We’re often hired to review accounting and CPA firm websites and give suggestions to improve lead generation. When we do these audits, guess what one of the first things we look at is?
Calls to action. Meaning, the buttons that tell visitors what to do next, based on what they’re looking at now.
Most firms fall into one of two buckets: either they have absolutely no calls to action (CTAs), or they’ve smothered their pages in CTAs. Neither approach is strategic, and both represent a huge missed opportunity.
At the end of the day, the only reason you have a website is to generate leads—interested prospects who are primed to one day turn into clients. The secret to turning a casual visitor into a lead is nurturing them with information and offers catered to their interest level at that moment.
The purpose of CTAs is to direct visitors down a defined path through your website, giving them what they need when they need it, while guiding them closer and closer to a buying decision.
If you’re ready to get serious about your lead generation efforts, here are 5 kinds of CTAs you must have on your website (and how to use them).
CTA #1: Check Out Other Relevant Content
Most of your site visitors (over 90%) are not looking to make a buying decision right now—they just want to research. Your site’s job is to facilitate this process by helping visitors find what they’re looking for easily, and to encourage them to keep reading and digging deeper into your site.
How to use: Add a related content CTA to every blog post, either in the sidebar or at the bottom of the page, encouraging visitors to check out other articles similar to the one they’re reading now. There are plenty of widgets you can install on your website that will do this for you, so it’s truly a no-brainer. For extra credit, embed links in the content itself, pointing to other content (from your site or elsewhere) that’s relevant to specific details mentioned in the article.
CTA #2: Subscribe to an Email List
Your email list is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have. It’s the best way to stay connected with visitors after they leave your site and to nurture them toward a relationship with you. All you need is a way to collect those email addresses on your site, in exchange for something of value to the visitor.
How to use: Many firms write and distribute a regular email newsletter that goes out monthly, quarterly, or twice a year. “Subscribe to Our Newsletter” is a great option for an email address curation CTA, if you’re in a position to commit to keeping up with the newsletter. Make sure to give visitors an idea of the kind of content they can expect to see (special deals and offers, insider information, case studies, etc.) to sweeten the deal.
When collecting subscriptions, you only need to ask for a name and email address.
CTA #3: Get Special Content for Free
Another great call to action is the special offer—a downloadable guide, report, worksheet, or anything else a visitor could gain value from right away. You’ll distribute this special content for free in exchange for information—a name, email address, and potentially, answers to a few simple multiple choice questions. (What is your job title? How many employees does your organization have?) If you don’t have a newsletter, this is another fantastic way to build your email list.
How to use: Set up your special content as a downloadable file or as “gated content,” which can only be accessed after a form is filled out and submitted. Add a very visible CTA to your home page, briefly describing the offer along with some sort of Get It Now button. An optional additional step is to create a landing page—a separate sales page on your site that’s focused entirely on generating interest in the special content. This page would only be accessible by clicking the CTA on your home page (it would not be included in your main navigation bar).
CTA #4: Get a High Value Offer
Some prospects are ready to buy—they just need a little extra push. This is when you need to come in with your high value offer, such as a brief needs assessment, a 30 minute financial analysis, or a custom action plan. This offer is still free, but it’s well worth your time and effort, since only the most interested prospects—those teetering on becoming clients—will take advantage of it.
How to use: Reserve your high value offer CTA for certain pages and user scenarios. For example, you can use retargeting to bring people back to a high value offer after visiting specific website pages. Or you can try a strategically placed pop-up box, which directly requests user engagement rather than passively offering it.
CTA #5: Contact Us
This is an example of a CTA that’s often overused. You probably have Contact Us in your main navigation bar, so it’s completely unnecessary to sprinkle it all over your pages as well. Being pushy with your CTAs—especially ones a visitor isn’t ready for—is distracting, and it hurts your ability to build trust.
Your Contact Us call to action will actively target less than 4% of total site visitors, so try to reserve it for the final stages in your site workflow. We recommend pointing to a Contact Us form and also including your firm’s email address and phone number (so they don’t have to use the form), along with any direct employee contacts that might be useful to a visitor.
How to use: Prospects who might be ready to contact you are those who are evaluating your firm, specifically, rather than just reading your content. They’ll be looking at your About Us page and reviewing your services list. To get the most out of this CTA, give users specific reasons to reach out to you—“Get In Touch to Set Up Your Free Initial Consult.” Also, make sure your firm’s email address and phone number are clearly visible in your site footer, where visitors intuitively know to look for it.
Now Get to Work
It’s not enough for your firm to include all of the right information on your website—you need a well-defined conversion strategy to actually get business from it.
Start by mapping the 5 calls to action we discussed here to the pages on your website. Where would each one be most effective? Avoid using multiple CTAs on a page—what is the one thing your visitors are most likely to want after reading that particular page?
If you need help, we’re happy to talk through this with you. Just get in touch to set up your free consultation.