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E-Marketing Performance Blog

How to Make Calls-to-Action Great Again!

great calls to action

In order for any page to be effective at driving visitors to your goals–whatever those are–every page must have an actual call-to-action that compels them forward. You’d be surprised how many pages fail to have any actual action step for visitors to take. Then again, take a look at your own site and maybe you won’t be surprised at all!

Once any visitor reaches the end of the consumable content on a web page, there needs to be one or more actions for them to take. By taking that action, your visitor will have successfully accomplished what that page intended for them to do. If your page has a goal, the call to action is what helps them complete it.

But without a call-to-action that is aligned with the goals and message of the page, the visitor is left to their own devices. It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure without a choice.

Where does that leave the visitor? At best, they will go back to the site navigation to figure out what they want to do next. That’s leaving a lot to chance. They may not know what they want, they may not be able to find it, or they may get distracted in the process.

Even worse, many visitors will simply leave the site having gotten everything they want out of the page they are on. If there is nothing compelling them forward, nothing enticing them to keep going, and nothing making it easy to get closer to a conversion, the next most logical step is to leave.

Calls to action, however guide the visitor into taking the next step. Don’t think of it as forcing your visitor down a path they don’t want to go, but rather look at it as providing valuable options to give them more of what they want. They came to your site for a reason. Why not put a little extra effort in keeping them there?

Call-to-Action Checklist


  • Add a primary call to action for each page. This is the main goal you want your visitors to take. This call to action should be unmistakable.

  • Use active words in your call to action. Do you want them to click, buy, download, go to? Tell them exactly what you want to do.

  • Make sure you satisfy the reason for the action immediately. That should be the first thing they see once the action is taken.

  • Add some secondary calls to action. Not everybody is ready to take that primary path, give them a few other options.

  • Don’t let your secondary actions compete against the primary. If they only see one, it should be the main one. The others are just there for support.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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