Are You Treating Your Visitors Like A Dumb Herd?...You should!
Last Update: Oct 22, 2014
Recently I was talking to a fellow member about their blog. The conversation was sparked because of my last blog post: Why is my blog being ignored? She wanted my opinion on how to improve her writing. I shared my thoughts and after giving her some feedback on her website, she said something very interesting.
She stated, she assumed "people would take action on her product on their own". Here's the thing, the link to her product was in her menu and that's it. I damn near missed it & only found it because I was trying to help her improve her blog. Otherwise I would have left and searched for the product on Google.
Sadly she figured if people wanted the product they would eventually happen on the link on her site! Not surprisingly her conversions suffered and why she had contacted me in the first place. Honestly this is not her fault. It's a mistake I see a lot of folks make and I'll show you how to fix it. Ready for it?
Treat People Like Sheep!
Now this isn't meant to be disrespectful. But when it comes to your website visitors, you have to treat them like the sheep or cattle they are. (GASP!) Now before you start sending hate my way, hear me out. Sheep on their own will usually just roam about aimlessly. Eventually some will get lost.
Well your website visitors are the same! If you're not being a good shepherd, people will leave your site. Or they won't click on links or take action on what you want. So you want to be very clear on what you want people to do within your content.
How To Do It!
There are two approaches to herding sheep.
1. You can have a herding dog that runs around barking at the sheep and leading them in one direction.
This is the in your face, click on this link and buy now approach. I'm not a big fan of it. However it does work which is why some pushy marketers do it. And it's definitely better than doing nothing at all or assuming people will do what you want.
2. Then there's the shepherd approach where you gently guide your sheep to where you want them to go.
You can do this by prodding them with your long staff. (Woa, that sounded inappropriate. lol) Or you can use vocal commands. I like this approach because it's more passive agressive but still leads people to an action. Some examples of this would be.
- Feel free to check out this X if you want. It may be helpful to you. But if not, that's fine.
- I'm sure you have more questions or concerns. So you can find more information on x here.
Both are subtle ways of getting people to click on links that benefit me. But it's not like I'm hitting you over the head with it. But most importantly, you are being told what to do.
In marketing we call this call to actions (CTA)! When you write anything there should always be some type of call to action. It doesn't have to be a product. It could be to encourage folks to subscribe to your list, comment below, visit your Facebook Fan Page, etc. But if you have someone's attention, you damn sure better have them take an action that will benefit you and hopefully them.
Your Take Away
Ultimately, don't assume a damn thing about your visitor's actions! Well let me rephrase that, assume that your visitors won't do what you want unless you tell them! How you choose to do that is your own business. I ain't your daddy so I won't tell you how to do it. But you better tell them to do something! If you don't you're leaving money on the table.
So go back to your articles and check that you do have a call to action, if you don't you need to reword some section so you do. Or just make sure certain words are links back to something you want folks to do.
In any event, what do you guys think of this article? Did it resonate with you? Are you guilty of not using CTAs? Let me know what you think down below! (See, I follow my own advice too. lol)
So good Eddy,
Gentlish (?)...importantly firm & definetly of interest...
Really, is there 'any' product out of the millions out there that anyone really needs? of course not - not a solitary one...So if you are going to be in the business of selling 'anything at all' best heed Eddy's advice sheeple, i mean people...
Thanks Damien! I like the sheeple terminology! That's what your audience is sheeple, so let us all be the shepherds that WA has trained us to be. Thanks for chiming in Damien!
Hey Eddy, you always post such great info that really helps.
I know you have to help lead the visitor and show/tell them what action you want them to take. Sometimes you can forget that when writing. (I strive not to do that, but every now now and then I notice that I need to make my calls to action much clearer).
Thanks for posting this, and have a great day! :)
Thanks Jenna! I'm glad you find the information useful. Eventually it will just become second nature to include CTAs. I don't even consciously think of it anymore, I just do it like it's a reflex. So the same will happen with you as you continue to write.
Awesome information. A call to action is so very important. Loved this!
Hi Eddy.Nice post. I agree; you have to push your audience-prospects-future-clients in your direction; sheep need to be "herded" and too fiendly requests for action will not be heard. Still - to put it in a metaphorical way - your CTA should be wrapped in a felicitation-paper to make it fun for your audiende to open. B.t.w. I looked in my dictionary for translation of CONSIRACY (without P ) but couldnot find it; or is this a intellilgence test? lol. Regards Antonius.
I love the paper analogy and that's a good way to view it! I'm notorious for poor spelling and bad grammar, But I can take ownership for that image. I found it on the internet and linked back to the original source. But that's how bad my spelling is, I didn't even notice the misspelling. LOL
Thanks for chiming in!
Hi Eddy, I'm totally with you on this one. I'm not a 'hit em over the head' kind of person. Give them the info, tell them why it would benefit them and then where they can get it. The rest is up to them :) Great post, thank you.
There are two choices become a barking dog or shepherd.
What do I think, Eddy? Pretty good! You are right. Goodonya!
Now, I haven't prodded my visitors in any direction yet since I've been concentrating on content, but there will come a time, soon. I'm taking notes. Thanks Eddy!
Do you leave a bit at the bottom asking them to add content? That's a call to action. CTA is about asking them to do something - anything lol.
It's good to work on content, But I would already get in the habit of prodding like in the examples I listed above, ask people to leave comments at the end of your post or tell them to become a subscriber. You should always have a CTA even if it's just telling people to engage.
Every piece of content is an opportunity to help people and to drive them to an action that helps you too. So don't waste that opportunity even at the early stages.
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prodding them with your long staff. (Woa, that sounded inappropriate. lol). Bahahaha. you crack me up Eddy. great info mate , its always good to hear your thoughts.
I use to use the in your face approach, but now I prefer to use the subtle one. I think people don't like to be told but more liked to be pointed in the direction,
But yer, you have to assume that after reading a post they are looking for the next thing to do so that's a pretty good reason to have that CTA
Hey Chris, I'm glad someone can appreciate my corny sense of humor. LOL Yeah the barking approach has it's place and does work for people. But I prefer to treat people the way I like. I prefer that you present the information and let me decide for myself. And usually if you do a good job of doing that, I'll either buy from you at that point or you become someone I trust who I will buy from later.
But either way, having some type of CTA is a must for any content we write. Thanks for chiming in!
Thanks again Chris!