As you review your website for the attention the search engines will give it and for its authority content, you need to determine if you have a clear call to action. A call to action on your website simply asks your viewer to do something. Are you asking the surfer to call you, to buy your product, to engage your services or simply to subscribe to your future communications? Think carefully about what you want next from your website visitors. This is your call to action (CTA). The purpose of a CTA is to create another contact point for your potential customer. It takes seven encounters on average before your prospect becomes a customer. If you don't ask or create a clear opportunity for your viewer to create a relationship with you and your business, you may not get your additional six contacts for the sale. Beyond the initial sale, you will want to set up an ongoing relationship with your customer. Business is not built on one sale, but on a continuous business relationship where you customer becomes a return purchaser. To build this loyalty, you must continue to place your name and image in front of your customer. Think of it this way: you spend most of your marketing efforts and dollars to get that first customer. When your customer returns for another purchase, you aren't spending much more in follow-up dollars. With techniques we are going to cover in future SEO SOS lessons, you will see that this cost is minimal and, therefore, yields the greatest return on your marketing dollar. Some examples of CTAs might be: - Subscribe to your newsletter. You can send out newsletters chock full of information of value to potential and existing customers. Again, you are reinforcing your image as the authority in your field by offering this information without charge to your subscribers. - Offer your visitor something for free, a white paper, a list of tips and tricks, a sample, a demo of your product, anything that helps them think of you the next time they want the product or service you offer. Did I say free? Well, not exactly free. The payment is small, however. All you want is their name and email address. - Perhaps you want them to complete a request for an estimate. Give them a form that is easy to complete and easy to submit. And then, follow up! Too often people set these contact points in place and then forget to respond. So a great idea becomes the means of painting you as an uncaring, unresponsive business. Don't let carelessness hurt you. - Maybe what you want is a phone call. If so, make sure that you give them an 800 number and a little enticement to call. The next 100 callers get a free report on "How to XXXX", or a pair of movie tickets, or a poster, or something that interests them. Once they make that call, you know what to do. - Instead of a phone call, perhaps an email contact would better for you. In addition, a good email contact form allows you to collect some additional information that pre-qualifies the prospect or perhaps gives you enough information to get the appropriate person to respond to their inquiry. Whatever your CTA, the underlying purpose is to create a stream of continued contact points. With each additional contact, you can offer another authority-building offering, a free report, a new product announcement, or a time-based special, or, more importantly, an actual product or service offering. The important understanding you want to associate with this Call to Action strategy is that you are building relationships. When your prospect and customer begin to think of you as someone who not only knows their industry and business, but as someone who cares to share important and useful information, you have built a loyalty that has immeasurable value. Remember that if you are going to compete in any industry, you have to develop a relationship with your customer. It is not the first sale that counts, but the ongoing business you have with that customer that makes the difference to your business growth and success. Copyright (c)2007 TAO Consultants, Inc. All rights reserved. _____________________________ Chesa Keane has been designing and developing web sites with an eye toward search engine optimization and traffic generation since 1995. TAO Consultants offers online web and SEO courses to help you make the most of your web business and investment at the www.computergoddess.com website.