Digital marketing is no easy feat. You can’t sell anyone on your blog using your charismatic personality, dazzling product demonstrations, or local credibility. That may have been the way it worked in the past, but not in the age of the internet! Plus, the worldwide web poses another challenge: There are thousands of competitors and your potential customer’s attention span is short.
So, is there hope? How do you increase conversations to gain blog followers, sell your services, and push your products? Well, InfluencerSEO is here to remind you that calls-to-action remain an effective means of converting website visitors. Today, we’ve dedicated this post to creating great calls-to-action! Let’s get into it:
What is a Good Call to Action
A call-to-action (CTA) is a branded prompt that asks users to input a little information for a free gift to make a long-time reader or customer out of that visitor. A good CTA should turn website visitors into subscribers, buyers, or clients depending on your niche. In order to convert visitors, your CTA needs to be strategic, well-written, and properly designed. More on that next:
How to Write a Call to Action
Strong Words and Phrases
Good CTA should use strong words and phrases that evoke urgency and emotion. Action verbs like subscribe, download, join, access, claim, start, learn, sign-up, and compare are great words to use in your CTA. You don’t want to be wishy-washy. Use powerful phrases and words to grab visitor’s attention. These words will scream “free stuff,” which people love!
Beyond Your Website
Think beyond your website. Website CTAs are useful, but remember you can use calls-to-action on your social media channels too! This can be a great way of reaching your audience quickly, without having to wait for your search engine optimization to organically get them there. Find your people on social channels and present your CTA on those platforms.
The best way to get visitors to engage with your CTA is to create a sense of urgency. Give them FOMO! If a CTA has little time sensitivity, a visitor might decide to “think about it,” and then never return to the page. If your CTA screams urgency, your visitors will opt in quickly for fear of losing their opportunity.
A CTA must not only be written well, but they also must be designed well. In fact, this is probably MORE important, because visitors will see the design before they read the text. Your CTA button or post should be bright with high-contrast. The images should be sharp and keep everything as minimal as possible. Your whole CTA must be clear, quick, and concise!
To make a compelling call-to-action for a visitor, the gain must be clear to those potential customers or readers. If they can’t see how they’d personally benefit from responding to the prompt, they’ll click out of it. There’s risk every time an internet user puts their email out there, so the reward must outweigh this concern. So, make what you’re giving away obvious and clearly explain how it helps the user.
An effective CTA must also be low-risk. If you ask for too much information or your web design looks unprofessional, the user might decline to participate even if they’re interested in the gain. Keep it low stakes, only require certain information, and make the rest optional. A name and email is usually sufficient and feels low risk to visitors.
Don’t be too corporate if that’s not you. Your CTA should sound like it’s coming from you and your voice. If they’ve just read one of your posts, they want to hear you again in that CTA. That’s going to invite your target audience in and convert them to forever readers!
Make it clear what you’re offering. Beware of technical language that your visitor may not yet know if they haven’t read much of your work yet. Acronyms and vocabulary unknown to the visitors can turn them off. They won’t Google the words, they’ll simply exit.
Additionally, visitors don’t want to read a novel. Keep it short. In one sentence, try to summarize what you’re offering your reader and what you want them to do. If the desired action is straightforward and the gain is appealing, they’re probably going to go for it!
Call to Action Examples
Here are some call-to-action examples that you can use on your blog! Start with ones that feel the most logical and appealing to your audience, then keep an eye on your analytics. Look at things like conversion rates and bounce rates to determine if your CTA is effective. If it isn’t as profitable as you hoped, pivot and try another one on this list.
At the end of your blog posts, you should always have a CTA. A potential follower has just finished reading a post on your site, which probably means they found your content valuable. You’ve pretty much already made the sale at this point! Just add that CTA at the end, so they find more content from you.
Many blogging platforms and plugins even allow you to add “smart CTAs,” which tailor the content to the reader. If this is a reader that’s already signed up for your newsletter, perhaps the CTA will be about buying your cookbook! And, if they’ve done that, maybe your smart CTA will lead them to your social channels. It’s up to you, but these CTAs are highly effective, because they’re specific to the user.
On any article, make sure you have social links for your readers. It can prompt them to share or follow, and the integrated buttons will lead them right to your page. This will help you gain more social media followers and diversify your web traffic sources. Your content will reach more people and you’ll retain more readers.
This is one of the most popular CTAs. When you scroll on a website for just a few seconds, a pop-up call to action button will likely appear. It’ll ask you to enter your email to sign-up for their mailing list. This is really low risk for users, because you’re not asking for a lot of information or asking for their time. As you grow this list, you’ll gain more blog followers and connect with more visitors!
