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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    What is "Call-To-Action" and how to do it properly?!

    Someone told me that my Home Page in not effective because it lacks "Call-To-Order"...

    Honestly, I'm not sure what that means?!

    Here is a screen-shot of my Home Page...



    So how do I address this issue???

    Sincerely,


    Debbie

    P.S. I have NOT taken a whole bunch of time developing my Home Page yet, because my website is not completely done. (And apparently someone noticed that!!)

  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
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    It's usually called a "call to action", but the first thing I said was that you had no introduction. The site doesn't say anything about its purpose, what it's about, or why it might be useful to someone. So that's the first thing to address. I like sites that have a big, clear statement up front—in large writing—indicating what they have to offer. It might be that you have a few links in that intro to major sections, which in themselves are a kind of call to action. More traditionally, a call to action is a big button for people to press. For example, you want them to enrol in a course, so say a bit about the course, but make sure to have a big button for them to click so they can actually sign up. Otherwise, they might not know what to do and just wander off.

    Up front, your home page lists some business facts. So what? What next? How do they relate to the site? Should I click somewhere to read more facts? Is this a site about business facts? There's really no indication of what it's about, or what people should do, so you may find that anyone who isn't looking for business facts will wander off, never having any idea about what the site was really for.

    You need to look at this from the point of view of someone who knows nothing about your site, rather than from the point of view of someone who's been working on it for x years.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    First off, thanks for your time and feedback. I hear what you are saying, BUT...


    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    the first thing I said was that you had no introduction. The site doesn't say anything about its purpose, what it's about, or why it might be useful to someone. So that's the first thing to address.
    When I click on SitePoint's logo, I am taken to a Home Page with the same issue...


    I like sites that have a big, clear statement up front—in large writing—indicating what they have to offer. It might be that you have a few links in that intro to major sections, which in themselves are a kind of call to action.
    Well, my Home Page has 5 boxes on it. And each box mentions the work "Business" in it. (Doesn't that count?)

    Are you saying I need an explicit message like...

    "This is a website about building and running a Small-Business"


    More traditionally, a call to action is a big button for people to press. For example, you want them to enroll in a course, so say a bit about the course, but make sure to have a big button for them to click so they can actually sign up. Otherwise, they might not know what to do and just wander off.
    Good point. (I took out the "Register Here" button, because I am not ready to give seminars just yet, but I left it there as a "teaser"...)


    Up front, your home page lists some business facts. So what? What next? How do they relate to the site? Should I click somewhere to read more facts? Is this a site about business facts?
    As mentioned, the Home Page is just roughed out, because I am trying to get the rest of the site done first, and then as a final touch, I'll update the Home Page to highlight my Content - which is being debated in another thread!!

    In the center box, I guess I would have a link underneath the Facts called "More Small-Business Facts..."


    There's really no indication of what it's about, or what people should do, so you may find that anyone who isn't looking for business facts will wander off, never having any idea about what the site was really for.
    The website is about helping people to start and run successful Small-Businesses...


    You need to look at this from the point of view of someone who knows nothing about your site, rather than from the point of view of someone who's been working on it for x years.
    Touche!


    Okay, but isn't it fair to assume that *most* people landing on my Home Page did it because they found me "at the top of the heap" in Google, Yahoo, or Bing when they searched for things like: "Starting your own Small Business", "Small Businesses", etc.??

    I figured that when people arrive at my website, they KNOW what the site is about in general terms...

    Sincerely,


    Debbie

  4. #4
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    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    When I click on SitePoint's logo, I am taken to a Home Page with the same issue...
    But Johnny hits little girls, so why can't I?"

    Hehe, because SP does it doesn't mean it's right. (I did suggest otherwise.) But when you've been a well knon site for over ten years, loved by Google, you can get away with these things.

    Well, my Home Page has 5 boxes on it. And each box mentions the work "Business" in it. (Doesn't that count?)
    To vague for me. I'd want to know your angle. Just because I'm interesting in business doesn't mean I'll be interested in what you have to say. (No offense intended, just sayin' ...).

    Are you saying I need an explicit message like...

    "This is a website about building and running a Small-Business"
    Yes, I strongly recommend at least that. Something that short could go on every page, under the logo.

    I took out the "Register Here" button, because I am not ready to give seminars just yet, but I left it there as a "teaser"...
    Yeah, I dislike it when Register" is the first ting I see, before I even know what I'm gitten.

