Use Clear Calls to Action

  • Your website is not a book. Your goal is not only to inform, but to spur your visitors to action.

    Think about it. You don’t really want more website visitors. You want:

    • More majors
    • More graduate applications
    • Attendees for your conference
    • A better reputation for your department

    And so forth. Your website needs to encourage your visitors to take the next step along the way toward declaring a major, starting a graduate program, coming to your conference, etc. The call to action is the element of the page that encourages your visitor to take that step. Once they have done so, we refer to that visitor as having converted.

    In a Web environment, a conversion means getting the visitor to click on something or fill out a form, although it might also be staying on the page for a certain time (long enough to see a video, for instance). If you already know your goal, it will be easier to figure out what the conversion event should be.

    Once you know what action you want your visitors to take, highlight that action. Do not expect visitors to read and find the action you want to take buried in a paragraph. We know that on-line readers skip and skim, so make it easy for them.

    To make it easier for you to create calls to action on your pages, the Web Team is creating several standard page elements that you can include in your page:

    • Undergraduate Admissions Call to Action: includes calls to “Request Info,” “Visit Campus,” and “Apply Now.” Include this call to action on your site on any page describing an undergraduate program.

    • Graduate Admissions Call to Action: can include calls to “Request Info,” “Visit Campus,” “Attend an Information Session,” and “Apply Now.” Include this call to action on your site on any page describing a graduate program.

    • Configurable Call to Action: Create your own call to action, with configurable text.

    Directions on using each of these are available in the How To section of the Web Team’s website.