A call to action is a term used in marketing to promote an immediate response/action or to encourage an immediate sale.
It is all good driving traffic to your newly designed website, but if you don't tell your visitors what you want them to do, you are not going to get the desired results. This is where a CTA steps in, it tells the visitor exactly what YOU want them to do. It is a great idea to include them ALL over your website, but the main place to put one is above the fold so it is one of the first things potential clients/customers see when they land on your site. A call to action should turn your website's traffic into leads however, this will only happen if done correctly.
Make sure you are placing your CTA in relevant places, don't just chuck them anywhere and everywhere. Think about where they would work best. It is very important to place one above the fold so it is one of the first things people see when they enter your site. You can also place them within the main content. Another great thing to do is to break up large bodies of text with a call to action, after every paragraph or chunk of text add a "more info" or a "get in touch" button, so if people see something that interests them and they want to find out more, they can instantly call or email you.
You need to make the CTA stand out otherwise people won't notice it and then it isn't doing its job properly. Make it BIGGER and bolder than other elements on the page. Make the colour different, from the background colour, or make the text bigger, something to catch the visitors eye, without practically throwing it in their faces as this can have the opposite effect.
Don't overcomplicate it, just make it clear exactly what you would like them to do. Use short, sharp, snappy sentences that they can quickly read and know what to do straight away. For example, use "Contact Us" instead of "For more information about this product contact us"
Make it look clickable. Why not turn it into a button? People LOVE to click/press buttons so why not make your CTA a button, get more people clicking.
Test different positionings, colours and fonts of the call to actions, also try experimenting with the language used. See what combinations you come up with and see what works best for you and your website.
As well as testing the colours and style of the CTA, make sure you test that they work once your website goes live. You do not want to go live with faulty/non-working CTA buttons, this will turn away the visitors.
When it comes to creating/writing your CTA there are a couple of things that will make it work such as starting the text off with a verb, an action word, like 'read' 'call' or 'download'. You also want to create a bit of urgency with your CTA's by using words such as 'today' 'now' or 'for the next 24 hours' these will push people more to do the action you want.
Some examples of CTAs and where to use them;
'Free Download' Everyone LOVES a freebie!! Why not put together an ebook, a checklist, a template or something else that would be useful to the customers and offer it as a free download. This will get people to take action, especially if it says FREE.
'Read On/ Read More' A simple phrase such as 'Read On/Read More' can be used to get people to go over to a blog post.
'Get started today' This CTA creates a sense of urgency by using the word Today. You're telling your viewers when to start. Today!
'Subscribe' This is the perfect call to action to get your audience to subscribe to your email list and receive your newsletter.
Remember, a good call to action will get people to act/do something, THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT.