We have spent a lot of time talking about the need to write a blog and how to promote that blog and your website. Doing so will dramatically increase the amount of content within your site and the ranking within search engines which will deliver more search engine traffic. More traffic is great, but if those new visitors aren’t doing anything other than reading your content, you probably aren’t accomplishing your goal of gathering more leads and making more sales. If that’s the case for you, then one technique you may need to work on is your Call To Action.
If you are working on a business blog, doubtless many of your blog posts are attempting to educate your visitors on products or services you offer, problems they may be experiencing, solutions they may be interested in, or news and information that relate to your market or industry. At any point in these posts, are you telling your readers what to do next? It is great to arm them with the knowledge that a solution exists for the problem that they’re experiencing, but are you expecting them to understand exactly what their next course of action should be? Make it easy for them. Tell them exactly what to do, in clear and concise terms. This is your Call To Action.
There are lots of ways to include a Call To Action, and not all of them may be appropriate for your particular blog. Read through the following techniques to help understand what will work for your business website.
1. Prepare Your Readers
Before you can ask your readers to take an action, you have to make sure that they’re ready to take that action. Typically, this is what the bulk of the blog post is for – discussing a topic and educating your reader about an issue or perhaps a solution you offer. By making sure that they understand their needs you make it more likely they will be willing to take that next step.
2. Offer Something
A common technique is to offer the visitor something. This might be a discount code or coupon, a free eBook, or some other compensation. A quick incentive is an easy way to encourage a visitor to take the action you want. For example, you might offer them a free eBook with more information on a particular topic in exchange for their contact information. It’s a technique I use often, like on my Blog Promotionology article.
3. Be Focused
The more choices you offer a reader, the more confused or indecisive they can become. Try to limit your actions to just one or two if possible, and make it clear, if you have more than one action, what the difference is between them and why someone should choose one over the other.
4. Be Active
When crafting the language for your Call To Action, use active, urgent words whenever possible like “Buy” or “Call” or “Subscribe” and you can add urgency by setting a time limit on offers or only have a few spots or deals available.
5. Think About the Position
If you are going to include a Call To Action within the text of a blog post or article, then as we discussed in point 1 above, the Call To Action needs to come only once you’ve prepared your readers to take that action. Other locations which may be appropriate depending on the action include the sidebar of your website, or high up in the center column. These are particularly appropriate if you’re thinking about actions that are independent of specific blog posts, like a “Donate” button.
Make sure that the Call To Action is easily identified and readable. Many of readers will be scanning your blog posts, not reading them line-by-line, which means your Call To Action needs to stand out. You should not use garish font colors or blinking text, but you should use white space and other more subtle formatting techniques to bring attention to your statement.
When it comes to formatting and style, the use of color is important. Colors have specific meanings so bear that in mind, as well as your business and website’s overall color scheme. Use something that looks good with everything else that you’re doing, but that stands out enough to bring attention to your text or button. If you can, set a CSS Style for your blog theme and custom class so that you can create a link and simply assign a class of “Button” and have it automatically styled correctly, like this:
8. Be Consistent
Make sure that you always include a Call To Action. Again, the Call To Action may need to be different from one blog to another, or from one page to another, but it should be there every time in some fashion. If your Call To Action is pretty standard no matter what you’re writing about, consider including it in a sidebar or, if you have a Drupal CMS that we provided you, we can set up a Block that automatically shows up below your content on Blog posts or other pages.
Finally, make sure that whatever your Call To Action is, you’ve thought through the process for your customers. If, for instance, you are asking them to complete an online form that provides their contact information, do not waste their time asking for unneeded information or personal data that would make them unwilling to complete the form. Again, make it easy.
Now, here’s our Call To Action:
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