    As mentioned, the Home Page is just roughed out, because I am trying to get the rest of the site done first, and then as a final touch, I'll update the Home Page to highlight my Content - which is being debated in another thread!!
    Fair enough, though as a kind of wireframe, I would still not that it's lacking an intro.

    In the center box, I guess I would have a link underneath the Facts called "More Small-Business Facts..."
    Certainly, it all helps. You need to give people something to do, a lead to follow or whatever.

    The website is about helping people to start and run successful Small-Businesses...
    Cool, and that should be up in neon lights.

    isn't it fair to assume that *most* people landing on my Home Page did it because they found me "at the top of the heap" in Google, Yahoo, or Bing when they searched for things like: "Starting your own Small Business", "Small Businesses", etc.??
    But you don't know why, or what caught their attention. For all they know, that page about business they landed on was the only mention of business in the whole site. If they bother to visit the home page, this is your golden chance to tell them why they should stay.

    I figured that when people arrive at my website, they KNOW what the site is about in general terms...
    I wouldn't rely on that. I often deliberately go to sites that I hear about, like sites offering a new code editor or CMS, for example, and even though I know what they are basically about, usually they do such a hopeless job of telling me about why their product is so good, or how it works, that I end up leaving in frustration. (You can't provide too much info, in my HUMBLE opinion. )

  5. #5
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    Some of the marketing people that I deal with mean call-to-action as a general instruction for the reader/viewer to do something. Usually bright bold text in a big starburst telling people to make a phone call, click a button, or fill out a form right now!

  6. #6
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    When I click on SitePoint's logo, I am taken to a Home Page with the same issue...
    When you go to the Sitepoint home page, there are plenty of obvious clickable points in particular, each of the article headlines. You don't need a "Click here to read about..." call to action when the headlines and teasers are that clear. I don't get that same feel with your website.

    Well, my Home Page has 5 boxes on it. And each box mentions the work "Business" in it. (Doesn't that count?)
    No. The boxes say "business" ... but so what?

    Are you saying I need an explicit message like...

    "This is a website about building and running a Small-Business"
    That still isn't a call-to-action, it's just another fact. It's like the difference between advertisements in the 19th century, which ran along the lines of:
    Debbie's Stores begs leave to tell the residents of Arizona that she has received a fresh shipment of coffee that is available to purchase
    and adverts today that not only tell you that a product is available and how to get it, but in particular what it will do for you and why you need it. Your "small business facts" are the prime real estate on that page, and there's nothing there that draws people on, nothing for them to latch on to, nothing for them to click on, nothing that tells them what they will get out of exploring the site further.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    But Johnny hits little girls, so why can't I?"

    Hehe, because SP does it doesn't mean it's right. (I did suggest otherwise.) But when you've been a well knon site for over ten years, loved by Google, you can get away with these things.
    Okay.


    Well, my Home Page has 5 boxes on it. And each box mentions the work "Business" in it. (Doesn't that count?)
    Too vague for me. I'd want to know your angle. Just because I'm interested in business doesn't mean I'll be interested in what you have to say. (No offense intended, just sayin' ...).
    Again, this is somewhat tough, since I haven't written my Content yet, but if had more articles featured in boxes, and ones that were more "actionable", would that help?

    For example...

    - I Want to Start a Business! Now What?

    - Why Small-Business Drives the U.S. Economy

    - Focus on Growing Your Business, Not on Taxes

    - Benefits of Incorporating Your Business

    - Is Outsourcing Unethical?


    (Conceptually) Would those article titles make you want to go beyond my Home Page, dig deeper into my website?


    Yes, I strongly recommend at least that. Something that short could go on every page, under the logo.
    So, you are saying, "Add a Tag-Line" to every page?

    Now does that go as far as "Branding"? Or are you just saying that I should spell out on every webpage the purpose for my website?


    Yeah, I dislike it when "Register" is the first ting I see, before I even know what I'm gitten.
    Okay, so if I had a button/link that said "Learn More" would that be better? (Clicking on the button would take you to a page about the Seminar, and the benefits, cost, dates, etc. From there you could click on "Register Now" if you liked what you saw.)


    Certainly, it all helps. You need to give people something to do, a lead to follow or whatever.
    Well, I was hoping that *quality content* would be enough, since I am not selling things up front?!

    My plan is just to write really interesting and useful articles to help bring out the entrepreneur in each of us, and show people that there is life beyond "Corporate America" (or whatever), and that working for yourself can create a whole new way of life...


    Cool, and that should be up in neon lights.
    But I don't get any points for my "What is an S-Corporation?" box?

