Your Call-To-Action (CTA) is an integral part of your digital marketing campaign so it’s vital that you get it right as it can be the difference between making a sale and having someone navigate away from your page. It’s not enough to place a button on your website. A lot of thought and planning has to go into each CTA button’s design and placement. Let’s look at what you need to consider to get the best results.
1. Establishing a professional site
It sounds obvious but if you’re expecting someone to embrace your call-to-action, then you already need to have first established trust with the customer through your other website elements.
Make sure you have a professional website theme that is attractive, well designed and has top quality content with no spelling or grammatical errors. Offer customers a good user experience, by having a logical site navigation structure and a well-written “About Us” page so people know who they are dealing with.
Show that you are trustworthy by displaying social proof – i.e. testimonials or reviews with photos and names of actual customers or links to their websites or social profiles so that people can see that these are real reviews not made up ones. Finally offer website users, proof that you will keep their personal details secure by using HTTPS encryption.
Also, be wary of using pop-ups on your site or selling ad space. These things can border on being viewed as spam or unprofessional so choose these elements with care.
These days people are very cautious online—everyone knows someone who has been scammed or had bad experiences online with dubious websites. So, if you fail to take care of these things first, your chances of getting someone to click on a CTA button will be very small.
2. Good CTA placement
Next, consider CTA placement. Placing your CTA button where it will be seen is vital. Remember, most of your visitors will probably be using mobile devices so you’ll want your CTA to be in a prominent position on the screen i.e. “above the fold”. If users have to scroll down to it then you will likely lose some potential customers. Similarly, you will need to ensure that you don’t have anything else on your page that is distracting the attention of your visitors away from your CTA. This can include things such as:
- animated gifs
- auto-playing video content
- flashing text
- background sounds and music
- any other page elements which might be mistaken as a CTA
3. Consistent theming
Your CTA should be themed in a way that is consistent with the rest of your layout but it also needs to stands out at the same time. Do not choose a colour that will blend into the background or else it will get lost. But you still need to choose a colour that doesn’t negate your branding. For example, a bright purple or pink button might stand out, but it might not backfire from a marketing perspective if you are trying to sell golf clubs to men.
4. Choose CTA wording carefully
Choosing CTA text is a matter of experimentation but there are some general guidelines and best practices.
- creating a sense of urgency helps increase conversion rates but be mindful not to be too pushy.
- your CTA should be simple and short! Ideally no more than 3-5 words is best.
- descriptive, action words are proven to be most effective. “Click here” is an action word but it’s not really descriptive – it doesn’t tell the user why they should click, or what the incentive is. Instead, it’s much more enticing to use phrases like “Talk to an expert”, “Save 10% now” or “Download your free guide”.
5. Make it easy to sign up
If your objective is to get people to sign-up for a service or to register interest, make it so simple its a no brainer! One of the easiest ways to do this is to let people sign up or sign in using existing social media accounts. By including options to sign in with Google, Facebook, Twitter, or so on customers don’t have to fill out all their details as you can get this information direct for their social media profile. You don’t need to include options for all social media networks – it’s best to just pick 2 or 3 platforms that your business is active on and that you know the majority of your customers use.
Another incentive for people to sign up, especially for a paid service is to offer them a free 7-day trial. If they don’t like it, they can cancel their subscription by the end of the seven days and they won’t get charged. But chances are if your product or service is great, by the end of the seven days they will be hooked and wonder how they ever lived with it before.
6. Don’t ask for more than you need
Another thing that turns people off quickly is when a website asks for too much information. People know their information is valuable and they don’t want to give everything away when they know it’s not necessary! Just because someone clicks on your CTA to express interest that doesn’t mean they are willing to hand over their phone number and bank account details. Just ask for the minimum you need to enable the next step. Remember to keep your webforms simple and short and make sure you test them before they go live! Nothing is more frustrating for a user than to click on a CTA, fill in some information and then receive an error message once they hit submit.
As well as testing that your webforms work, you should also test, track and compare the effectiveness of your CTAs. This helps you to learn from your mistakes, understand your audience better and find your own winning formula for CTA success.
One form of testing that I cannot recommend enough is to employ A/B testing. This simply means that you create multiple versions of your CTA and send them to different segments of your audience and then compare results to find which is most effective.
For example, create four different CTA buttons that are the same colour and size but have different wording. Or use the same wording but compare the effectiveness of different coloured buttons. Remember to only change one thing at a time— if you change the text, the size of the button and the colour all at the same time you will not know the reason why the winning CTA was the most popular.
A/B testing isn’t just for your website call-to-actions. It also applies to Facebook ads, and email marketing. experiment with different versions of your CTAs. Sometimes even a small change in text can make a big difference in conversions!
You can also add your website to Google Search Console and monitor the metrics collected under the Traffic section. That’ll help you see if you are getting more traffic and whether they’re staying on your site.