Our “Small Business B2B Call to Action Study” includes a companion checklist small businesses can reference while evaluating or updating their web sites.
Here is an excerpt from the “Small Business B2B Call to Action Checklist.”
“Contact” in the Navigation
Sometimes the “contact” can get lost in a busy navigation set. Use distinctive colors, fonts and/or other graphic treatments.
Sometimes “contact” pages are busy with many elements, including a response form, phone numbers, directions, map and more. Response forms can also be too lengthy. Sales executives want to ask as many questions as possible to “qualify” a prospect. But some people may skip a form if it’s too long or complicated.
Make sure the e-mail is apparent on different pages. Including it in the footer is fine, but don’t make that the only location. Some small businesses mistakenly include it only on the home page. Or, they bury it deep within the footer. Make it easy for people to call you. Some businesses may want to discourage calls (i.e. e-commerce). At least provide a phone number on the contact page.
Some business owners resist forms because they don’t like to fill them out themselves. The reality is that a percentage of visitors do complete them when they’re motivated. You don’t need a form on the home page or every page. At least use graphics that can direct visitors to a short response form.
Design & Content
The page design and the amount of content can accentuate calls to action or drown them out. Don’t simply list many paragraphs and add a phone number at the end. Make sure the page design includes other apparent calls to action.
It’s not uncommon for web sites to have calls to action on the home page, but interior pages should showcase them as well. Usually, web sites include the logo on every page. Make sure it looks professional.
Do all navigation buttons and links lead to live pages, or are there 404 error messages?
Don’t just promote additional text pages. Offer discounts off of products, 2 for 1 specials, how-to guides, white papers, case studies.
A study can take a while to produce – on your own or with a partner (another company, organization, university, etc.). You could conduct polls or surveys as well.
Videos can be full-scale productions that take a day or two to produce or simple how-to presentations with just a few key points.
Webinars can be based on other content you’ve already produced. Original webinar content can be used with other marketing. It’s worth the investment of time for the leads and marketing opportunities.
Your white papers don’t need to be 30 pages long. Provide great insights with data and documented success.
Specials Offers & eCommerce
Lower abandonment rates by refining your e-commerce design and critical user cues.
If they aren’t outdated, coupons can be a good draw. Test different amounts for a number of products or services. You should showcase new products, high-margin products and/or best sellers.
Can you offer a 14-day trial of your product? Can you offer special pricing? Could you bundle services or products, making them available at a discounted price if someone buys two or more?
Misc. Call to Action Options
Why settle for “click here” or “read more”? Use specific words like “Get our free hiring guide.”
Create a page of resources. List blogs, articles, web sites, newsletters, associations, interactive tools, calculators and more.
Make a point to reference a corporate brochure in multiple locations, not just the home page or your about page.
Include a few screenshots to prompt someone to want to take the time for a demo.
Share details of your successes even if you can’t use the names of your clients.
Can you offer free trials of your products? Do you have any free calculators or applications visitors can use?
Don’t hide a newsletter sign-up amid many other options. Use a graphic to bring it out a bit (even a small icon). E-mail addresses are golden.
Promote offline events. Every business won’t have seminars people can attend in specific cities. But they are a great way to generate awareness and leads. You should keep them in mind and use online marketing to get people to register.
Insightful and thought-provoking content can keep visitors interested and give you additional opportunities to point visitors to calls to action.
In our research, we have discovered that businesses simply don’t make the connection. They have a presence on LinkedIn and Facebook, but they don’t link to those profiles. Social media provides an opportunity to extend a visitor’s connection with your business.
Your meta descriptions should be action-oriented. Here is an example: “Contact XYZ Corp. today for a free demo of our applicant tracking system. We have 20 years of experience.”
The words “contact,” “today,” and “free” convey urgency. “Applicant tracking system” establishes relevance and “20 years” reflects authority, a key corporate attribute. Vary each meta description: focus on the offer – a free trial, a coupon, or at least ask the visitor to call or contact your business to get more information.
Download our FREE study and the Small Business B2B Call to Action Checklist.