Your Company’s Website Should Be Gentle and Bossy at The Same Time

Filed under: Websites: The Basics

One of the most prevalent mistakes our Colorado web design and strategy agency sees in the ineffective business websites of new clients who hire us, and one of the very first problems to be fixed in these websites is (luckily) a very easy mistake to fix.

You should fix this big mistake if it exists on your website. ASAP.

It’s one of the most core, most important, most non-debatable requirements of 95% of the business websites out there.

Listen up:

Do NOT let your visitors read through a page or section of your site’s content and then wonder, “Okay, so … now what? Am I supposed to order this product? Where are the other links? How do I get to the other pages with those photos? Do I have to call in for a consultation? Do they even have an office location near me?

Throughout your company’s website, you must prompt your potential customers to do what they are hopefully already thinking about doing: buying from you, subscribing to your blog, signing up for email offers, etc.

Requests that tell your customers to do are called “Calls To Action”, or CTAs for short.

Telling people what to do doesn’t mean you’re bossy

Some businesses fear that telling their website’s visitors what to do comes off as being bossy.

Absolutely not.

Your potential customers want to be guided. They don’t want to get to the bottom of the page and think “Well…. now what?”

No dead ends

Calls to Action prevent your website’s pages from becoming dead ends.

They help your website’s visitors flow through your site and move from page to page intuitively and effortlessly. They help your visitors understand what they can do, how they can take action and what the next step could be.

By providing a bit of gentle guidance via Calls To Action that tell your visitors what to do (e.g., Call now to claim your free chia seed pet!), you can show people around your site and increase their comfort levels while encouraging them to take the action(s) you want them to take.

You’re not being bossy.

Three keys to strong Calls To Actions

There are three keys to keep in mind when you and your strategic web agency sit down to brainstorm the addition of Call to Action ideas throughout your website (and there should be at least one Call to Action on every page in your website to guide potential customers toward the next step they should take):

Key #1: Be specific and clear.

The clearer and more precise your request, the more likely your potential customers will respond.

Key #2: Don’t clutter the page with too many requests.

By prioritizing the Call To Action you most want your potential customer to follow, you and your web agency can be sure to utilize your website’s design and copy to spotlight that specific request. A big mistake many business websites make is loading a page with too many Calls To Action. Too much information can increase the likelihood of your potential customers shutting down — and leaving your website.

Key #3: Give your potential customer a way to act.

Once you’ve crafted a specific, clear and targeted Call To Action for your customers, and cleared the clutter so your Call To Action stands out, be sure your Call To Action is accompanied by a link within it or next to it, so your potential customers can follow-through on your request.

A beautiful example of an effective Call To Action:


Screenshot of CTA from Adobe website

Today’s key takeaways

  • Every page in your site should tell your potential customers, at least once, to DO something (buy your product, watch your video, download your ebook, subscribe to your blog, etc.)
  • When your tell your potential customers to do something, be sure to:
    • Be direct
    • Ask one thing at a time
    • Provide a link