When new visitors click on your program or camp website, statistics say they’ll give themselves 3-5 seconds on your home page before deciding if they’ll stay or leave. And 70% of the people who decide to leave your website, will never return.
It may seem like getting a new web visitor to take action is like finding a four-leaf clover, but with a few simple tweaks, you can change that. The first question you need to ask yourself before optimizing your site to its fullest potential is: What action do you want your visitors to take?
Determine the Desired Action You Want
Figuring out the main goal of your program or camp website may sound like a no-brainer, but it requires some strategic thought. While revenue may be the ultimate driving force for many of your desired actions, it’s not your website goal. Your first goal is not even to gain a customer. Your first goal is to get them to engage or, to be more specific, click. If you interest them enough to click, you’re one step closer to your financial goals.
If they already know what they want, you may get them to:
- Register for camps, classes or events
- Subscribe to your newsletter
- Donate to your organization
- Follow you on social media
- Accept a free offer
The real questions are, how hard do they have to work to take one of these actions and do they want to do it badly enough to pay the cost of figuring it out?
Boldly Show the Way
Some program or camp websites are so busy or complicated that visitors can’t automatically see the action you want them to take. Remember, you only have a few seconds, so make sure you:
- Dedicate a place for your call to action (CTA): Put your call to action at the top of your webpage. It should be easily seen, accessible and at the same place on every page. Make it big enough to stand out.
- Declutter: Utilize the white space on your site so your action buttons are more visible and don’t get lost in the clutter or compete with too many other choices.
- Test Button Colors: Play with different colors to see which ones your market responds to. (This blog post gives some interesting thoughts about the use of color.)
- Be Logical: Make sure that when the call to action is clicked on, visitors arrive where they expect to arrive, and that the page they land on is easy to understand and helps them complete that action. Consistent branding helps them know they’ve arrived at the right place. If it’s too complicated or the form has too many fields, they’ll drop off.
- Use Verbs: Passive writing tends to feel less energetic and often fails to trigger a desire to make a move. Don’t speak passively; beckon your visitors to do something (or get something). Use phrases like:
- Register today (vs. Registration)
- Subscribe to our newsletter (vs. Newsletter Subscription)
- Get started
- Learn more
- Act now
- Sign up
- Try it now!
- Find out why ____
- Discover _____
- Avoid exclamation marks: Don’t try to liven up your text with a lot of exclamation marks. It just ends up looking sales-y and amateurish.
- Don’t use “click here” on your buttons or in your text: People scan text and click around on things that seem to offer what they’re looking for or just sound interesting.
Your website is your storefront, the first place potential customers go to get their first impression of you. It’s important to get it right. If you’d like to go deeper on this subject, perhaps you’d enjoy our listening to the recording of our recent webinar on the topic: