Your Calls to Action Should Go Below The Post

dukeo.com

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.

structure a blog post

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Stéphane Kerwer
Article written by Stéphane Kerwer (1995 Posts)
Bonjour from a french guy. My name is Stéphane Kerwer and Dukeo is my blog. I do most of the heavy lifting in here but from time to time, you may see some guest posts. To receive updates from Dukeo, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.
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12 Comments (Add one)

  1. marty
    marty

    I have been wondering where these “call to actions’ should go and mine are at the bottom but I saw a lot of people who have them at the top and everywhere else in between so I thought I was doing it wrong.So glad I read this before I changed it

    1. Sté Kerwer

      When you think about it, it makes more sense to have them after your content… Your readers are most likely to take an action if they enjoyed what your wrote.

  2. curtrice
    curtrice

    When I saw the tweet for this post, I thought “where else?” But I see that not everyone finds it equally obvious, so good of you to raise this. What about calls in the form of links to related content on my blog. How do you compare that to eg a list of 1-3 “related posts” at the end of a blog entry?

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Curtrice, A list of related posts is not a call-to-action.

  3. JanBierens
    JanBierens

    I made it a habit to do that. It works better and – if the rest of the post (intro – story – conclusion) is built that way, adding ‘the call for action’ placement just follows the outline of the post, more natural.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      You’re completely right Jan. The content then become your sales letter. It’s here to convince your reader that you know your subject and they should want more from you.

  4. Barbara Blevins
    Barbara Blevins

    Gosh, I’ve seen a lot of this as well – I’m so glad I’ve read your article,as I’ve been tempted to add extra links – now I know !

    1. Sté Kerwer

      I’m glad if it helped! :)

  5. Jeanne Melanson
    Jeanne Melanson

    Hello, Thanks for the great post. I’m going to clean up my site tonight because of it. All the best!

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Thanks for the nice words Jeanne! I’m glad if I helped

  6. Justin
    Justin

    He says with a whopping big “Review my blog” cta above his content.

    CTA’S go where they are most effective and each page will be different.

    A/B test and find your perfect location

    1. Sté Kerwer

      There are always exceptions to the rule…