Here’s a surprising stat: According to a 2013 survey of more than 3,800 small businesses, 55% did not have a website. You read that right: fifty-five percent. Some business owners quoted in the article simply didn’t have the time to set them up; others were actually afraid of getting too much business too fast!

You may be reading this and thinking this doesn’t apply to you. After all, you already have a website and you know how important it is for marketing your local business. You certainly aren’t afraid of new business, either. Yet, according to a study by Mike Murry on small business websites, 70% of randomly surveyed small business websites didn’t use a call to action on their home pages, other than basic contact information.

call-to-actionSo what is a “call to action” anyway?

A call to action prompts website visitors to take an action that converts them into customers or leads. This can be a graphic element, text, or a form… think “click here” or “sign up.” If you don’t have an effective call to action on your website, you may not be much better off than businesses with no website at all. It should be a part of your business’ digital marketing strategy. Read on for four things to think about when you boost your site’s call to action.

1. Is it easy to find your business contact information?

The most basic call to action is simply “Contact Us.” This seems painfully obvious on the surface … but we’ve all been frustrated by labyrinthine websites with difficult-to-find phone numbers or email addresses. According to Mike Murry’s survey, 70% of websites with a phone number don’t display it in a prominent place. Besides the standard contact information footer at the bottom, make your contact information big, attention-getting, and easy to navigate.

2. Thinking beyond “Contact Us.”

For the next step, your web site probably needs something beyond a simple “contact us.” You need to decide on the goal action of your website visitors: buy a product, schedule a consultation, or subscribe to your newsletter. This is what a call to action is all about. Obviously this depends on the service or good your business provides; for some businesses, you can direct customers right to the shopping cart. Is there a great promotion or sale you want customers to take advantage of?

3. Generating leads.

Other businesses may require a longer decision-making process by potential customers. Here’s a chance for you to collect their information and have them opt in to communications from you. Forms such as “schedule a consultation” or “subscribe to our newsletter” let you collect email addresses from interested leads. A call to action that builds leads is a solid strategy. Again, this all depends on the nature of your business.

4. Can you follow up?

Having an overall plan is absolutely necessary. If leads subscribe to your email newsletter, you need to have one ready to go every month. You need to have a consistent plan for dealing with “schedule a consultation” requests. And, of course, you need to keep your call to action up-to-date. Don’t let your Valentine’s Day promotion show up in March.

Your local business web site needs a call to action – and a solid plan behind it. Here’s where marketing professionals specializing in local businesses can help. At BlueTreeDigital, we can work with you to develop your overall strategy; design and write content for your refreshed website; and take care of the details and the follow-up so you can focus on your business. Contact us to learn more about how we can take your web site to the next level.