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How to Apply Consistency to Your Website to Get More Leads

In a small suburb of California, researchers went door to door with an absurd request.

They were asking homeowners if a huge ‘Drive Safely’ sign could be erected on their front lawn. As you might expect, almost no one agreed.

But, on one street a strange thing happened – over 70% of people actually agreed. The reason they said yes could be one secret to you getting more sales.

What happened?

Well, one week earlier the same homeowners had been asked if a small sticker could be placed on their window with the same message. It was such a small request that almost all of them agreed.

When one week later the same person returned and asked about placing the huge sign on their lawn. As it was much harder for the homeowner to reduce the request, the sign went up.

The Principle of Persuasion

In his 1984 ground-breaking book, Influence, psychologist, Robert Cialdini1Learn more about Robert Cialdini’s 6 principles of persuasion. identified 6 principles of how to get someone to say yes (convert them). They are:

  • Reciprocity – we want to return a favour
  • Scarcity – we buy because it is in short supply
  • Authority – we believe trustworthy and credible experts
  • Liking – we say yes to people we like
  • Consensus – we trust the power of the crowd, and
  • Consistency
In his best-selling book, Influence, psychologist Robert Cialdini defines the 6 principles of how to get someone to say yes (convert).

The Principle of Consistency

The principle of consistency states that we like to be consistent with what we have said or done in the past. Tell people you like Grande, nonfat, Caramel Macchiato, and next time you’re in Starbucks you’re more likely to order it (even if you’d feel better drinking tea).

Consistency also plays a part in marketing and sales.

Your waitress drops by your table to ask how your meal is. With your mouthful, you pause, consider how delicious the burger is a mumble that it’s great. What appears to be simply good customer service is also the principle of consistency in action.

Customers who agree they liked their meal are more likely to order dessert2There are many studies on the impact of a waiter’s behaviour and the number of tips they receive. One study found that if waitresses added a smiley face on a bill it increased tips (but not for waiters) and when waitresses briefly touched the patron’s arm when asking if they’d like to order a drink, tips increased an average of 25%., stay longer, and tip more generously.

The ad agency wants you to think that the new truck displayed in their ads is a perfect fit for a person like you (adventurous, rugged, and the kind of person who would happily hook a chain to a friend’s 4X4 and pull them out of the mud).

A car salesperson wants you to agree that you like the color of the new car in the showroom.

We are responding to our need to be consistent without knowing it. Applying the principle of consistency to your website can motivate visitors who otherwise might visit and leave to stop and take action.

To help make your content more consistent, check out our FREE Ultimate Writing Template!  

First, you need to deal with a high exit rate.

High Exit Rate

The goal of your website is to showcase your business to prospects and fill your sales funnel. Of course, your website can help build a brand, or offer members access to a membership site, but the primary goal is sales.

Unfortunately, that’s not what’s happening. Most visitors to your site arrive and then leave. Quickly.

How to Apply Consistency to Your Website to Get More Leads - Exit Rate
Unfortunately, most visitors to your site leave on without getting past the first page

Imagine running a store where customers walk in the door, look around, and then leave – within one minute. It would be disastrous! The reality is that one minute is the average time people will stay on your site.

The good news is that a small percentage of those visitors will stay 3, 5 even 10 minutes. Those are your future customers.

The trick for getting short-time visitors to your site to become long-time visitors is to get them to take one small step. That’s where the principle of consistency comes in.

Just like you agreeing with your waitress that you like your meal if you can get a visitor to act in a way consistent with what they believe in you have a good first step.

If you’re looking to outsource your blog writing, book a consultation with us to learn how to double your blog traffic!

One Small Step in the Right Direction

A good place to start is with your customers. Start by asking yourself what does your ideal customer already believe about themselves?

Brian Clark’s company Copyblogger invites readers who consider themselves to be “smarter” to join his list and learn more from his company.

How to Apply Consistency to Your Website to Get More Leads - CopyBlogger
Caption What does your ideal customer believe about themselves?

Like many software companies, Convertkit invites site visitors to take a free trial of their software. What happens next is a great example getting prospects to take one small step.

Once, you click the button to take the free trial you are asked a simple question: are you starting a new mailing list or moving from a competing product?

Depending on how you answer that question you are asked one more question about your goals and then led to enter your name and email to open a free trial account.

The genius of this step-be-step method is that prospects are being led down a path of consistency—each question naturally follows what you indicated in the last question.

How to Apply Consistency to Your Website to Get More Leads - Convertkit
Convertkit using the principle of consistency by asking prospects to answer questions that are consistent with the previous question.

Getting started

Getting a prospect to say yes to a sale will always be easier if they are acting consistently with their beliefs and the way they have acted in the past. Using the principle of consistency could be the secret weapon for turning your website into a sales funnel and converting more visitors into customers.

