Kathleen Atkins

You have a beautifully designed website with compelling content that drives traffic. Now what? Conversions are the most important reason for allocating budget to your web presence, but are often overlooked as part of the design strategy. Contact Us or Request a Quote are common, but aren’t always enough to convince your visitor that you’re worth reaching out to.

Most companies gear their top landing pages to have calls to actions – after all, these are conversion pages. These pages are usually the best performers. Agree? Good, consider that you can make every page a little more like your top performers by optimizing CTAs across your site. At Brafton, we’re focused on optimizing every content page for conversion and measuring results. One of the key ingredients to success is having strong CTAs. Here are some results-oriented steps you can take toward CTAs that fuel ROI for your brand.

Define the purpose of a page

In order to create an appropriate call to action on every page, you first need to map out the purpose of the page. Do you have a clear vision of how someone will progress on your site? Each page on your website should exist for a specific reason. Typical page purposes include:

  • Explain what we do
  • State why we are better than everyone else
  • Tell the reader an interesting fact that generates demand and/or positions us as a thought leader

Even if each page has information that compels readers to reach out to you or buy your product, they aren’t going to act unless you help them – and possibly even hold their hand. Based on the purpose of each page (or group of pages in the same fold), you should map out how you envision people will click through this information to your preferred end result.

Dissect performance

You can’t clone your best salesperson, but successful sales organizations usually hire people with similar traits. Sales managers study their rainmakers’ tactics, look for training tips and even attend conferences to find the top 5 percent of producers. We have it so much better in online marketing because you CAN clone your best performers!

Does one page on your site have a conversion rate that outperforms the rest? Here’s what we found from the Brafton conversion optimization of one content page for a client:

Do you have a page with standout conversion rates? Yes? Fantastic, now put it to use. Track which pages are your highest converting and analyze what makes them successful. Assess visual appeal and layout to make sure page leads visitors along the right path.

Success factors could include:

  • The information or messaging on the page and in the CTA
  • The places you promote that page across the site and web
  • The visual impact of your call to action

Do the same for process for keywords. Does one keyword perform better than the rest? This could be related to your calls to action or the content of the page. Also, consider that some searches are more prone to purchasing (pages centered on longtail keywords may have lower traffic volumes, but higher conversions as search traffic from longer queries is shown to have more than twice the conversion rates of traffic from head terms). You may want to add more aggressive calls to action for pages ranking high in SERPs for purchase-hungry search terms.

Food for thought when dissecting performance:

Often companies will discover a trend on one page, set up an A/B testing environment, create several options based on why they think the page performs well, reassess and – finally – make changes later. This could potentially be heavy analysis for something you may already know. A CEO once told me, “Every page on my site is an A/B test,” and this wisdom has definitely stayed with me.

If you can discern why a page is performing better than others, and you have evidence in analytics, you’ve already completed a successful A/B test. A is the high performer, and B, C, D, E, F, etc. are all the pages not performing as well. Trust your assessment rather than spending precious time overanalyzing… unless you have endless budget and time (if you do, you probably don’t work in marketing).

What if you do this assessment and all of your pages have the same elements, but one is just plain better. Is it fate or luck? Perhaps, but more likely it’s relevancy of the content. “Cloning your best performers” comes with the caveat of copying success factors, while making the CTA somehow unique to be relevant to the page’s topic.

Make it relevant

Conversion depends on much more than a prompt to “Get a Quote.” It’s about speaking to the visitor in a way that is tailored to why they visited you. Instead of convincing your visitors to buy, try thinking about nurturing your guests.
Guests to your home appreciate your thoughtfulness when you offer them a beverage. Calls to action should be approached similarly. You can’t assume all of your friends are ready for a glass of whisky when they arrive at your house. Some prefer water, and some don’t even realize they have a thirst. Calls to action need to be based on the content and purpose of the page, and geared towards your guest.

With a database platform, you can categorize your pages to dynamically deliver calls to action based on the topic. Sans database, you can certainly assess and manually assign relevant calls to action. However you do it, relevancy is key.

Relevany required. Exhibit A: Client CTA on a content page with a relevant product has a 27 percent conversion rate. Exhibit B: Same CTA on a page for a less relevant product had a 2 percent conversion rate.

I have a customer I’m working with who (prior to working with Brafton) had the same call to action on every page of his site that showed off his company’s best selling product. On the section presenting topics related to this product, the click-through on the CTA was 27 percent. On a section of the site about a different product than that call to action refers to, that dropped to 2 percent. The call to action is the same, but relevancy prevails.

It’s also crucial to think beyond the relevancy of the CTA to the content itself, but also about the relevancy of the CTA to the way that visitor found you. If you can deliver content and calls to action that speak to visitors from different searches, you’ll have a good hand to play CTA cards with.

Visualize success from the eye (tracking) of visitors

Your gut will usually tell you if your page has a good call to action. If you don’t trust your gut, there are plenty of tools to help you. Eye tracking is a fantastic way to assess how people view your site so you know where their eyes linger – and that’s hopefully on an existing call to action or demonstrates where a call to action should be placed.

Your gut will usually tell you if your page has a good call to action. If you don’t trust your gut, there are plenty of tools to help you. Eye tracking is a fantastic way to assess how people view your site so you know where their eyes linger – and that’s hopefully on an existing call to action or demonstrates where a call to action should be placed.
Affordable eye tracking simulators exist, like attentionwizard.com from Site Tuners. With 75 percent accuracy compared to a full blown analysis, you can visually prove to yourself if your gut is right at a much lower cost than a custom analysis. Here’s an example of a page on the Brafton website providing a call to action that stands out, making it easy to find:

The eye tracking simulator agrees, showing that people are highly likely to view the content header and news roundup, but the call to action is positioned to get full eye impact.

Nurture the visitor

Don’t assume people will work hard to contact you. Keep your calls to action visible, especially on pages where scrolling is required. Some visitors are willing to scroll to read something they are interested in. Are you willing to bet your ROI that visitors will scroll twice to get back to your calls to action at the top of your page?

Google Analytics’ In-Page Analytics feature provides a visual representation of where people click on your site. You’ll want to be sure that you have your important calls to action above the point most people stop clicking.

Optimizing your calls to actions for conversions is essential to making your website a success. If you agree with these three statements, you’re in good shape.

  1. Each page takes part in a clear path to conversion
  2. My links and suggested calls to action are relevant to individual visitors
  3. I’ve verified my assumptions with analytics

Creating great content + Making it easy for people to act on it = A page well positioned for conversions

Learn more about optimizing for conversions in Brafton’s latest Third Thursday Tip video blog post.