Accountants are beginning to realise that their website – and all the various landing pages on it – should have clear “Calls to Action” (CTA’s). (By the way, there’s pretty much no reason at all that we give this an acronym except that it makes us feel like important marketers. So go on, use it in conversation sometime this week.)
It’s critically important to get your Calls to Action right. If you get them right, your site visitors will stick around, read more, sign up for things – most importantly, they will do something that will let you know they visited.
You can view all the website analytics you want, and get excited about your number of visitors or most popular page, but if people aren’t taking some kind of action, you’re missing out massively.
Here are a few basic principles to building good website CTA’s:
Make it easy.
No matter how impressive your offer is, it’s a barrier to action if you’re asking for their name, company name, phone number, mobile phone, email address, Twitter handle, mother’s maiden name, and a security question. These days, most good sites ask only for first name and email address before they give you whatever it is you were interested in. This of course depends on the complexity of your offering – if you’ve got a 45-page ebook that has a year’s worth of research in it, you have every right to request a little more than the usual information. Or if you’re trying to weed out your prospective clients, asking for more information will stop only those you didn’t want to hear from, anyway. But if it’s something that is free (we’ll talk about this in a minute), don’t ask for the family jewels.
Make it fast.
When you’re offering something for them to download or view, make sure they get to it very quickly. Make it so that they fill in a form or a box, click ‘Download’ or ‘Get ebook’, and it appears. Again, this will depend on your call to action and your target market. For example, we offer an Online Marketing Diagnostic for accountancy firms to complete. It’s for those who want to determine where to begin or how to focus online marketing efforts. It takes a good 5 minutes to fill in – which we know in internet time is massive. But that helps everybody. If you’re not interested enough to finish the diagnostic, maybe you’re not ready yet. If you start it and realise that online marketing isn’t quite what you wanted to focus on, you can close it out without finishing. But those who complete it through to the end are usually the type of people who want to work with us, and are possibly serious enough to start. It’s a ‘weeding out’ procedure.
Make it clear.
Some calls to action are full of so much information that it’s hard to determine what it is that’s actually on offer. If your offer says something like “21 Little-Known Secrets for Reducing Company Tax in Years 2010-2014 for UK Construction Companies – Download Now, Get 74 pages of Critical Tax Information Applicable To Your Business” , most of your prospects have turned off by the time they got to the fourth word. Remember, when it comes to websites and online marketing, people don’t read. They skim. So make your call to action extremely clear. In my fictional example above, perhaps you want to say “Free ebook! 10 Ways for UK Construction Companies to Reduce Company Tax”. I’ve completely made that up, by the way, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it exists somewhere.
Make it look good.
Get a designer to put together a simple logo or button. Of course there are DIY options – use Da Button Factory to generate simple buttons in any colour or font you like. Buy some stock illustrations from 123rf.com and add some wording. Hire a designer from 99 Designs to create your marketing materials. But most of you don’t have time to do all that – or, if I’m more accurate, you shouldn’t use your time for all that. As exciting as it is to take a full day SEO course or play around with Photoshop, that’s not the best use of your time or expertise. Spend ten minutes getting clear what you want, and then get someone who knows what they’re doing to make it happen.
Make it free or cheap.
Most calls to action on your website will be free. A download, an ebook, a video, a webinar invite, top tips. You can also have calls to action that are very low in price, to help with the weeding process. Some will sign up for the free things and never get in touch again. Some will download a free item and stay on your mailing list and eventually become a client. But you can also have CTA’s that are low-price, like a book or an online course or a benchmarking report, and as long as the effort required from you is slim to none, it’s again a win on all sides. If they buy and never get in touch again, you got a little income. If they buy and decide they want to work with you, your sales process just paid you for the privilege.
Here are a few examples of good calls to action on some of our clients’ websites:
AD+ Accountants – Tip of the Week signup
David Evans – 5 Golden Rules for Property Rental download
Andrew Price – Business Bitesize book downloads
If you’re wondering what kind of CTA’s you could offer on your website, start with our Online Marketing Diagnostic, and we’d be glad to give you some thoughts.