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Using CTAs to “Direct” Your Website Visitors

By | June 13, 2013

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By now most marketers have heard about personas, buying cycles and lead nurturing strategies to nourish your potential customers as they search and decide whom to buy from, and when. There’s some psychology involved, and some content marketing involved as well. There’s also some good old-fashioned product innovation required in order to really stand-out from your competitors, and some branding never hurt either.

Assuming that your business website holds all the information necessary to convince and elicit a sale from a potential customer, are you getting your site visitors to that information appropriately? This is not a trick question, and this is not a test either, but rather a simple way to look at what can become a complex problem for online sales – are you providing convincing and compelling content at the right stage of the game to engage and meet the needs of your potential customers? CTAs – not the Chicago Transit Authority but rather calls-to-action – can help mightily.

As a great friend in the online marketing business used to say to me regularly, “this isn’t rocket science.” In other words, it’s not Einsteinian and it does not require a super-brain to figure out what to do with a website to make it a great selling tool.  First you help folks to find it (SEO) and then you provide the content they need in order to understand the value of your product or service (Content Marketing)and then you get them to engage with the website now or later (CRO). We always use CTAs as a way to get readers to engage with the site, but here’s a novel idea – use CTAs to direct your visitors to an appropriate page on the site to provide them with the information they need.

For example, let’s say your website sells discount cards for car washes – the value proposition being that buying a car wash card will let you pay for multiple car washes more cheaply than if you don’t have the card. On your Home Page you probably don’t want the CTA to be “Buy Now” and link to the Payment page – there’s still too much information that your potential customers need in order to be convinced that your car wash card is a good deal. Instead, how about a CTA like “How It Works” that links to an explanatory page on your car wash process? Or a CTA that reads, “What Our Users Say,” that links to a page of testimonials describing customer joy at the money they’re saving while they’re keeping their automobiles shiny and clean.

And then of course on those two pages mentioned you can place a CTA that reads “Buy A Trial Card Now” that leads to a payment page.

See, it’s really NOT rocket science at all, but strategies like well-placed and intentional CTAs can make your website shinier and more productive. A website-washing service….hmmm?

4 Comments

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About Daiv Whaley

Working at Fathom for the past 9.5 years, Daiv learned SEO and Internet marketing from the ground floor up. He's developed content strategies for numerous clients, written for multiple industries, managed accounts and written and produced online videos. He's also had a cable access TV show, created several video art installations, been a Rock journalist, and enjoys blogging about content marketing and SEO as well as digital strategy for manufacturers.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/white-hat-link-building Nick Stamoulis of Brick Marketing

    It’s amazing to me the number of sites that don’t have clearly defined call to actions. You can’t assume that a website visitor will know where to look on your site for the information that they need. CTAs improve the user experience.

    • Daiv Whaley

      Hi Nick. Exactly right. Seems like often folks are so close to their website that they can’t see the usability errors right in front of their faces. A service like conversion rate optimization can really help with that sticky wicket. And just inculcating the CTA strategy described in the post really helps too. Gone are the days where one generic CTA is used across all the pages of a site…depending on the persona of the visitor and what stage of the buying cycle thay are in, they can encounter various CTAs that are appropriate and can direct them to the next bite of relevant content.

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