for them.

And that kind of concept, that real mindset is going to transfer over to calls to action.

What a call to action does is it prompts a user to take some sort of - you guessed it - action on your website, or from your e-mail, or from your blog, or whatever it may be.

What I have here is a very, very simple example of a call to action.

This call to action would be for - as you can see - a free e-book.

Some of the things that you want to pay attention to and include in a call to action are going to be including a very, very compelling headline here.

Keep in mind, this is not an absolute standard must-use layout for a call to action.

Calls to actions come in a lot of shapes and sizes, depending on what you can fit on your website, or in your e-mail, or wherever your call to action is going.

But just in this sample one, I'm going to want to include this clear headline, this main focus here, which tells someone what are they going to get out of clicking on this call to action, rather than just putting up here at the top - free e-book.

That's not quite so compelling, so a best practice is to make your headline and your main focus here something that really draws them in.

So I'm telling this person they can learn how to boost their leads by 400 %.

Including that number there, including proof wherever we can, whether it's just a number, or a statistic, even social proof, that's definitely going to really strengthen your call to action's ability to be very compelling and engaging to that user.

And now that I'm looking at it, actually, something that you could even improve further here to make that boost leads 400% really stand out is you could actually bold these right here.

Maybe use the same color, so it has that uniform feel.

But just off the top of my head, I think that could be a great way to really draw the user's eye into the key benefit that they're going to get by engaging with this call to action.

And then, of course, I am explaining that this is a free e-book, so they know what they can expect by clicking on this call to action.

Of course, calls to action don't just have to go to e-books.

They could go to any kind of premium content offer.

They could go to a contact us page.

They could go to a consultation page.

They can go really anywhere that you want to direct your user to.

But because we're going through this inbound and content process here, I'm going to use the e-book example.

Absolutely most critical component of your call to action is going to be your actual action button.

So, where is this user going to click to proceed forward? In this specific call to action we're drawing all the attention down on the bottom half to the "Download Now" button.

And I actually drew in some arrows here, so the user's eye really hones in there.

You can have a lot of fun with testing your calls to action.

You can test little things, like the different, maybe, color schemes.

Changing up the layout.

Maybe you want to put the download now button here and the free e-book below it.

Maybe you want to try with and without these arrows.

You can test all of these things in your calls to action, and you absolutely should be, because the more you can test it, the more you can discover what really converts people; what gets people not only to click through on that landing page, but what's getting people to actually convert on that landing page .

Which call to action drives the people who actually fill out the forms the most often on your landing page? Where do calls to action go? What can you do with them? Obviously, they go on your website, but they can go in a couple of different places.

An absolutely critical place to have calls to action is on your blog.

This could be on the sidebar of your blog.

This also should be at the bottom of every blog article.

You should be directing users to some sort of related content download; some sort of related way to get in touch with - talk to your brand. Whatever you want that to be it should be relevant to the blog post that they just read, but absolutely calls to action on your blog are essential.

Other places that you could include them may be on your services page, going beyond just the standard contact us form and really getting people excited about converting on whatever that section of your site may be. And then, not quite on your website, but also in your inbound campaigns, you must, absolutely must have a call to action, and any sort of lead in our train campaign, any sort of e-mail that you're sending out.

You could just hyperlink; just use a text CTA that says, "Click here to learn blah blah blah .

Click here to read XYZ." Whatever it may be.

You could also create an image and hyperlink that image to whatever landing page that you want to be directing those users too.

So those are just two ways to go about it.

Generally, the more visual you can make it the more you can get away from just the standard, "Click on this link to learn more." The more you can make it an actual picture, the better off you're going to be.

So if you have the time and resources, I absolutely suggest actually creating an image of a CTA and hyperlinking it from that lead in our train management system.

Before we wrap it up, let's recap what are these non-negotiables that you want to be including on every CTA? You want to have relevancy.

Wherever this CTA lives, the subject matter of the CTA should absolutely be tied to the subject matter of that page.

So make sure that wherever the CTA exists, it really ties into the content of that page.

Also, make sure that you are as concise as you can possibly be in your CTA.

If you are familiar with copyrighting, even if you've done just a little bit of writing, you probably know that oftentimes it is a lot harder to be simple and concise than to be in-depth and thorough.

I run into this problem all the time.

Fortunately, practice makes perfect.

When you're writing the first couple of CTAs, I really advise writing the exact same CTA three, five different ways.

Find a couple of variations, get some people's opinions on them, sleep on it and come back to it, and you'll likely find that there's one or two that really stand out as the best to you.

Then you can test those two against each other and see which one is driving the most clicks, driving the most conversions on that landing page, whatever your goal may be.

But remember that you want to keep it as brief as possible.

This CTA right now, pretty simple.

It's pretty eye-grabbing.

I can see the main sections that I should be focusing on.

If I included a bunch of text here about what's in this e-book, the different sections of this e-book, who wrote this e-book, what year this e-book was created in, it starts to get a little bit busy, and the message starts to get a little bit convoluted.

We can do all that great stuff on our landing page.

We can tell them, really, a lot more in-depth about what the download or the offer is.

On our CTA, let's keep it as simple as we possibly can, and only tell those compelling points that are really necessary to get the person to click through.

And then finally, the absolute number one non-negotiable of any call to action is to make it actionable.

In this example right here we have the download now button.

Let's say your call to action is to schedule a free consulting session, schedule a time to chat or get in touch now, or whatever it may be.

Remember that your call to action is driving someone to do something, so you want to make that something at the end of the road - whatever it may be - very, very clear to this person so that they understand what they can expect when they get to that landing page.

If you're doing a good job of making it actionable, making that action very clear to them, you're going to have a much higher conversion rate once they get to the landing page.

If you're not making it so clear, if your call to action is not quite painting a very clear picture of what is happening on that landing page, you're going to get a much higher bounce rate and a much lower submission rate on that landing page.

As always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions, and I wish you the best of luck.