When a visitor lands on your website, they take around two to three seconds to decide whether to stay on the page or leave…
Still here? Let’s go on. Calls to action are one of the most important components of any website, since they are designed to attract the attention of your visitors, and encourage them to perform the sort of actions that result in conversions and sales.
However, many businesses focus more on increasing traffic as a success metric and neglect conversion rate optimisation.
What Is a Call to Action?
A call to action (CTA) is a link or button on a website which drives users or customers to perform an action. A call to action helps create a smooth user journey and is essential for lead generation and increasing sales.
A stand out call to action gives users a nudge in the right direction, whether that is to purchase a product or service, fill out a contact or enquiry form, or to sign up for a newsletter.
Why Does a Good Call to Action Matter?
Your webpages should be optimised to turn visitors into customers and a call to action is a key part of doing this. If you fail to implement clear and straight forward calls to action on your webpages, your website won’t perform very well.
Adding a good call to action to a webpage is a key part of creating the best user experience, increasing the time spent on site and number of revisits, and getting valuable conversions.
These tips will help you create a strong your call to action:
Focus on the Value
The build up to a good call to action should clearly address a need or problem. The call to action then leads to the solution to the problem. To guide a visitor to perform an action, think about what you want them to do and work backwards. Are you fulfilling their need and leading the user down the right path?
Make sure that the end goal is clearly defined and communicated in your call to action. The end goal can be anything from receiving enquiries through your phone to selling more products online. Once you have defined your main goal, you can start designing your call to action around it.
This also works when addressing consumer doubt. Netflix do this really well by introducing a “cancel anytime” message to recognise the popular fear of being charged after signing up to things online.
Use Persuasive Language
Concentrate on using text to drive the ‘action’ in your call to action. In order to get your visitors to do what you want, it is important to use action words in your CTA. Write these in clear and concise language and avoid jargon.
The user needs to understand what to do within the first few words, so use a strong command verb like “buy”, “order” or “join”. Follow this with words that spark emotion and enthusiasm to increase the likelihood of someone clicking on your call to action. Trello has mastered this on their homepage with a mix of persuasive wording and strong command words. It also helps that they threw the magic word ‘free’ in there.
Choose the Right Colour
For a CTA to be successful, it needs to stand out from the rest of the website. Use vibrant colours for your CTAs and make sure that they are prominently displayed and don’t blend into the background of your page.
Think about how to dress up your CTA to maximise clicks. This really cool infographic highlights how certain colours provoke different responses. Orange is considered the best colour for a call to action for buying a product because it combines the aggressive red and the attention drawing yellow, as proven below in this example from Amazon.
Create a Sense of Urgency
The best way to get people to click on your call to action is to create a sense of urgency. Using words like ‘Don’t miss out”, and “Sale: Today Only” attracts a quicker response. In other words, you can make use of people’s fear of missing out – or FOMO as the millennials say.
Booking.com do this by adding bursts of red text to let users know when a hotel is in high demand, or there are limited rooms left. This makes visitors more likely to buy there and then to avoid disappointment if they return later.
Make It Visible
I often talk to businesses about keeping important content ‘above the fold’ on their website. This old newspaper reference explains that people’s attention is naturally drawn to the top half of a page – created by a fold. You should therefore focus on placing your call to action high on the page and in the centre, so it’s not hidden away.
Try to make your buttons look clickable, to make it easier for your visitors to identify them. Also avoid using two-dimensional graphics and use frames where possible to make the call to action stand out. You want your visitors to know that this is a button that can be clicked and to feel the urge to click it. Make them clear to see by avoiding too many graphics or images that clutter your page.
With more people viewing content on mobile these days, putting CTA buttons or links at the top of a page is more important than ever. By making the call to action more visible, you’ll increase on-site engagement opportunities, which will result in increased clicks through to your target landing pages.
I recently completed an SEO project for a small ecommerce business whose web traffic was increasing month on month, but their sales were static. With guidance from our creative web team, we reviewed their user experience and found that most of their call to action buttons were not enhancing online engagement. You could read some great informative story about a product but then struggled to buy it. By moving their CTAs above the fold and introducing clear persuasive language, we have increased their online transactions by 30% in just one month.
Test It, Then Test It Again
Once you have one Call To Action set up, don’t just sit back and relax. Test whether it is driving conversions and having a positive impact on your user engagement. There is no one size fits all for conversion rate optimisation and different audiences and sectors will have different needs and triggers.
I recommend A/B testing your call to action buttons to test the text, colour, design, sizing, and placement – until you find what works best for your visitors.
If you are struggling to convert your visitors into customers, and would like some advice on how to create some killer calls to action, feel free to contact us.
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