If you like to boost the conversion rate of your website (that means the percentage of visitors that perform the a desired action, such as contacting you or buying a product), you need to use call-to-actions (CTAs).
What is a CTA?
Let’s start with a basic definition first. A CTA is short phrase, usually in the form of the button, that compels visitors to perform a desired action. This action could be of any kind. It could be calling a number, submitting a form, making a purchase or registration.
For example, you’ve most definitely seen a “sign up now” or “buy now” button on a landing page. This is what marketers call a CTA button.
Why do we need them?
Although many people building a website fail to think of it in advance, CTA buttons are important because of a very simple reason. You cannot just expect your visitors to know what you expect them to do on your website. In the same time, you have just around 10 seconds to grab their attention and show them what action there are supposed to perform. You simply do this with a CTA button.
For example, you are a consulting company and you have a great website showcasing all your services. And the only way that customers can use them is by getting it touch with you. This means that you need to place a CTA button on your landing page saying “Call us now” or “Get in touch”. Doing this you make sure that visitors know exactly what they need to do if they want to become your customers.
If you want your CTA buttons to be effective, you need to take enough time to find the best location for them and the best layout. So, here a few things to have in mind when using CTA buttons. For every tip we’ve also used examples from big brand to show you how great marketers do it.
You can place in anywhere you want. There is no strict rule. Usually, they are placed on the homepage and above the fold. You will also want to put some explanatory text above them. No matter where you put your CTA button just consider whether it looks natural on your page.
In the example above we see the homepage of Square. They’ve placed their CTA button on the upper side of the page above most of the text. This makes the button easily visible and definitely one of the first elements you notice when you open their website.
Make sure that your CTA buttons are clearly visible and stand out from the other elements on your website. This rule is very important if you have many elements on your website. But if you are a fan of minimalistic design, you can also use a ghost button.
Wufoo’s CTA buttons we discover on their homepage clearly show the benefits o0f using highly contrasting colors. Both the blue and the green colors are very clearly visible on the red background and capture your attention immediately.
The copy inside the button is another important aspect. Don’t confuse your visitors. If you want them to purchase something, just say “Buy now” or “Add to cart”. Make sure that your copy is simple and easy to understand as people will definitely not click on your button if they don’t know what is expecting them on the next page.
The primary CTA button Netflix has placed on their website is a good example of all of the characteristics we feature in this article. One thing we really like is the copy. It clearly says the benefits of signing up and gives you enough information in order to motivate you to click the button.
If you make your CTA button too big, it won’t good. On the other hand, if you make it too small, it will get lost. What you need to do is aim for a balance.
In the example above we see the homepage of PayPal. Although the text inside the button isn’t very big, the button itself is big enough so that it doesn’t get lost among the other elements.
Mind the previous and the next step
Effective CTA buttons tend to be part of a bigger logical process that aims to convert visitors into customers. Make sure that the previous step (before you make it to the CTA button) and the next step (after you click it) are logical. Otherwise, people will just give up.
As an example here we’ve included the homepage of Marketo. It features several version with different CTA buttons and taglines. In the example above we see the “See Products” button. If you click it, you will notice a very nice list of their products. Exactly what you would expect to see.
In conclusion, we could say that CTA buttons are what differentiates great websites that convert from average ones. If you want to be successful, you need to take enough time to consider what CTA buttons you will use, how you will design them and where you will place them on your website.
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