I was reading a local news story and in the sidebar I noticed what appeared to be an ad banner for Barack Obama in the sidebar. It turns out it was actually a link to the news site’s section of Obama-related stories. What struck me about the banner was the wording: “President-Elect Barack Obama Click Here.” Apparently they are targeting the extremely small niche of web users that are President-Elect Barack Obama, and imploring them to click on a mysterious banner (and for those counting along at home, that’s a niche of one.)
Just a little mid-week levity. The moral of the story: think carefully about your calls to action. You need to make it clear to your readers what you want them to do and why they should want to do it. Give them a reason to click your banner or sign-up button. And if something isn’t an advertisement, make sure that it doesn’t look like one. This banner looks like a paid ad for who knows what and I never would have clicked on it if I weren’t planning to write this post poking fun at it. It doesn’t represent a compelling call to action for me. At face value, I can’t tell what I’ll find once I click, or even if I’m supposed to. After all, I’m not President-Elect Barack Obama. That’s some other guy.