If you’ve ever purchased something online or signed up for an online newsletter or some free service, you most likely were prompted by the site you were browsing. You probably responded to something along these lines: “Buy Now,” “Join Now,” “Sign Up,” “Learn More,” “Try It For Free,” “30-Day Free Trial,” “Subscribe,” “Join Today” or some other similar phrase. These are formally known as “calls to action,” or CTAs.
To be as effective as possible, all websites must have a call to action. Why? Because they work. You wouldn’t get the satisfaction you normally get from locating the product or service you were looking for if you had to work hard to figure out how to purchase it. For this reason, your website needs an effective, easy-to-see CTA on the home page.
Call To Action
The term “call to action” has been used in marketing since long before Al Gore invented the internet. CTAs have given the public instruction and guidance on the steps to take to fulfill their needs for as long as there’s been an exchange of something of value for something else of value. That’s a long time. If your shop’s website doesn’t have any CTAs, you risk losing potential new customers.
What’s an effective CTA for a repair shop? There are many options to consider, with a couple being more important than others. Let’s take a look at some possible CTAs that should be on a shop website:
• Request an appointment
• Contact us
• Schedule your visit
• Get directions
• Call us
• Find a location
• Get a free estimate (most important for body shops)
• Text us now
• Find us
• Get started
• Learn more
• View our specials
• See what others are saying
• See our certifications
• Leave a review
This is by no means every CTA you might have, but some of the most important ones for sure. Your CTAs should help guide your site visitor to do something you want them to do. Ultimately, you want them to bring you their vehicle, right? So, you should make it as easy as possible for them to do just that. And while this is important for all age and demographic groups, it’s especially crucial for your younger visitors, who expect things to be easy … or else. Or else what? Or else they’ll lose their patience and find what they need elsewhere. If someone leaves your site because they’re frustrated by the lack of an effective CTA, they’ll likely never come back.
On a website, a CTA can be found on a button, banner, slider or some other graphic or text that captures the visitor’s attention and entices them to follow through with an action, i.e. a click.
We use what’s called “heat mapping” to graphically see whether a call to action is actually capturing attention and generating those all-important clicks. We move buttons and banners as necessary if things aren’t generating the kind of results we’d like to see. We measure everything and can see the impact of moving things around within a month.
We also put navigation buttons across the top in a left-to-right layout based on the importance of those buttons. Since we read left to right, we always put the most important CTA navigation button all the way to the left, followed by the next most important and so on. As a result of this epiphany we had years ago, we’ve seen a 30% increase in clicks to our most important CTA buttons. That translates into cars to fix for our clients.
Check your own site. Do you have effective CTAs?