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How to improve your website conversion rate. Part 1 - Call to action.

by Ian Bertie MBCS – 07/12/21

How do we improve our conversions so we can get more customers with the traffic we already have?

One of the most fundamentally important and frequently overlooked (or poorly positioned) conversion tools any website must have and use effectively, if you want to convert visitors into sales leads, is the humble call to action (CTA).

Website owners have a real opportunity to orchestrate relationship-building conversion strategies with their CTA. Don’t let the simplicity of the CTA fool you, a well designed and implemented CTA has the power to initiate, build and strengthen customer relationships, which after all, is what your website is all about, right?

So what is a call to action? Well, the clue is in the name. It is in simple terms, an easy to use tool that encourages your website visitor to make initial contact with you.

That’s great Ian, but how do you make them effective? Good question, and that is what this article is all about.

So what makes an effective CTA?

Well you need to be open and honest about what a user can expect when they click, they need to be responsive so they work on any device and you need to place them where it makes sense to the user. A well placed button or well timed pop-up can dramatically increase conversions, but there is more to CTA’s than just pop-ups and buttons.

Let’s take a look at some different types of CTA that can help you get started.

CTA’s come in various shapes and sizes and below I have outlined each type, how they work and how best to position and use them on your website.

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    Above the fold.

    (The first bit of the screen you see without scrolling)

    One of the easiest ways to optimise a CTA is to simply move it from the bottom of the page to near the top. Making a CTA, particularly one that contains your best performing offer, one of the first things a website visitor sees, makes it easier for a visitor to find and use your CTA, however you only ask for minimal information — just their email address and maybe a name, no more. (Our tests on our own websites have demonstrated that for each form field that we removed, signups have grown by about 10%.)

    This should always be used in conjunction with the other three essential pieces of information that should always be used above the fold, namely:

    1. Who the website is for?

    2. What is it that you can do for me?

    3. Why should I care?

    See our article “How do you get visitors to stay on your website?”

    The Blog or Page Footer CTA

    If you have a well written web page or blog, and someone has taken the trouble to read all the way down to the bottom, there is a good chance you have caught their interest.

    At this point, you may not get as many lead conversions as many people will have dropped off before the end  but a well written and relevant CTA in the closing paragraph will generally receive better qualified conversions so you can afford to add a few additional qualifying questions to your CTA.

    The Timed Call-back

    The timed call back can be a great CTA. You will see an example on this blog, that blue floating telephone icon holds the message 5 min call back. (You can set whatever time limit you like, many use 30 seconds). Go on try it out.

    The way this sort of CTA works is your visitor clicks on the icon, a single field form requesting a telephone number pops up. They put in their number and click send, this also starts a timer that the visitor can see.  

    There are now two ways now that this CTA can work.

    1. Using a connection service.  A third party will monitor the form, when they receive a telephone number, they will call you, and the prospect and connect you together. This method does not require you to continuously monitor your email for submissions.

    2. When the form is submitted, it sends an email to the address you specify. Upon receiving this email, you call the prospect . It is fairly straightforward to set up a unique email address for this and then set an alarm to go off when an email drops into you inbox to notify you to make the call. 

    There is always a risk that you are busy when the prospect sends the request so a helpful message will pop up when the timer runs down explaining this and saying you will call back asap. Of course it really looks impressive if you manage to call within the time limit.

    Use a Chat-bot.

    Chat-bots can be a useful tool. Chat-bots can be useful for answering customer service questions and really good ones can engage a potential customer. Some people like to use them as they are less intimidating than some other types of CTA.

    A Chat-Bot is essentially a pre-programmed automated question answering system.

    Some of the more advanced chat-bots use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and are able to recommend customised offers based on a user’s past engagement, ensuring that they truly provide value.

    Live Chat

    Personally for my websites I prefer to use Live Chat over a Chat Bot. If someone is browsing your site, perhaps they have a question but may not want to telephone, live chat is a less intrusive alternative. They simply type in their query, a bell rings on your device and you do the rest. These are also very easy to install on most websites and you will see mine at the bottom right of this screen. The downside of these is you do have to be able to monitor them. Have a go.

    The POP-UP - Hero or Villain?

    From a personal user experience I find pop-ups a little annoying at times. Typically they will pop up and interrupt the thing I am reading just as I am really becoming engaged.

    That said, statistics demonstrate that they are one of the most effective tools for conversion on your website. The average conversion rate for a pop up is around 3%, however a really well designed and thought out pop-up can achieve in excess of 9%.

    The secret to an effective pop up is design, placement and relevance. For example, if your page is quite long, and a user has been engaged for a while, a pop-up offering to email the content in pdf format with extra graphics may be very welcome. It can become a great takeaway that your target audience can share with colleagues.

    This technique can also be used very effectively as Inline CTA content. That is to say offer the expanded version as an inline CTA early on in the original blog post or page, such as right after the introduction or first main point.

    There are three main types of pop-up that we use regularly.

    1. The button activated pop-up. Probably the least intrusive pop-up as it requires the user to take action to active the pop-up. When clicked a short form will pop-up requesting a few details (generally the fewer the better.

    2. The timed pop-up.  As the name suggests, this pop-up is time activated. Once a visitor has been on your site for a set period of time (suggesting that they are engaged with you content) a pop-up form appears, perhaps with a special offer or other type of incentive.

    3. The location based pop-up. These can be very powerful. They are set to appear when a visitor reaches a certain point on your page. if used with an appropriate and relevant  inline offer they really can multiply conversions.

    There are also other styles of less intrusive pop-up such as drop down or slide types.

    A single well placed pop-up can multiply your website conversions and they have worked on every website I have tried them on.

    Here are a few pop-up top tips to increase your conversion rate.

    1. Keep the pop-up form short, maybe just ask for an email address
    2. Be transparent about how you intend to use the information.
    3. Offer some free stuff, EG a PDF article, discount voucher, premium content or some other free stuff that will add value).
    4. Make it easy and quick to close the pop up.
    5. Make sure the pop-up sets a cookie so it doesn’t keep popping up and annoying your visitor. As long as you have plenty of other CTAs a once a day per user cookie should be fine.

    This combination will give you a huge impact on your conversions.

    The Video

    Video can have a dramatic effect on conversions. Typically a landing page that features a video will have a click through rate in excess of 30% and can increase conversion rates by more than 70%

    These are compelling statistics and with modern software featuring clickable CTAs within the video that allow visitors to actually engage with your content, perhaps offering additional video content or a special offer, or just asking them to contact your sales team. You can really leverage the power of video with actionable steps that bring results.

    CTA Conclusion

    If you are getting plenty of traffic but not getting the kind of conversion rate you would hope for from your website, it may be that you need to work on your calls to action. This article has covered some of the more successful CTAs out there and should help to solve you problem. If you would like us to review your website and help you improve your conversion rate, please click the button below.

    Read our next article. More ways to improve you website conversion rate.

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