We’ve talked before about cleaning up your sidebars, getting rid of all those ads and banners, so your visitors could actually find their way around your blog. But it’s equally important to clean up your post pages. Too much clutter inside the post box makes it difficult for visitors to read your message. All of those calls to action should go below the post so your readers get the full impact.
I know in the past I’ve said you need to be specific with your calls to action. I’ve recommended that you tell your readers exactly what you want them to do, and I’ve recommended that you include your calls to action in the body of your content.
But there’s an appropriate time and place for every call to action. If you want to lead your readers to more information, then it’s fine to work those links into the body of your article. But if you want them to share your content, then you have to let them read it first.
I’ve visited several blogs lately that have at least one call to action directly under the post title, sometimes two or three. Before the reader even gets to the article they have to wade through a big block of Adsense, a “Subscribe to my RSS” plea, and a call to action to “Share this post on Facebook.” There are three things wrong with this set-up:
- There’s too much clutter between the title and the beginning of your article. In some cases the reader has to actually scroll through the quagmire before he arrives at the content. And we all know most readers don’t like to scroll.
- It looks spammy. New visitors arrive on your blog and all the see is click here, subscribe here and click here to share. Buried somewhere beneath this mess is a blog post, but they’re not going to bother to read it because you just look like you’re in it for the money.
- Why would someone want to follow your blog or share your content before they even have the opportunity to read it? If you’re lucky, they’ll just ignore your calls to action and go read your content. Maybe, if you’re luckier still, they’ll scroll back up to the top and follow and share.
Place your calls to action in appropriate places on your blog. If you think about it, most people won’t decide to follow your blog or share a blog post until they’ve had a chance to read it. So, you’ll have much better results if you include these types of calls to action below the post – after your readers have had a chance to see how wonderful you are.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!