When in the planning stages of a website, my main guide through the process is the little voice in my head that says “what is the goal?”. Not “what is MY goal?” or even “what is my client’s initial goal?”, but instead, “what is the goal of the website for a visitor?”.
Some websites act as digital business cards. The business card website communicates to a visitor the person, company, or organizations identity, and how to find or contact them. This is a perfectly valid model, and the goal is to simply have a digital presence and a bridge to their target audience. Once a site expands from that point is when people start to stray from the plot. Poorly planned websites can become just a random document of data that no one needs, has time to read, or has any real purpose.
From the first screen a visitor sees when coming to any website, there should be some goal, typically as either a Call to Action (CTA) or the beginning of a funnel to conversion. These components are strategic tools that persuade a visitor to that end-goal.
Call to Action
A Call to Action, whether it’s a button, link, or prompt, is the guiding beacon that steers visitors towards a desired action. It directs visitors to take a specific step, such as signing up for a newsletter, making contact, or booking a consultation. The strategic placement, design, and wording of CTAs have a profound impact on user engagement and conversions. A compelling CTA can create a sense of urgency, intrigue, or value, effectively enticing visitors to dive deeper into what the website offers.
Crafting an Effective CTA:
: A CTA should be clear and concise. It should convey precisely what action the visitor is expected to take.
Repetition and Placement
: Having a clear CTA available repeatedly throughout a site, keeps the action at the forefront. Positioning CTAs strategically within the website’s content flow can then capture users’ attention at the right moments, guiding them seamlessly through the intended journey. You never want the CTA to be five steps away when the visitor is persuaded.
: The design of a CTA matters just as much as its message. Color contrast, size, and visual cues can make CTAs stand out, ensuring they are not overlooked.
The primary funnel represents the main pathway that a website has laid out to guide visitors towards a specific goal, usually a conversion. This could involve navigating through different pages, engaging with content, and ultimately reaching the culmination point, which is often a CTA that prompts the desired action. A well-structured primary funnel optimizes user experience, minimizing distractions and creating a seamless progression towards the intended conversion point.
Crafting an Effective Funnel:
: Understand the visitor’s perspective and their journey while designing the primary funnel. The process should be intuitive and user-friendly. Earlier I mentioned a client’s initial goal. Too often website owners look at their website from their perspective, not their target audience or consumer’s perspective. Planning for the perspective and experience of the visitor results in successful conversions, and that’s really what everyone wants.
: Organize content logically, presenting it in a way that educates, informs, and persuades users to move forward.
: Ensure consistency in messaging, design, and branding throughout the funnel, building trust and reinforcing the user’s confidence in their decision.
When effectively combined, a well-crafted CTA and a strategic funnel create a clear route that guides users seamlessly towards conversions. The CTA acts as the catalyst that prompts action, while the primary funnel leads the visitor on a smooth journey, enhancing engagement and reducing the likelihood of drop-offs.
There can be more than one CTA and potentially even more than one funnel, but in those individual cases prioritization is necessary. The additional actions a user can take should be arranged in a way that is clear to the visitor and keeps the primary goal the center of attention.
Ultimately, These tools have the potential to shape user interactions, determine engagement rates, and ultimately impact the bottom line. By understanding the psychology behind effective CTAs and creating visitor-centric primary funnels, businesses can harness the true potential of their online presence and optimize conversions with their website.