Effectiveness of Calls to Action
Using a call to action always helps in a conversion. Getting a person to click on a button just because you are suggesting you click on the button. There is a design aspect of it that these buttons should standout but not annoy a person by draws the persons attention to it. There is also a content aspect of it where there are people that write good calls to action that entice a person to click on it. This blog post is not really about how to make the best calls to action, although if you are interested more in how to make effective calls to action, you can check these 10 techniques from BoagWorld.
What I am going to talk about is calls to action on Social Bookmarking and paying special attention to the referring URLs so you can customize a call to action.
The Referring URL
Having calls to action on webpages that were previously social bookmarked
Once a site gets bookmarked on any of the social bookmarking websites such as Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Mixx and many more, it can also gain traffic from these websites. Most of the time what would drive a person to visit a site listed in a social bookmarking site is because it had a good title and good description that has drawn the interest of the reader and has decided they are interested to know more.
The fact that traffic is drawn in this way already tells you that there is some percentage of interest already present. And once the visitor of your social bookmarked page was read, watched or listened to, whatever you have on that page that engaged the audience, they could be pleased or displeased with what you presented. If displeased, there is nothing we can do about that, but if they were pleased, where you made someone smile, be happy, astonished, amazed, or has given whatever positive feeling, they might just leave right away and go to another website. It is best to capture that positive feeling and give an appropriate call to action to get these people to bookmark/vote for your webpage also.
Custom calls to action depending on your the referring URL
Since webpages can be bookmarked from a number of social bookmarking websites, your calls to action can be customized depending on the referring URL. If you are a web developer, or even a web designer with some average coding skills, you should not have any problems implementing this. All you will need is:
- The social bookmarking badge code to create the buttons. Not all social bookmarking sites may have this, but you can reverse engineer the voting URL with get parameters to vote. Just search Google if these social bookmarking websites have their own badge code made, of if someone has made one and is sharing it to the world. Here is an example for Digg, where they really give out the code for this.
- Some programming knowledge to capture the referring URL. It is all different for different scripting languages. For this page, in the example above, I used PHP and simply displayed the environment server variable $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'].
- Your creative call to action text. This of what you want to say to entice people to bookmark or vote for your website.
Those that are WordPress users, there is a WordPress Plugin called Increased Sociability that can do this for you. Here is a sample installation on BusinessOnLine's SEO Blog. You will not see the calls to action under the blog post titles and at the end of the blog post, but when the traffic come from some social bookmarking site, depending if it is Digg, StumbleUpon or Sphinn, you will find the calls to action appear.
- Example of the Digg Call to Action using Increase Sociability Plugin.
- Example of the StumbleUpon Call to Action using Increase Sociability Plugin.
- Example of the Sphinn Call to Action using Increase Sociability Plugin.