Having a strong call to action (CTA) on your website is important to give users a hint on what to do next. The CTA should be visually noticeable, clear and concise for it to be effective. Read these 8 rules of creating calls to action to optimize your website to get the user behavior you want.
Use Sexy Words!
Rule 1 of writing a great call to action is to use the word “sexy.” OK, OK that might not work for the particular website you are developing but you need to use exciting and compelling language. “Click here” is not going to cut it folks. Create a sense of urgency by adding “now” or other timely words. Here are a few other high-impact words that you might be able to use more frequently:
Use Action Verbs
Rule 2 is to start the call to action with an action verb in command tense. “Do this!” Make it easier for users to understand what the next step is by telling them exactly what to do!
Rule 3 (which should actually be step 1) is to give something of value away to the person. Instead of saying “Contact Us” consider using stronger language that demonstrates what is in it for the user, such as “Get Your Free Quote.” Other things that you could give away are free brochures, whitepapers, e-books, free consultations, demonstrations, samples or free trials.
Rule 4 is to make the button easy to use. The Call to Action should always be a big button, not a tiny type-based link. It should physically be easy to click on, especially on different devices. On mobile, the button needs to accommodate a fat finger. Make it large with easy to read text with a “hover effect.” Users are delighted to have something happen when they are about to click on a button. Make sure your developer doesn’t skip this step. Make the color change or something that is subtly animated. (But please don’t make it so animated or crazy that it is distracting.)
Make it Obvious
Rule 5 is to make the call to action so obvious and noticeable that users will notice it and want to click it right away. Position the call to action on the page so you don’t have to scroll on most devices to view it. Use high contrast colors that will jump out visually.
Use Multiple CTAs
Most people know their home page should have a call to action, but Rule 6 is to have a call to action on nearly every page of your website. Having more than one call to action on your website so users in different phases of your sales cycle can engage as much or as little as they want. Asking them for their email address is a good place to start a relationship. Giving away something of perceived higher value such as a webinar or in-person consultation might be for someone further in the cycle. And then getting the person to commit to actually purchasing something is toward the end of the sales cycle.
Use Page-Specific CTAs
Rule 7 is to have page-specific calls to action. People may be finding your website from a variety of ways (social media, through a specific search that sent them to a landing page or blog post), so make sure the calls to action on those pages make sense contextually. So on a blog post page, you might want to have the main call to action be to sign up for an RSS feed. On a product page, the call to action would be to Buy or Add to Cart.
Test and Iterate
Rule 8 is to test and iterate on your buttons, colors and copy to find the best results. And of course, you’ll need to track your conversions (if people are doing what you are telling them to do) using Google Analytics or something similar. A good conversion rate for non-targeted traffic is 1% – 5%.
What are some of the calls to action that have worked well on your website? Have you experimented with A/B testing, and what were your results?