Enjoyed this article? Here are 3 more all about putting your blog to work:

The ultimate guide: How to use images, videos and screenshots in blog posts
How to build your perfect website performance dashboard in just 5 minutes
How to write an amazing roundup post

How to increase your blog conversions with a test drive

The blog is not dead.

Sure, your blog might not be as sexy as Instagram stories or slapping a cool video on YouTube, but…

your blog has something that no social media has.

Your blog makes people stop, look around and test the waters.

We call it the Test Drive Effect.

In this post, I am going to be talking about what is conversion on your blog and how to get more of it!

Before I get to that, let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time…

No…not THAT story. I want to tell you the story of my first speaking experience.

Long before I was invited to stand on the main stage and deliver a keynote speech, I delivered workshops, mostly in meeting rooms at my client’s building. 

A pretty safe gamble.

I would be given a room full of employees who HAD TO BE THERE. At the time, it was perfect for a not-so-good amateur like me.

Then I was invited to the big game – my first speaking engagement at a conference. I was to deliver one of 5 concurrent workshops in the 10:30 slot leading up to lunch. 

Now, the stakes were higher…people had a choice—5 “break-out” sessions all happening at once.

Here’s what happened. 

I noticed that when people arrive BY CHOICE (just like when they choose to read your blog) the energy is different. They were more interested in learning and applying what they were learning.

And they stayed longer, asked questions and wanted more information.

And when I offered my book, more people bought my book.

I call it the Test-Drive Effect.

The Test-Drive Effect

Here’s how it works.

When people come to your website, on average they only stay for about one minute (that’s pretty typical of all our clients’ sites). But when they go to your blog posts they stay for 4, 6, even over 10 minutes! 

“When people stop to read your blog they are staying for 4-10 minutes – that’s a big opportunity.”

Just like the break-out session at the conference, they are test driving your solutions. They don’t get the full solution they might if they hired you, but they begin to understand how you think, how you solve problems, your style and most importantly, how you can help them.

When people read your blog they are test driving your solutions and your business. Click To Tweet

You are giving them a test drive.

To increase blog conversions, you need to first appreciate what is conversion and then there’s one more thing you need to do…

What is conversion?

Now imagine people come to the break out session and there’s no offer? No call-to-action? 

Sure, they might have learned something, but they weren’t invited to take the next step. It’s no different from your blog—if you don’t ask you won’t get. People might stop and give you 6 minutes of their time, but if there is no reason to take another action, they’re off checking Facebook.

You have to ask for the next step.

In Robert Cialdini’s brilliant book Influence, he describes the principle of consistency “People like to be consistent with the things they have previously said or done.” When you ask for a small action – like joining your mailing list – you are one step closer to a big action – like a purchase decision.

Why? Because when people take that first step with a small “yes” they are that much closer to saying “YES” with a big purchase. 

When people take that first step with a small “yes” they are that much closer to saying “YES” with a big purchase. Click To Tweet

Just like test driving a car. When you take the car off the lot for a spin around the block the salesperson knows that if you come back saying all sorts of wonderful things about the experience you are much closer to saying “YES” to the car purchase. You are motivated to be consistent with your behavior.

That leads to increased blog conversions.

What small ‘Yes’ can you can ask for? It could be as simple as:

  • Invite them to read a second, related blog post
  • Ask them to join your list and receive future blog posts directly to their InBox.
  • Direct them to see your services or products.
  • Suggest they download a special report or one-page cheat sheet you created.
  • Send them to a self-assessment test.
  • Invite them to book a consultation or coaching call.
  • Give them 2 chapters of your new book.

Now it’s your job

Now it’s your job to put your blog to work. Sure you can fiddle away trying to get more Instagram followers or likes on Twitter – all good stuff – or you can convert blog readers to sales. It’s your choice.

When we work with small business owners we always start with the end goal. Just like a break-out session at a conference or test-driving a new car, there is always an end goal.

From there we design blog posts that get readers to stop and make a decision. There has to be a next step (I’ve given you 7 above).

Once your reader takes the first step (the test drive) it’s always easier to help them take the next, bigger step. And that leads to your ultimate goal: increased blog conversions.

Enjoyed this article? Here are 3 more articles all about putting your blog to work:

10 surprisingly simple tune-ups to make your blog sexy
5 brilliant ways to start your blog post with a bang
9 blog topic ideas your audience will love

7 Types of Call To Action to Move your Blog Readers to Action

A blog call to action can boost your business

It’s hard to imagine a sales person not asking for the sale or Amazon not having an “Add to cart” button. So why do so many blogs not have a call-to-action?

Does yours?

