There are times in the web design business where you get a phone call from a client that leaves you wondering whether or not you somehow managed to wake up in a totally different world to the one you went to sleep in. A world where basic website elements such as calls to action are of no importance.
A couple of months ago we were building a website for a new client and when they were happy with it we made it live.
The next day I got a phone call from a close relative of the client who told me that he needed to talk to me because his relative (our client) really didn’t know much about websites and there was something on every page of the website that needed to be changed.
That was a little surprising but, because I knew that this person had bankrolled the website, I felt that I should listen.
Basically what this person objected to, and wanted changed, was the call to action at the foot of every page. Our client was selling a service so the call to action asked people to call his number to arrange a free quote.
Calls to action are fundamental
Calls to action are fundamental to any website that is selling a product or service … they have been for all the years that Toni and I have been in this business and they will be for years to come. Basically calls to action are a necessary part of a website because, if you don’t ask you don’t get.
When it comes to websites and encouraging people to buy what you’re selling, you have to tell people what to do and if you don’t tell them they leave without doing anything positive.
However, according to the guy who called me, calls to action were a sign of desperation and he wanted me to remove every one of them. And he had the experience to back up his demands … he had built a website.
Yes, one website and that was enough to make him an expert.
I won’t detail our discussion but the calls to action are still there on every page of the website and the website, combined with our client’s Facebook business page, is working very well … as we knew it would.
Actually, over the years, we’ve had a number of people who questioned whether or not they needed a call to action. We’ve been told that calls to action are too aggressive … that people don’t need a call to action to tell them to buy a product or call about a service … people know what to do without those rude and blatant calls to action.
Do they? Any A/B testing where A has a call to action and B does not will quickly show you that without a call to action on every relevant page your website won’t work as effectively as you would want it to.
So no matter what you might think of those directives to buy now or call now be sure to include them because they work.