Primary Actions and Page Hierarchy (Again) – Conversion Wednesday

By Chris C.


To review: primary actions are the main actions you want your customer to take on every page of your site. On each page, if there was ONE thing you wanted them to click on, what would it be…? Once you figure that out, make it crystal clear that this is what your customers should click. For more information, take a look at my previous few entries under my archive (it’ll only take a few minutes and it could make you more money…).

This seems like a no brainer, but there are a lot of websites who don’t clearly identify what it is they want you to do on a certain page. It appears as if they want the customer to figure out the site for themselves. Your website should sell your customer on your products. To do this, you should guide them to where they need to go by identifying the primary actions of your website.

This past week I downloaded a white paper outlining tips for improving webinar performance. They surveyed respondents and the top two items they listed as success factors were:

  • Clarity of the message and/or call to action
  • Invitation or registration page copy that accurately describes the content of the Webinar

So, to beat a dead horse (over and over again), what is number one on this list? I’m seeing Call to Action. Again and again, customers like knowing what to do right without having to think about it. Steve Krug wrote a whole book about it. Make sure your primary action is the clear call to action on every page of your website.

So, what about our page hierarchy? Look at number two in this list: “copy that accurately describes” the product (in this case it’s a webinar). You have to tell the customer what they are getting before they are willing to buy anything… How you outline your page hierarchy is how you present the information in a way that “accurately describes” why your customer should take that primary action. Finding the right combination for the right customer on the right page is the tough part, but that’s why we have testing!

So, what are the two things that optimized primary actions and page hierarchies accomplish?

  • They clearly define the action to take on each page of your site
  • Your page hierarchy gives customers the information they need to take that primary action

How do you know what is your site’s particular combination for an optimized primary action and page hierarchy combination? You test different combinations and see what works the best for your customers.