Should There Be a Call to Action on Every Page of Your Site?
Calls to action (CTAs) are a hotly debated topic in the SEO world. SEO experts generally agree that they are a valuable commodity that should not be ignored. But how valuable are they? How often should they be used? Should there be a call to action on every page of a website?
The third question is arguably the most debated. On one end of the spectrum are those who insist you need a CTA on every page of your site. On the other end are those who believe going with every page is overkill. They maintain that CTAs are only necessary in key locations.
This post takes the position that it is not a matter of ‘should’ but ‘how’. Regardless of how many CTAs are found on a given website, what is most important is how those CTAs are being used. Use them correctly and they do what they are intended to do, regardless of volume.
What CTAs Are Not
The starting point is to understand what CTAs are and are not. The latter is the more important. A CTA is a prompt designed to encourage visitors to make a decision about the information they find. A CTA is not a challenge to buy. Some CTAs do encourage customers to buy before they leave a website, but the choice to buy or not buy is rooted in a decision made by the visitor.
With this in mind, not all CTAs have to be directly related to selling something. There are different types of CTAs, all with different goals. The experts at Salt Lake City’s Webtek Digital Marketing say that one of the most important non-purchase CTAs these days is the subscription CTA.
A subscription CTA encourages visitors to sign up for a monthly newsletter, regular email updates, etc. Should a visitor make a positive decision about that CTA, no direct sale is realized from it. But the decision does give the company another email address to add to its current list. That email address represents yet another lead that could eventually be turned into a paying customer.
CTAs and the Customer Journey
What most people misunderstand about the CTA is its purpose. Again, that purpose is not to sell stuff. It is to lead the visitor on a journey that may or may not ultimately lead to sales. When CTAs are utilized as a journey-leading tool, they do not appear burdensome. In fact, visitors barely notice them.
You may have a healthcare website ultimately designed to bring new patients into a family practice. But in order to do so, the practice owner knows it’s important to make sure visitors use that site whenever they need healthcare information. Here is where the CTA come into play.
Something as simple as ‘find more information here’ can encourage a visitor to click a link. That link could take them to a new page with detailed information on a specific medical condition. That page could contain a prompt encouraging the patient to contact the practice owner for more information about available services. Another prompt could encourage visitors to make an appointment to see the doctor.
Should you have CTAs on every page of your website? That question is still up for debate. The more important thing is to make sure you are using all your CTAs effectively. Remember, the point isn’t always to tell your visitors to buy something. CTAs are supposed to lead visitors on a journey by encouraging them to make positive decisions based on what they are learning from your site.