Creating Effective Calls to Action

In our planning for the web training, we told you all about the core model; web pages that direct users to business goals or further information.

The paths through these pages can be highlighted as calls to action (CTA). Today, I’m going to talk about them in a little more detail.

Transactional vs navigational

There are two types of CTA, transactional and navigational.

Transactional CTA achieve business goals by getting your users to:

  • buy
  • order
  • book
  • enquire
  • pay
  • apply

Navigational CTA provide users with forward paths by linking to further information or a logical ‘next step’ in the user journey.

When you need to button it

Navigational CTA generally only need a hyperlink within the textFor example, ‘visit our Postgraduate website to find out more about funding opportunities’.

Transactional CTA require something with more impact. That’s where the T4 content type 08. Button comes in.

Buttons are larger and more eye-catching than hyperlinks. The text on them should be active, and encourage the user to do something like ‘buy now’ or ‘sign up’.

There’s examples of CTA buttons on our Go Mobile Demo website.


Think of your web page as a story, with the call to action as the epic climax. The narrative or your page (ie the rest of the content) should build anticipation for the call to action.

You should tell your users:

  • what the page is about
  • what the problem/issue/benefit is
  • a little of what the user will get out of pressing your button

Get it right

You can find out about different types of CTA, what types of pages to use them on, and even our top tips for using buttons.

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How We’re Improving Our Google Analytics Configuration

Over the past few weeks we have been reviewing the set-up of our Google Analytics tracking.

We had to update the tracking code embedded on all pages of the website. While we were doing this it seemed sensible to look at the whole set-up to make sure we are getting the most reliable data. We’ve been working with the digital agency, iProspect, on this project.

Account structure

The biggest change you’ll notice when you log in to analytics is the structure of our account. Everything has been consolidated into two properties:

  • – cross site tracking

The majority of our editors will be interested in data from external sites, so I’ll focus on what can be found in the property. Within this property you will see a number of views. These allow you to access data for specific sub-domains, eg, or applications, eg Hobsons.

There are also two views that allow you to look at data across all of the services, and see movement between them. They are:

  • 1. MAIN // incl. Microsites, Research, Conferences & Webstore – this gives access to filtered and de-duplicated data and should be used to report on activity from July 2016 onwards
  • 9. RAW – this gives access to unfiltered data and should be used only to report on activity before July 2016

Access to analytics

As part of this review we’re also looking at who has access to our account. This will include revoking access for anyone signed up with a personal email address. If you still need access to analytics we’ll ask you to re-register with a Google Account connected to your Newcastle email address.

Service development

Over the summer we’ll be taking some time to develop the analytics service we offer. This will give us time to collate 2-3 months of data in the new configuration.

We’ll be looking at access, reporting and analysis, as well as how we feed any recommendations back into content and template development.

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Introduction to Analytics

We use Google Analytics to evaluate the performance of our website. We’ve been collecting data in this way for over 12 months. Using Google Analytics we can analyse:

  • our audience
  • how visitors get to our site
  • how visitors engage with our content

We give our web editors access to the University’s Google Analytics account. This allows you to access data for your site at any time.

Analytics topics

We’re going to use this blog to help you understand what you can get from analytics and how. We’ll begin with some jargon busting and go on to provide tips for using Google Analytics itself.

There will be a regular feature that showcases how our web editors are already using analytics and how different sections of the site are performing.

In the meantime, you can request access to Google Analytics (University Login required).

Suggest a topic

If there’s a topic you’d like us to cover – get in touch via the comments or via our website (University Login required).

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