What is a call to action?
A call to action is a statement or question at the very end of a page’s content that encourages reader response. The response can be anything from visiting another page to applying for a scholarship.
Why is it important?
Calls to action are not directly related to SEO ratings—crawlers don’t index calls to action. However, calls encourage reader interaction with a page, which is helpful for SEO. People don’t usually act online without direction. Calls as simple as “apply now” will increase the likelihood that readers will, in fact, apply.
When is it necessary?
Obviously not all pages have an actionable goal. Sometimes the point of a page is simply to be read so as to convey information. If that is true, then no call is necessary. In other cases, however, the point of a page is to encourage readers to respond in some way. On these pages, a call to action greatly increases the likelihood that the page’s goal will be accomplished.
How to write a call to action
Writing calls to action requires that text writers be very familiar with their goal. What is the point of the page, and why are they writing copy? If the answer is to convince the reader to do something, then the call to action should be directly related to that goal. There are two common calls to action: the question and the command. The question requires the reader to answer, whether by physically typing in the comment section, or mentally coming to a decision that may influence them to choose the company’s product in the future. The command, on the other hand, politely directs the reader to engage more deeply with the content or page goal, by clicking a “register now” button, visiting another page of the website, or a similar action. Both methods are effective depending on the type of page and desired response.
Deciding which method to use in a given situation is not usually difficult. Commands are usually obvious: if there is a definite step the reader should take after reading your content, then a command call is the best choice. Questions are more ambiguous, but are generally useful in any instance that a command would not be.
ISU Best Practice