Before I get to my 7 favourite options for your blog call to action (CTA) let’s take a step back and talk about what your blog is for.

Your blog is there to help people. Even blogs that share travel stories or pontificate about the pro’s and con’s of nose piercing are there to help.

And if you want to help people, you need to offer more than your written advice. It could be coaching, an online course, live events, consulting, or your book. That’s where you CTA comes in – helping people.

Alrighty, with that out of the way, let’s look at my favourite CTA’s.

1. Internal link call to action

By far the simplest and most essential blog call to action is to link to another page on your site. The reader can go deeper with related content and you get them on your site longer. Longer on site means more time to visit your products and services pages.

Of course, you can also link directly from your blog to pages that lead your reader closer to a sale. When I’m writing my draft blog post I will underline a word if it relates to another post I’ve already published. That way I don’t interrupt my writing (like that) to go search for the actual link. I’ll go back and add the actual link before I publish.

One last point…a quick fix strategy is to go back to your top half-dozen posts and add internal links to other posts and to your products and services pages. Don’t over do it, but 4-6 links in a 400-1,000 word post is not going to seem overkill.

internal link call to action for your blog

2. Bottom of blog call to action

Did you know that 30% of people buying a book on Amazon will buy a second book from the list “Customers who bought this item also bought”. Why not use the same strategy in your blog?

At the bottom of each post simply list 3 more posts they might enjoy. After all, if your reader gets to the bottom of the post they probably want more on that topic. It’s a great blog call to action that can keep your readers on your site.

We started offering a list of 3 additional posts at the bottom of every new post on our blog. It such a simple task, you’d be crazy to not do it. Again, just like the suggestion above for retrofitting older popular posts with internal links, you can easily add suggested posts at the end of those same posts,

bottom of blog call to action

3. Social shares

One of the easiest ways to increase traffic to your blog is to have readers share it on social media. The math is impressive:

One of the easiest ways to increase traffic to your blog is to have readers share it on social media. Click To Tweet`

Imagine if only 20 people share your post. But those shares go to some 20,000 of their followers. It doesn’t take a big percent of responses to see how your traffic will increase.

There are a few tools, like sumome, addthis, sharethis and social warfare that make it super easy to share your blog on social media. All of these tools should work perfectly on mobile (your mobile traffic could be as high as 35-45% of all traffic) with share buttons that stay at the bottom of the phone’s screen as the reader scrolls.

social calls to action

4. Content upgrade

This blog call to actio is a little more complicated to set up, but the results can be impressive. The idea of of ‘content upgrade’ is to deliver a report, or guide or check list that supplements the blog post the reader is on.

For example, if your post is about 5 ways to give feedback to employees, your content upgrade could be a check list that helps you choose the right feedback to use in your next coaching session.

Ideally, the gift can be consumed in one sitting and has high value for the prospect. After all, this is their first impression of you and your business.

To receive the download the reader has to optin to your mailing list.

The trick is to take the reader to what’s called a “landing page” where the offer is presented and there’s an invitation to join your list if they want to receive the gift but also receive future updates from you. The simplest way to do this is to create a hidden page on your site (like www.yoursite.com/offer) with the offer. You can also create custom landing pages in most CRM’s, like Convertkit, Ontraport, Active Campaign, etc.

example of blog content upgrade

5. Click to tweet

One of the easiest ways to encourage readers to share your post is to set up a click-to-tweet option. Your reader sees an interesting quote, identified with the Twitter bird icon, they click on that quote and your blog is shared onto their Twitter channel with a link back to your blog. This makes it super easy or your reader to share and you get exposed to their followers.

The set up for a click to tweet option is simple. At BlogWorks we use the plugin Better Click to Tweet. This video explains how to install the plugin. And there are others, like Click to Tweet and plugins like sumome and social warfare offer a click to tweet feature as an option.

Once you have the plugin installed add a click to tweet is easy. Copy a quote from your blog that you want readers to share. Click on the location in your post you want to insert the click to tweet. Click on the blue bird in your menu bar, paste the quote and you’re done!

example of click to tweet

6. Sidebar CTA

Most blogs have a menu of sidebar displayed options. It might be your most popular blog posts, advertising a product, like your book and it can be an invitation to join your mailing list.

Building your mailing list is an important strategy for marketing your business. Even with the explosive growth of Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and other social channels, you will always get stronger sales by directly emailing a list of loyal followers.

The sidebar CTA is an invitation to grow your list, usually in return for receiving a gift, or “lead magnet”.

Many of the mailing list tools, like Mail Chimp (called a signup form) or Convertkit (create form) make it super easy to design and load the “widget” box, complete with image of your gift, into your website. The full sequence of events, like Thank You page, optin confirmation email, etc are easy to set up.

