The secret way to get exactly what you want

Imagine this: You’ve been hinting around to that hot guy (or gal) in the office that you really, really want to go out. You’re friendly and scintillating within a 1 mile radius of his voice. You’ve highlighted your hair within an inch of its life. You’re putting out some major vibes…

…But why won’t he pick up what you’re putting down and ask you out, already?

We’ve all met these folks and there’s always one constant: If you don’t come right out and tell the clueless object of your affection, “I want to date you,” the date won’t happen. In marketing terms, you won’t convert.

And you know whose fault that would be? Yours.

My father used to say that you have to ask for what you want (he called this theory “Get it and growl.”) No hidden agenda. No, “Well, I just assumed they knew how I felt.” No passive/aggressive “Well, if you REALLY understood me, you’d get it.” If you want it (whatever it is), pipe right up and ask.

And that includes asking for the sale on your Website.

Fast forward to yesterday. My dear friend and owner of the soon-to-be-uploaded FI-Strategies.com forwarded over his Web copy. Some background: This man is a consummate salesman. Professionally, he’s at the top of his sales-training game. Yet, he didn’t ask for the sale in his copy because, in his words, I made the incorrect assumption that most people would hit the “contact us” button if they wanted more info.”

That’s like assuming that the hot girl will go out with you. Someday. If you don’t ask, you may not get.

“Wait,” you may say. “Isn’t it obvious that my site is trying to sell something?” Yes, that’s true. People wouldn’t be on your site (assuming you sell a product or service) if they didn’t want to buy something. However, think about when you bought your last new car. You were obviously on the lot to purchase a car. Yet, the salesman probably still said something like, “Let’s draw up the paperwork so you can drive this baby home today.” He probably also handed you a pen so you could sign the contract. That’s about asking for the sale, baby. That salesman wanted to sell the car, and he asked you to buy it. Guess what — you did.

Another real-life example are infomercials. The cutaways that discuss the products features, benefits, price and how-to buy occur at least four times in a 30-minute spot. “Call now — special pricing for the first 100 customers” and “Call right now and lose 10 pounds by next Saturday” are all about asking for the sale. And just think — how many times have you watched an infomercial and actually — gasp — bought something. That’s the power of the call-to-action.

Asking for the sale (and creating calls-to-action) is easy. Simply tell people what you want them to do and give them a reason to take action. Here’s how to find opportunities on your site and to leverage those opportunities for SEO purposes.

  • Review your own site. Are there any calls-to-action within the text such as “learn more” or “contact us today” or “buy now.” If not, why not?
  • If you do have calls-to-action sprinkled throughout your site (good job,) did you pair them with benefit statements? For instance, would you rather read “call today” or “save $100 on your order if you call today.”
  • Remember that hyperlinks are, by themselves, calls-to-action. That is, the hyperlink text encourages (that is, persuades) people to click through to the next page. From a SEO copywriting perspective, hyperlink the keyphrase whenever possible.

Sprinkle some calls-to-action through a Web page and see what happens. Chances are, you’ll find that people are happily willing to take your desired conversion step. And all you had to do was ask.