One of the BIG things that gets people to do things on a website (buy things for instance) are call to action (CTA) phrases. I have found that most of the time, when you tell people to do something and they will have a good reason for doing it, they will follow your advice so I would like to give you several CTA examples and help you understand when they should be used.
First, what does a call to action mean?
A call to action, on a website is basically a phrase that in a way gives people a “command”. The purpose of it is to get viewers to act on something.
Example of when CTA’s are used:
Let’s say you have a website where you try to capture leads. One popular thing people do on websites is create pop up forms to have them do this and the pop up forms usually give people an incentive to join. These incentives are the call to action examples:
They offer you a free book on making money, losing weight, secret tips on whatever niche topic is on the website, ect…
Another example, which is just as common is websites that try to sell. They will have pages with products being promoted and have links that usually give people a discount, added bonuses if they buy it (for the same price) and maybe a countdown if a sale is going to end.
One last example is the one I use VERY often in my content. My goal is to get people to read my article fully. One of the ways I do this is by creating H3 headings throughout my article to catch their attention and make them want to read further down.
People can get bored pretty quickly when they read online and one way to stimulate their attention is to keep giving them “shocking” headings that their eyes will easily catch. Images with text on them can also count as a call to action. Oh and guess what? The title of this article also counts as a call to action. If you saw it on Google and clicked it, I guess my title was what made you get here 🙂
And finally, another BIG example is YouTube videos and using annotations on them. Those count too. I have tried this.
Basically anything that gives people 2 things: Value and a phrase to make them grab that value will usually have people performing things on your site that you want them to do and thus call to action phrases help push people from thinking into doing.
When CTA should be used and when it should not:
There is always a limit in my experience to how often you should use a CTA.
Using them too much will make the point of your content less valuable and make it seem like you’re just trying to push people to click on something, where it basically becomes something like clickbait, which in a way is like call to action, but one of the worst ways to use it.
Another problem with using them too much is that search engines (and people) do not like it and it will be reflected on how long people stay on your site and how search engines treat it. If you have WAY too many CTA links on your page/s, you will almost definitely see that people stay less on your page and it won’t be because they click on links, but because they won’t be attracted to the content you have up when they are distracted by all those constant CTA links showing up. Search engines notice that stuff too.
Using a call to action link/s on your page very little however will make it less likely for people to notice the phrase while they are reading your content.
So basically you have to find an area where you have the right amount of these links (or just headings/titles) present, but not too much that you’re destroying the value of the site.
So this is how I formulate my site:
My MAIN goal of ANY article is to deliver value and give people a reason to read it. When I have that set up, I will organize how I want the article to be written and between each point I will provide a great H3 title to keep them reading further one.
So basically if my article is divided into a thesis and I have say 7 points to show in the article, between points 1 and 2, I will add a great title to get people to read on into point 2, then when point 2 ends, provide another title to get them to read into point 3 and so on until I reach the end.
That makes up the basic blueprint and although I usually improvise my content, it ends up being organized this way most of the time.
Now within each of the 7 points (remember you can have less or more points, this is just an example) I will find areas where I can add the call to action links. For example, if I am in one of my points talking about an event where I made a lot of money, I’ll always make my link look something like this: “And this is how much I made” and link it to an article that says it.
That’s an indirect CTA, but it arouses curiosity to those who read it so I am getting people to click that link without asking them to do it. It also creates more interlinking opportunities that give people a bigger tour or my website.
I usually add obvious call to action links on my main promotion pages, but on a 1,000 word article, I will maybe use it 3 times in total. Other places on the article will also have several outgoing links to the same promotion, but be less obvious, kind of like the example I gave above.
Here’s a bunch of words, phrases and other cool call to action tactics you can use:
Firstly, keep in mind, there are certain words that “trigger” people into acting: Click here, learn more, see, usually money or health references about how much you made or lost, shock words like incredible, amazing, horrible, scam, ect… and by the way, the 3 dots (…) are also a great non worded CTA phrase that works because it implies there is more if they click.
Also consider colors as being a major factor in this as well. Blue colored links usually tell people that this will lead them somewhere. Red colors typically are used for titles or warnings.
The ideal goal you should have for your website is to make up your own CTA links eventually, but the ones you are about to see will give you a reference. In the blank spaces, apply the right words (money, health whatever makes sense):
The words in red are the “trigger” words that catch the attention. I don’t really like using most of these personally because I find a lot of them are cheesy and many are used by scams, but it is a fact that they work. People are curious and if you give them words that make them even more curious, they will be more likely to act.
Combine those words with action phrases and you have a powerful opportunity to increase conversions on your website. Remember, if you lack quality on your site, no amount of fancy, catchy words will help it.
How to test if this works:
The best way to do it is to cloak your CTA links, each individually so you can monitor how they do. Whenever you test links, you will want to see how many people who visit your site, and especially pages where you sell them things click on your promotional links and WHERE.
Depending on the information you get, you will be able to see how people are reacting to words on your site and if they are acting on it. If you see there is a small percentage of people clicking on the links you’ve put up, change the way the link is written, cloak it and monitor it’s performance, if there is an increase in clicks, you will know that the change in words affected it positively. For WordPress users, one of the best plugins to cloak links with is Prettylink.