More robust CRM (Customer Relations Management) software, like Active Campaign (create form to capture contacts) and Infusionsoft (create WordPress optin form) also allow you to create the form.

The beauty of these sequences is that once you jump through all the hoops (there are loads of videos on YouTube explaining how to do this), it will run 24/7 for years. Your job is to check the numbers and change to a new gift if you aren’t getting the results you want.

Use your sidebar for a CTA

7. The Pop-up Call to Action

Finally, we come to the much maligned pop-up CTA. But, before you run away screaming “I hate pop-up’s!” You need to know something.

Pop-up’s work. The trick with pop-up’s is to not annoy your reader! All of these tools are designed to select who sees your popup and how they see it. For example, you can delay the popup until the reader has been on your post for 2 minutes or they are about to leave you page. You can also set the popup to not show to returning readers. 

Some of the most popular popup plugins are Optin Monster, ConvertPlus, or WP Subscribe Pro.

popups work as a call to action

One more thing I’ve got to do!!

At this point you might be freaking out and thinking “One more thing I’ve got to do!!” Here’s the deal:

Just like investing in professional pictures of your products (or your profile picture), adding CTA’s to your blog are an investment. Every day you can be helping your readers with your blog or you can be helping them and you by getting them to respond to a call to action.

A small investment now (like 5 minutes to add internal links to a post) could pay big dividends day after day for years to come. So, stop screaming, pick one and get to work.

You’re welcome.

If you enjoyed this article (You new this was coming, right?), you’re going to want to check out these as well:

Why You Should be Re-Loving Your Old Blog Posts
How to Ensure Your Posts Look AMAZING On Social Media
Why You Need A Standard Operating Procedure For Your Blog

Why Adding a Call to Action is a MUST

Why adding a call to action is a must

Where do you lead people when they read your blog posts?

Are you even leading them anywhere?

A call to action (CTA) is exactly as it sounds – you’re calling your readers out to take an action on your site, such as sharing your post, subscribing to your newsletter, or downloading your content offer.

Without a CTA, your blog won’t actually help you achieve anything.

They are a necessary way to get people to do something on your blog. Without them, something terrible happens – nothing! They will leave and probably never return.

This post will show you a few examples of CTAs and explain how you can set up your own right now.

Let’s get started!

Examples of Calls to Action

So, what does a CTA look like? It could come in the form of:

  • A link to another page on your blog.
  • An image or graphic that links to a landing page or opens a subscription popup.
  • A button.
  • Getting people to contact you.

And more.

Basically, anything that gets your users to do something to keep them interacting with your company or moving down the sales funnel is a CTA.

Here are a few direct examples:

The “Read More”/Related Posts CTA

Related Posts example

I’m sure you’ve read a blog post, and when you got to the end, related posts popped up, right? This is a perfectly fine call to action. It keeps people reading.

Ideally, however, you also want to include calls to action to your landing pages and opt-in offers. Reading your stuff is great, but you want subscribers!

(Having trouble getting people to read your blog posts? Try this.)

Button Call to Action

Button call to action

Everyone loves buttons, right? They’re a great way to get people to take action. When designing a button, be sure to keep color contrast in mind! You want it to stick out.

Also, a small change in the copy – or text – of a button can make a drastic difference. “Subscribe” and “sign up” usually don’t work well, while “download” and “get” usually do better. That said, test different text for yourself – you might find the opposite is true.

Shareable Infographic CTA

Share this infographic

You can create an infographic using a tool like Venngage or Canva. Then, once you’ve uploaded it to your site, you can let people steal it – yes, steal it!

Basically, you let them embed the infographic on their own site with attribution to you. This gives you backlinks for better SEO, traffic from their site, and authority as it spreads across the web.

To let them embed it, use Siege Media’s embed code generator to add the embed code to your site. Easy peasy!

The Graphic or Image Call to Action

GetSOS Call to Action example

This call to action first appeared on our post about how to write killer blog posts. It works well to help us capture leads because it’s useful, visual, and includes a button – “get it”.

How to Set Up Your Own CTAs

So, you’re probably wondering, “What should I have my readers do?”

That’s an excellent question! And the answer depends on your goal.

  • If you want more reach, emphasize social sharing.
  • If you want engagement and feedback, emphasize asking people to comment.
  • If you want subscribers, send people to an opt-in offer.
  • If you want people to stay on your site, add more “related reading” CTAs.

There are a lot of ways you can get people to take action. The most important part is figuring out which actions are important and which you don’t care about.

Also, be sure to test different kinds of wording. Try to use power words to entice people to click!

Off to you – what are your favorite calls to action on a website or blog? Have any ideas we forgot to mention? Leave us a comment to let us know!