Looking for a simple way to increase conversions? Unsure why your blog posts aren’t convincing readers to buy? That could all be changed by making the most of three little letters: CTA.
So, you’ve written an awesome, insightful, SEO optimised blog post for your website. Nice one! Now, time to copy-and-paste in the same one-line call to action you used in your last post, right?
Wrong! Don’t let your hard work go to waste with an under-par CTA. It might be brief, but a blog post’s call to action is a major part of the content you create.
A staple of digital marketing, a call to action crystallises everything an online business is trying to achieve. In just a couple of short sentences, your aim with a call to action is to encourage readers to become customers.
A call to action will often be the last thing users read before making a decision on whether to invest in your business. Making the right impression here is absolutely crucial.
Ready to up your CTA game yet? Keep these seven key principles in mind when putting together your calls to action and you’ll give readers every reason to become consumers…
1. Emphasise the Value and Benefits
If you’re including a value-based incentive on your site and it’s relevant to the blog post you’ve just written, shout about it from the rooftops:
- Is your business currently offering some sweet deals that could entice readers to make a purchase?
- Is your eCommerce store offering free delivery for purchases over £50?
- Got a half-price offer on a product related to your blog post subject?
- Is there a price match guarantee in place?
Let the reader know in your CTA about strategies like these. They tend to call many of us into action!
Establishing your unique selling point (USP) in your call to action highlights an area of value that no other website can talk about. What can you provide that nobody else can? Every company has a key feature that offers unique value to customers, making it extremely useful information in a CTA. So, what’s yours?
2. Make Your CTA Unique and Related to Your Post
Whatever you decide to say or promote in the call to action, make sure it stays relevant to the blog post the CTA will be attached to. The last thing you want is to start referencing products or other areas of your company that have zero relation to the topic. So, always write a unique call to action that works with the blog post.
Constantly using a generic CTA with the same content is not a good idea. You miss out on the chance to promote the products and info within the blog; the stuff the reader is most interested in, because that’s what they chose to read about! Identical or very similar CTAs across many different pages also creates duplicate content, which can negatively affect SEO efforts and appear lazy or unhelpful to users.
Take a look at this CTA example from a blog post about PayPal Credit by Wise:
Read on for all you need to know about using PayPal Credit, including how it works, any fees you need to know about and how to apply.
Plus, a quick look at an alternative solution for those who prefer to use a debit card for online shopping – Wise. With the Wise international debit card, you can shop in multiple currencies for less.”
Wise aren’t trying to get readers to give up on the idea of using PayPal Credit, but they are offering an alternative for people who would prefer to use a debit card. They’re also highlighting their international debit card to people who want to learn about and use PayPal Credit but are also interested in signing up for an international debit card.
3. Use Emotive Language
Much like your blog post title, there are certain words that can really grab the attention of readers. These 25 words in particular can be seriously useful, if used correctly.
Incentivise the CTA and show how transformational becoming a customer could be by using action words like “Stop”, “Start” and “Discover”. Make it feel personal to the reader by using personal pronouns like “You” and “Your”. Tap into the reader’s need to change or improve or change something by using negative words like “Sick”, “Confused” or “Worried”.
Using words like these to your advantage is key to making a CTA compelling.
The call to action in this blog post by Gymshark, for example, shows how personal pronouns can be used to make the reader feel singled out and really involved in the text.
It also includes two reasons why the reader might want to purchase the product, “Trying to up your one-rep max or finding the bar slipping out of your hands?” This sentence is descriptive and intends for the reader to imagine themselves in that situation, either upping their one-rep max because they bought the gloves or dropping their bar because they didn’t buy the gloves.
4. Create a Time Incentive
“Offer ends soon”
“Buy now before it’s gone”
These are often-seen examples of call to action statements that create a sense of urgency. They aim to eliminate the prospect of the web user thinking, “It’s okay, I’ll come back later”, before completely forgetting about you and heading somewhere else.
As well as the basic “Give us a call today” kind of time incentive, you can create a more powerful sense of urgency by combining this aspect with others.
How about the USP? “Limited edition product. Get it now before it’s gone”
Or what about value and benefits? “This product is half-price TODAY ONLY”
Booking.com uses a sense of urgency in their search results, including, “Only 1 room left at this price on our site”, in order to get visitors to book right away.
5. Involve the Reader and Reduce Risk
Don’t let the reader go without leaving with at least something that will keep you in their minds once they head somewhere else. If you’re working on a free newsletter, why not encourage readers to sign up to that? It keeps your name and offers in their inbox, showing them more of what you can offer.
If there’s a free trial available, make readers aware of this and how it requires no commitment or investment. Taking the risk away from potential conversions can be a major tipping point for customers. It’s why video games have free demos. It’s why Netflix and Now TV constantly promote their free trials.
Our free marketing review, for example, gets plenty of attention because of how much we’re willing to offer, in exchange for nothing more than contact details. If you offer a similarly beneficial, risk-free service, use it.
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6. Stress Simplicity
So many web users will opt to not make a purchase or conversion because they feel the process is too convoluted or time-consuming. In your call to action, break down this barrier by stressing how simple it is for them to make the action we’re looking for.
Regardless of the specific action you want people to make, there’s a way to promote it in a simple way:
- Need their contact details? “Fill out this simple 30-second form”
- Want them to create an account? “Become a member today for super-quick sign-ins and purchases”
This call to action on the Huel homepage offers a solution to visitors who don’t know where to start in the form of a quiz.
The headline is “Not sure where to start?”, grabbing the attention of anyone who is confused. This is followed by, “If you’re struggling to find the right Huel for you – worry not. We’ve put together a quick quiz to get you on your way.” This sentence tells you exactly what you’ll get if you follow this call to action – a quick quiz that will help you find the right product for you.
7. Be Short, Sweet and Concise
Avoid going overboard with your CTA in terms of length or word choice. A large chunk of text at the end of a blog post is unlikely to attract someone’s attention, whilst those who do read it may struggle to identify the main points. Use short sentences and impactful words to get across the key information quickly and effectively.
Look at these excellent CTAs for website landing pages. What do they all have in common? They’re super short and get to the point as quickly as possible. Readers are looking for solutions to their problems ASAP, so try not to waffle on!
How to Write a High Converting Call to Action
Let’s recap the seven steps that will help you write an effective call to action.
- Emphasise the value and benefits
- Make your CTA unique and related to your post
- Use emotive language
- Create a time incentive
- Involve the reader and reduce risk
- Stress simplicity
- Be short, sweet and concise
Take inspiration from websites in your niche, as well as sites you visit frequently. It can take a while to perfect your calls to action, so don’t forget to keep practicing and trying different approaches to your CTAs.
This guide was originally written by Chris Groves and updated by Jess Percival in August 2022.