    I thought that was good, because it points out a question that many people have. And, if it wasn't clear, that Text is supposed to be a hyperlink which would either take you to my "Small-Business Glossary" or possible an article like "What are the Different Business-Types?"

    Clicking on the Question would again take you farther into my website...


    But you don't know why, or what caught their attention. For all they know, that page about business they landed on was the only mention of business in the whole site. If they bother to visit the home page, this is your golden chance to tell them why they should stay.
    "A picture is worth a thousand words..."

    Since didn't give SitePoint's Home Page a rave review, could you please provide links to maybe 5-8 website that YOU think accomplish what you are trying to teach me as far as "Call-To-Action" and Home Pages go?


    I figured that when people arrive at my website, they KNOW what the site is about in general terms...
    I wouldn't rely on that. I often deliberately go to sites that I hear about, like sites offering a new code editor or CMS, for example, and even though I know what they are basically about, usually they do such a hopeless job of telling me about why their product is so good, or how it works, that I end up leaving in frustration. (You can't provide too much info, in my HUMBLE opinion. )
    So what should the "purpose" of my Home Page be?

    1.) To tell people why "I" am so awesome?

    2.) To tell people why my "Website" is so awesome?

    3.) To tell people why "Starting a Small-Business" is so awesome?

    4.) To tell people that I have *awesome* articles on Small-Business and they should try reading a few?

    5.) Something else?

    Sincerely,


    Debbie

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post
    When you go to the Sitepoint home page, there are plenty of obvious clickable points in particular, each of the article headlines. You don't need a "Click here to read about..." call to action when the headlines and teasers are that clear. I don't get that same feel with your website.
    Fair enough.


    No. The boxes say "business" ... but so what?

    That still isn't a call-to-action, it's just another fact. It's like the difference between advertisements in the 19th century, which ran along the lines of:
    Debbie's Stores begs to tell the residents of Arizona that she has received a fresh shipment of coffee that is available to purchase
    Ha ha.

    Okay, I sorta see what you are saying.


    and adverts today that not only tell you that a product is available and how to get it, but in particular what it will do for you and why you need it.
    Since - for now - my website is just about providing free content, should I take some of the "boxes" and fill them up with "Pseudo-Ads" to promote my website's Content?

    For example...

    Tired of workin for "The Man"?!

    Why not ditch your 9-to-5 and Consider Starting Your Own Business?
    or

    Starting Business ≠ Being Bill Gates or Steve Jobs

    Lots of Ordinary People start their own Businesses every day.

    But to succeed, Writing a Business Plan is a KEY 1st Step

    Your "small business facts" are the prime real estate on that page, and there's nothing there that draws people on, nothing for them to latch on to, nothing for them to click on, nothing that tells them what they will get out of exploring the site further.
    If I had a link at the bottom of that "teaser" entitled "More Facts on why Small-Business Drives America" would that help??

    Or do you just not like the concept of "Small-Business Facts" in general?

    (I guess I want to avoid making my Home Page - or really any part of my website - look like the Sunday Circular with nothing but flashing ads. YUCK!! I don't mind self-promotion, but My goal is to make people look at my website and bring people back, because of *stellar content* and not because of cheesy advertisements of promises "Click here to Improve Your Life!!" kind of silliness?! Ya know?!)

    Sincerely,


    Debbie

  9. #9
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    For example...

    - I Want to Start a Business! Now What?

    - Why Small-Business Drives the U.S. Economy

    - Focus on Growing Your Business, Not on Taxes

    - Benefits of Incorporating Your Business

    - Is Outsourcing Unethical?


    (Conceptually) Would those article titles make you want to go beyond my Home Page, dig deeper into my website?
    With the exception of the second one, that's much better. Those headlines would make me (if I had a small business or was thinking about starting one) want to read on – 1, 3 and 4 are definitely themes that will be beneficial to me, and 5 is certainly relevant.

    Why not the second one? Because it doesn't sound (to me) like anything that's particularly important to me and my business. Sure, it's very important for the country's economy, but my concern is not about the national economy, it's about me, my business, my family, my employees, my local community. If that helps the bigger picture then that's great, but really it makes no odds to what I do right now. If you said to me "It will help the economy if you set up your own business, but you'll get better pay, conditions and job security if you go and work for Taco Bell", I'd be down there making burritos in a flash. Now maybe I'm not typical of US businessmen in that respect, and I'm not saying that you shouldn't have that article on your site, but my choice would be not to waste a prime spot on it.


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