Speaking of pop-ups, you can use them for more than newsletter sign-ups. These pop-ups sometimes fill the whole screen or just cover a small portion of it. Either way, it’s meant to grab website visitors’ attention and persuade them to respond to the prompt. It could be the newsletter, as we discussed, or it could be for downloadable content, a free trial, or social links. More on some of these later!
Like we mentioned in the first section of the post, calls-to-action aren’t just on your actual website. The whole goal with these CTAs is to direct people to the website and keep them there. These calls-to-action display a small portion of a blog post along with a graphic. A button at the end of the text says, “Read More,” and when someone clicks the link it takes them to the full post. These are often used in Instagram and Facebook ads and email newsletters!
Subscribe for Expanded Content
Your call-to-action can center on providing more for your loyal subscribers. Make it clear that if they subscribe, they get more ways to engage with you and your content. Maybe you offer printables, live stream events, additional posts, or a free course. Whatever it is, make it obvious, and ask your readers to subscribe!
Not every CTA needs to be flashy with bright colors and persuasive text. It can be easy and natural! At the end of a post, encourage your readers to comment on the article. Ask them a question or encourage them to give their opinion on your blog post. You could also do this on your social media posts! Doing this on your website will boost your SEO and doing it on your social channels will expand your reach.
Free Trial or Demo
Are you a fitness blog with monthly subscriptions for weekly workouts? Are you a fashion blogger that has a personal styling service? Whatever you are, if your brand has some sort of paid monthly content, create a landing page that helps readers discover and explore this option.
On that landing page include a CTA button that offers a free trial or demo of what you offer. You’ll get their email, they’ll get a preview of your content, and, hopefully they’ll stay subscribed after their free stuff ends.
These are CTAs you are probably already using! When writing a blog post, you should include plenty of internal links to other content on your website. Again, nothing flashy with these CTAs! You simply write your post, and as relevant content comes to mind, you link it. Readers love this, because it allows them to dig deeper and find more helpful info. You love this, because it keeps readers on your site longer as they click from post-to-post.
Interactive In-Line Links
Here’s another type of in-line link. These ones help cater to the readers specifically, to ensure you take them on a content journey they’ll find valuable. Maybe the post asks if they are teachers or administrators. Both the words “teachers” and “administrators” would have a hyperlink. When a user clicked on one of those, it’d take them to the curated post that tackles that perspective.
That’s just one example of an interactive in-line link. You could also ask people which color scheme they like better or ask if they’re parents or not. It can be anything! Just remember, the purpose is to deliver more personalized material to your readers.
Sidebar calls-to-action are marketing campaigns that always display on the side column next to your content. These are great for reinforcing your main goal as a blog. Whether you want people to become lifelong readers, buy a product, or participate in a service, this sidebar CTA can push that primary focus and reinforce branding. Since it displays all the time and isn’t closed out like a pop-up, readers can take their time exploring your site before they decide to take part.
Blog Post of CTAs
In-line links are the easiest CTAs to implement, as we’ve discussed. But, what if instead of inserting them whenever, you curated the entire post to be a collection of calls-to-action? For example: Maybe you review books and you make a post about “The Best Books of 2022 So Far.” You could list the books and link each heading to the review you have on that story. If the post lists 25 books, you essentially have 25 different calls-to-action prompting users to travel to your reviews. Brilliant!
Contest or Drawing
At the end of the day, CTAs work because people love free stuff. A contest or drawing is the perfect way to get emails, shares, and social follows. Simply make it clear what you’re giving away, and let visitors know what they need to do to gain entries. They get the chance to win something cool while you build a bigger following! Even if you give away something big, the ROI will be well worth it.
Free Quote, Evaluation, Consultation, etc.
Depending on your niche, offering a free quote, evaluation, or consultation can help you acquire new readers and customers. You can offer this on social media as well as your website, but any links lead to a dedicated web page that explains why a visitor NEEDS this free service. Then, you ask for basic info! Remember to ask only for necessary information and not too much more.
Asking your blog readers and social media viewers to comment is great, but not everyone feels like they have something to say. However, if you spark debate about a topic and ask your follower’s opinion, you’re likely to get plenty of responses! It can be something serious, like a current event or it could be goofy, like the best 80’s teen movie. Both will boost interaction and get your content in front of more eyes.
Learn More or Explore
“Learn More” and “Explore” buttons work like “Read More” buttons. These are often centered on a product or service, though, over your blog posts. You can post highlights of your product or service, and then add the button that leads to a dedicated web page. There, you’ll have all the benefits of your product or service listed and some motivated language to turn that “Learn More” into a “Buy Now!”
People love online quizzes. They have since the early years of Facebook! Having visitors take a quiz that provides them information about themselves and links them to your content is a really effective CTA. With the quiz result, readers can instantly understand how they should connect with your program.
If you are an organizing and cleaning blog, maybe a quiz delivers to readers a weekly cleaning schedule that fits their personality type? If you’re an entrepreneurship blog, a quiz could reveal a user’s leadership style. Use these examples to help you start brainstorming what makes sense for your niche!
People love to tell you about themselves, and you as a blogger should love to learn about your audience. It helps you connect with them in future posts and engage effectively on socials. Simply posting a poll on your story or channel can get a lot of people interacting on your social media profiles, which enhances your visibility! As people flock to your social channels, they’ll find your blog too.
Urgency is the name of the game! You want people to engage with your CTA quickly, because just as quickly as it popped up on their screen, they can close it out. So, how do you make them decide at that moment to respond? Make your offer limited! Use language that insinuates that this will be their only opportunity to get a discount code, a free consult, or whatever you have to offer. This will hopefully reduce the time they take deciding whether to follow you.
Product or Service Showcase
Are you primarily promoting your blog or your product or service? If you’re in the latter category, you’re blogging to boost your SEO, increase your credibility, and get more eyes on what you offer to make more sales. So, use your blog to sell! Do a complete product or service showcase as one of your blog posts and, at the end, ask them to make a purchase. Bloggers often miss this simple CTA. Try it out and see the response you get!
Contact or Chat
No matter what information, product, or service your website offers, your readers will want quick answers to questions. Whether it’s about what eye shadow palette is best for their skin tone or what family vehicle has the highest safety rating, your readers value your expertise. Because of that, providing a contact or chat prompt will make your readers feel heard and prioritized!
Meanwhile, you can grab their name and email as they initiate the chat. Just make sure if you do this one, you’re able to provide quick turnaround on responses. Instant chat is best if it’s possible for your business!
What about a free event? Host a private livestream or Zoom meeting where users can join and participate in the workout, seminar, or Q&A. Registration is free, but they have to give you their basic information to join. This feels like a safe trade for the user, and opens you up to a whole new world of followers.
At the end of a blog post, try recommending your reader go to another article. You want to keep them on your website as long as possible, so taking them down a rabbit hole of content is good for you! (And, good for them.) Just make sure the recommendations at the end are relevant.
If the post was “Perennials to Plant in the Spring,” perhaps the next post should be, “Produce to Plant in the Spring” or “Tips for Protecting Your Plants During Spring Storms.” Each time your reader clicks a new article, it should lead them to another one! Soon enough, they’ve spent hours on your website and subscribed to your blog.
At the top of your website, a thin banner can become a top bar CTA. This same bar will appear on every page the user travels to, and it will promote a sale, contest, or subscription. Users will always have access to this and can travel to the link when they’ve determined your content is valuable to them.
Don’t you wish you could grab your visitors right before they left and tell them why they should stay? Well, with exit intent pop-ups, you can! This type of CTA tracks when a user’s mouse travels toward the close button. A pop-up appears, asks the user to stay, and offers them something new for doing so. Maybe it’s a free trial, an extra discount, or access to exclusive material. This will keep them on your website a little longer to make the sale!
Slide-in boxes you’ve probably seen on food blogs. As you’re scrolling through one recipe, a small video of another delicious meal slides in on the lower right-hand corner. It makes you stop, open that recipe too, and stick around on the website longer! You can do this on your blog too. Just think about what content might grab your reader’s attention and keep them browsing your posts.
Embedded Social Feed
Using a widget to embed your Instagram or Facebook feed right there on your homepage can be a useful, indirect CTA. As a visitor travels your site and sees your displayed feed, they’re likely to at the very least follow your page. Without the feed displayed and a provided button, they may not have taken the time to search you online. So, this is a great way of building that social media following.
Many blogs have a set amount of free articles, but a content locker of exclusive posts exists behind a paywall (or subscription wall). You can ask users for their info or for a monthly membership in order to access all your content.
If you’re a gluten-free food blog, you can have a certain amount of recipes available to everyone, but your full library is for your subscribers only. A parenting blog might have educational materials, printables, and example activities for members, but have only basic material for regular visitors. This is a great CTA, because it gives readers a taste of what you offer, but really makes them crave what’s behind that wall. Hopefully, this will convert them into a subscriber or customer!
Calls-to-action are a great way to grow your following, increase sales, and keep visitors on your website longer.
A good call-to-action is one that’s tailored to your target audience with strong wording and appealing graphics. But, more than that, a good call-to-action is one that works, so experiment with different kinds and find what’s effective. We hope these tips will help you grow your business and set new big goals for your blog. Don’t forget to check back weekly for more blogging tips and tricks that will take your website to the next level!