Every website has a purpose, it’s there for a reason. As a business owner, you may know what you want your website to do, but do your website visitors?
You could have the best value for money service on the internet, a revolutionary product which will change people’s lives, or a simple yet effective website which drives traffic from your impressive Search Engine Optimisation techniques. But if it isn’t clear what you want the user to do once they come to your site, you may as well be shouting into thin air. They’re gone, and they may not come back.
Hold on, what’s a CTA?
CTA, or ‘call to action’, are parts of your website which invite the user to perform a specific action. It will be eye-catching, stand out from the rest of the page and hopefully nudge the user into doing something which will lead them down one of your conversion funnels.
Buttons are usually the most common example of a CTA, but other examples include:
There are a number of best practices to follow when using CTAs which are outlined below.
The placement of your CTA is just as important as the content within it. If you think of a webpage as a sales pitch for your product, the CTA should be one of the last steps involved. It’s the salesman’s last pitch to you to persuade you to buy this product. The salesman won’t go straight in for the deal, he’ll try and persuade you as to why you need to buy this product.
Potential customers won’t want to buy your product without learning more about it. That’s why CTA’s are generally placed near the bottom of websites, so that you have been given enough information to make your mind up on whether to purchase the product. This is especially the case if your product is new to the market or the first of its kind.
Multiple CTAs sprinkled throughout a webpage is common practice as it gives the customer a chance to access the conversion funnel if they have heard enough and decide to purchase your product. At Fourteen Forty we take the view that quality is better than quantity when it comes to CTAs, you don’t want to bombard visitors with them as this could result in lost conversion opportunities.
Whitespace is essential for effective CTAs. Room to breathe separates your CTA from other elements within your webpage and will draw the user’s eye, resulting in more clicks. The fewer distractions there are around your CTA the higher the chance you have of converting that visitor into a customer.
Space also means it will be harder for the user to skip past your CTA.
FOMO, or ‘fear of missing out’, is a tactic used widely by digital marketing experts. Your CTA needs to drive emotion, create that sense of urgency that the user cannot resist interacting with. We’re all guilty of browsing through websites not really paying attention to anything in general. Facebook is probably the best example of this. However, occasionally you’ll notice something stand out from the crowd and more often than not this will be an advert with a CTA. Even using words like “now” or “limited” can create this sense of urgency and lead to more conversions.
Sometimes the best CTAs are the most simple. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time you create a call to action. Subtle effects like changing the background colour when hovering over the button will improve the user experience. However, too many effects will lead to user confusion and lost conversions. Coco Chanel advised the following when it came to accessories:
“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”
Coco’s saying can be applied to CTAs. Too many fancy effects and pointless transitions will make something look worse rather than better.
The text within the button should be clear and easy to read, and the button itself needs to look like a button so that the user knows it’s clickable. Finding the right balance between big and bold without being arrogant or shouty is the key to an effective CTA.
Test, then test again
Once you have created your CTA and is sitting pretty on your website, that’s not the end! Constant development and improvement over time is required to make sure your CTAs keep on driving sales.
A/B Testing can be a helpful factor when determining whether the choices you made when creating the CTA are effective. Simple changes in colours, wording, design, placement and offers can make or break your conversion rates. Fine-tuning your CTAs until you’ve found the right combination which works for your business is tricky but worth it in the long run. Small changes can have big results.
At Fourteen Forty we believe in growth driven design. For CTAs this means constantly improving the wording, layout, design and placement of CTAs for our clients to make sure we’re driving sales and keeping our client’s websites competitive.
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