The Call to Action – or CTA – is one of our top design priorities, for good reason.
It’s funny to think of a website design – which a lot of people still believe is basically a brochure on a screen – as something that can actively give directions to users. We usually reserve that kind of expectation for complex tools like Google Maps, or online stores and malls like Amazon.
Think about your favorite locations. Places you get things done.
At a good restaurant, your visit is guided from the moment you walk in the door. You know where to go, a server stages your meal, leaves you appropriate time to enjoy the experience, and guides you out again when you’re ready to leave.
Public event venues, like concert halls and convention centers, are often designed around directing traffic. Through signs, subtle quirks of architecture – all kinds of ways to aim people at the real value, and make it clear what they’re supposed to do next at every stage of their visit.
No one likes to look for directions. Unless you’re on a roadtrip, or exploring, it’s a waste of time and energy.
The value of directing traffic isn’t just for service websites or eCommerce systems.
To move beyond the outdated brochure-website model and towards a stronger inbound marketing process, the very first thing a business can do is make sure they start directing traffic. In some cases, that’s complicated; in others, it’s as easy as including a few strategically placed buttons on your website, for visitors to click on to take the next step in contacting you and becoming leads or customers.
This process is usually referred to as “traffic funneling” or “user cues” in design briefs, and it’s a lot less of a challenge than people expect.
The process for developing your site’s Calls to Action is very simple;
- Define what you want your visitors to do. Should they call you? Do you prefer email? Should they fill out a contact form? Create an account? All of the above?
- Create appropriate elements on your website. Make your email address or phone number visible. Create a contact form, decide its location, and add links to it on every page.
Once you know how you want your visitors to behave, it’s easy to plan design changes, visible elements, and site functions around those behaviors. What’s better; thanks to the state of current web development tech (a combination of analytics tools and on-site functions), tracking these actions is easier than ever.
Tracking and measurement are where your needs, and those of your visitors, align.
Let’s say you’ve done your homework – you want every visitor to know that the best action to take on your website is to fill in a quick questionnaire so you can get back to them with information. How do we know it’s working?
This is where most business owners leave the process – and that’s a mistake. We design every one of our websites to be measurable, and include tracking systems, to make sure design choices are working for visitors. This way, if for any reason the contact forms, shopping carts, or other user queues we’ve set up are failing, we can find out why and make adjustments. Even if they succeed, there’s going to be room to improve over time.
So that brings us to the hard questions:
- Are you directing your visitors, from the moment they enter your website until they leave?
- Do you track these interactions, to make sure they’re going as planned?
- Will you be making improvements to both your tracking, and the guidance you provide for your visitors over time?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, we’d love to hear why. Feel free to leave a comment below, or get in touch with us through our contact page.
Source: Hello BLOG