A favourite acronym of digital folks is “CTA” which stands for “Call To Action”.

It’s not a technical term, rather a business one. It’s been used in marketing for decades (“visit your nearest showroom now!”), but in the context of the web it’s an extremely powerful concept because of how literally it manifests and how granularly its success can be measured via analytics and improved on through iterative split testing.

A ‘call to action’ is just that, a prompt by way of link or button to make the user do something specific.

It’s a simple yet effective concept and this is likely not a new term to many of you reading, but it is so often overlooked by busy content managers and website owners. It’s easy to be so focused on the message (“We make great doodahs!”) that the CTA gets overlooked (“Buy doodahs now!”).

Even outside of the context of selling, it’s an incredibly valuable consideration. What do you want your users to do next? How might you guide them through a considered experience on your site? If they’ve just finished reading an article on “The history of Sonic the Hedgehog”, perhaps they’re interested in more Sonic themed content or perhaps they might be willing to participate in your retro gaming opinion poll. Consider their journey and guide them through it.

For every page of your website, think about what the CTA should be. What might the user want to do next and what do you want them to do? Review your site page by page and see if you can highlight a specific call to action or if not determine what it should be.

Look out, here comes one now…

Have an opinion on when there should or shouldn’t be a CTA? Let me know on Twitter.

#adventblogging post 5 of 24 see the rest.