Are You Experiencing Website Traffic Evaporation?

Website Traffic Evaporation
 
Considering the amount of effort (blood, sweat, tears, and money) that goes into attracting traffic to a website, it is amazing how much of this traffic simply evaporates into nothing.  
 
I like to call this Website Traffic Evaporation.  
 
Website traffic evaporation is tangible website traffic you worked your butt off for that exits without a trace (likely) forever.  It is likely caused by lack of direction for the site visitor to follow and often times coupled with the misconception that every visitor to your website is ready to buy your products / services right now.  
 
This can be solved by understanding who your website visitors are and simply telling them what they should do when they are on your website.  
 
Enter our hero, the Call To Action.  

What is a Call To Action?

Let’s start with understanding what a call-to-action (CTA for short) really is.  
 
A CTA is an image or line of text that prompts your site visitor what action to take on a page of your website.  Literally a “call” to take a particular “action”.
 
The action that you want the site visitor to take can be anything:
  • Download your ebook now
  • View exclusive video content
  • Schedule your consultation
  • Sign up for a demo
  • Begin your free trial
  • Attend the event
  • Receive a coupon
  • Register for the webinar

Creating an Effective Call To Action

How do you make sure the CTA you create will grab attention and get clicked on?  Here are some general guidelines to follow. 
 
Create a Design That Stands Out
Your CTA is competing with everything on your web page for attention.  Make it stand out.  Use colors that contrast with your website design.  Don’t be afraid to try something different here.  Select or create an image that ties into your message but is also eye-catching.  
 
Present Clear Value
Let the site visitor know why they should “call” to your “action”.  Present a clear benefit to them and tell them exactly what they will get in exchange for clicking on your CTA.  Is it an ebook download, access to exclusive video content, or a form that can be completed to register for an upcoming event?  
 
A Button You Want to Click
Make the text on your button an actionable verb related to exact action they are taking.  Rather than the usual “Submit”, “Download” or “Click Here”, go with “Sign Up For The Webinar”, “Download Your Ebook”, “Reserve Your Seat” or “Watch The Video”.  You will get more visitor to click on your CTA going this route.
 
Try to keep it short.  A couple words (no more than five) is ideal.

Using CTAs Throughout the Buyer’s Journey

Different types of CTAs are attractive to different site visitors depending on their current stage in the Buyer’s Journey.  It is a challenge to determine which stage each consumer is in so having CTAs covering all three stages will ensure you have something that suits everyone.  
 
HubSpot Buyers Journey
 
Awareness Stage Calls to Action
The Awareness Stage is the very beginning of the Buyer’s Journey where the consumer has identified they have realized a potential problem or opportunity.  Their focus turns to neutral 3rd party information that will help identify the problem / opportunity.  CTAs that will be attractive to someone in the Awareness Stage of the Buyer’s Journey include:
  • Download Your Ebook
  • Download Your White Paper
  • Subscribe to Receive Email Updates
  • Receive Blog Updates
  • Access the Product Cost Calculator
Consideration Stage Calls to Action
Now in the Consideration Stage, the consumer has identified their problem or opportunity and begin to research ways to solve the problem or opportunity.  CTAs attractive to someone in the Consideration Stage of the Buyer’s Journey include:
  • Download Our Expert Guide
  • View Our Exclusive Video
  • Download Our Podcast
  • Register For Our Webinar
  • Use the Instant Estimate Pricing Tool
Decision Stage Calls to Action
The problem / opportunity has been identified and research for solving it has been conducted.  Now the consumer is in the Decision Stage of the Buyer’s Journey where they will evaluate their findings and look for supporting documentation to make their final decision.  CTAs attractive to someone in the Decision Stage of the Buyer’s Journey include:
  • View a Live Demo
  • Start Your 1-Week Trial
  • Schedule Your Consultation
  • Download Our Case Study

CTA Placement

Where you place your CTAs is just as important as the CTA itself.  CTAs should be relevant to your Buyer Personas and relate to the content on the page they are placed.  
 
Home Page
Your website home page is prime real estate and typically the most visited page of your website.  Here are some CTA placement suggestions for your home page:
  • Educational, top of the funnel (Awareness Stage) CTA above the fold so your visitors do not need to scroll at all to see it.
  • Middle of the funnel (Consideration Stage) CTA somewhere else.  This does not need to be above the fold.
  • Bottom of the funnel (Decision Stage) CTA position somewhere as well.  
Blog Articles
Blogs are a great traffic magnet and often times the initial point of entry for a first time website visitor making educational, top of the funnel CTAs a natural fit.  Here are some CTA placement suggestions for blog articles:
  • Educational, top of the funnel CTA within the article as a text-based CTA or at the end of the article as an image-based CTA.
  • Place several other educational, top of the funnel CTAs in the blog sidebar if one exists

** Related Post: 8 Crucial Mistakes Killing Your Blog Marketing Strategy

 
All Other Pages
The product / services pages of your website are also great places to position CTAs relevant to that page’s topic.
  • Educational, top of the funnel (Awareness Stage) CTA above the fold so your visitors do not need to scroll at all to see it.
  • Middle of the funnel (Consideration Stage) CTA somewhere else.  This does not need to be above the fold.
Social Media
CTAs are not limited to the pages of your website.  They also can be placed on various social media platforms linking back to landing pages on your website.  Be mindful of the tone of each social media platform and construct your CTA to appeal to that audience.  What you place on Twitter might not be as effective on Pinterest.
  • Educational, top of the funnel CTAs should be used when promoting (Facebook Boost) content to individuals that do not currently follow your company.
  • Middle of the funnel offers can be used when promoting to an existing audience.  
Email
The individual emails sent in your daily communications can also contain CTAs.  Place these in the email signature or near the close of your message.  You will probably want to go with something middle of the funnel or bottom of the funnel here unless it is an unsolicited email message you are sending during initial prospecting efforts.
 
Mass email communications (email newsletters) going to a database should contain CTAs as well.  Since the recipients of these emails are (likely) familiar with your company, you will be looking at including middle of the funnel or bottom of the funnel CTAs.

Monitor Your Success

Your CTAs should be tested and adjusted on a regular basis to be certain you are maximizing results.  Monitoring your success can be done by evaluating the number of page visits against the number of times the CTA is clicked on.  Conduct A/B testing to determine if one headline or button color works better than the other.  It is amazing how the smallest of adjustments can yield a completely different result.
 
CTA Example Metrics

Next Steps

  1. Determine what “action” you want website visitors to take.  Include actions that relate to each stage of the Buyer’s Journey and not just the bottom of the funnel.
  2. Create CTAs per the actions you’ve identified in the first step.  Make sure these CTAs cover the basics with an eye-catching design, a clear value proposition, and a button you want to click.
  3. Position your CTAs throughout your website, on social media platforms and in your email communications where the fit the best.
  4. Monitor your results and make adjustments to maximize your CTA CTR (Call to Action Click Thru Rate).
  5. Post any feedback or suggestions you think might help others in the comments section below!

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Ken Franzen

By Ken Franzen

President / Co-Founder of Neon Goldfish Marketing Solutions