The goal of every website is to convert site visits into conversions. That’s a given.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to boost your conversion rates is by employing calls-to-action (CTAs). A CTA is a button or link that prompts your readers to click it. Your CTA should tell your site visitors exactly where to click and what will happen when they do.
But not all CTAs are created equally. An effective call to action is designed intentionally—not as an afterthought, is appealing, and tells the user what will happen when they click on it. We’ve compiled a list of eleven tactics to improve your calls to action and increase your conversions.
Keep Design Consistent
Like with most all design elements for branding and businesses, consistency is key. Make sure that all of the CTAs on your site are consistent in color and design. This will not only help you seem professional and organized, but it will make your buttons easy to recognize. Switching colors, shapes, and from buttons to links can create confusion and waste your customers’ time, leaving them with a sour taste in their mouths.
Utilize White Space
In order for a call to action to be effective, it has to be seen. An easy way to do this is to ensure your site design is clean, organized, and has enough white space so that your visitors aren’t overwhelmed with cluttered pages. White space is a very underrated element of site design. When your CTA is surrounded by white space, it will stand out, increasing the likelihood that it will catch the eye of potential customers, prompting them to click on it.
Use Specific Action Verbs
Your call to action should be short. You shouldn’t leave room for your readers to have to guess what you want them to do or what they can expect when they click it. It’s crucial that you’re clear and concise and encourage them to click. The best way to do this is to use strong and specific command verbs.
A good call to action will tell consumers what to do, and they’ll do it. Here are a few examples of imperatives that can work for different types of businesses:
- If you run an ecommerce site, start your CTAs with “buy,” “shop,” or “order.”
- If you want visitors to read your publication, tell them to “subscribe” or “download.”
- If you have a way for people to get more information about your company, use phrases like “fill out a form” or “see what we’re about.”
Be Creative and Evoke Emotion
You have seen CTAs that are generic, boring, and don’t give you any reason to click on them. “Click Here” is a common CTA, and it elicits yawns from readers and doesn’t inspire them to click at all.
You want your calls to action to evoke strong emotions—and emotional responses—from your readers. If your CTA is enthusiastic, your readers will be enthusiastic too. But as we’ve seen from the example above, the opposite is also true. Think outside of the box of the typical CTAs you see. Be specific to the product or service you’re selling or the action you want your customer to take.
Punctuation plays a big role in the tone of your call to action. An exclamation mark makes a significant difference in how your CTA comes across, and it will get your customers excited, prompting them to click it. Every little detail matters when you’re trying to make a sale, including the end marks in your CTAs!
Choose Your Colors Wisely
The color of your CTA button matters – this is part of color theory and the psychology of color. Greens and reds tend to be the most effective colors in CTAs. Of course, color choice depends on site design. You wouldn’t want to put green on green. Whatever color you decide to choose, make sure you test it. That way you’ll know for sure which colors work best, and you aren’t wasting time and losing conversions on colors that are less effective.
Put Them on Each Page
You want to give consumers multiple chances to click on your calls to action. As they are looking through your site and seeing what you’re all about, they might be enticed to click to make a purchase or learn more. But if they’re a few pages into your site, they’ll shouldn’t have to back track or go all the way back to your homepage to click on your CTA.
Make it easy on the consumer and increase your chances of converting a visit to a sale by putting your CTAs on every page—or most every page. The more they see an option to click, the more they’ll be subconsciously motivated to do so. Plus, you don’t want to assume that one hundred percent of your site traffic comes in through your homepage. When you have a guest that enters your site through a link to something other than your homepage, make sure they have the option to click on your CTA.
You can have the most beautifully designed and convincing phrasing on your call to action, but if it’s in the wrong spot on your page, it simply won’t be effective. And contrary to what you may have heard, the location in proximity to the fold matters much less than you might think.
What really matters is the motivation of the reader and the amount of good content above your CTA. You want to give your site visitors enough information to pique their interest, show them the value of what you have to offer, and convince them to take action. Asking for them to click your CTA too early on your page will yield a low conversion rate. But once you’ve shown them why they need to take action and then tell them to with a strong CTA, chances are, they will.
Be Intentional with Design
Your CTA buttons should not be an afterthought. They need to be thoughtfully and intentionally designed to complement the rest of your site. You want your CTAs to be beautiful and consistent with your brand’s voice as much as possible.
In addition to an appealing and clear design, it’s also a good idea to include imagery that will show the customer what they are agreeing to. For example, if your CTA button is to order a set of pots and pans, include a professional picture of the set. Images not only confirm the items that they’re adding to their cart, but it will entice them to do so more than a simple “Order Now” text.
Help the User Understand Your Product
In order for a customer to click on your CTA, they need to understand what you’re providing. You should utilize both design and verbiage so that site visitors know exactly who you are and what you do and why they should choose you to meet their needs. If they don’t even know what you offer, they won’t be motivated to make a purchase. An effective way to do this is to either keep your CTA button hidden until after they’ve watched an informational video or place it below the content you want them to read. This will educate and excite potential customers, priming them to make a click.
Capitalize on Urgency
Every consumer has a little bit of FOMO. If they feel as if you are offering a product or service for a price that won’t last—or if you only have a limited number of the product they want—they’re more apt to make a purchase. This technique is especially helpful if you’re having a sale or during the holiday season where spending habits are already exacerbated, and consumers are indulging in shopping and sales.
Customers love to know what they’re getting into. And generic CTAs have a reputation for being vague and, in some cases, even misleading. A potential customer may visit your site in hopes of finding a product, but once they finally get to the shopping page, they’re turned off by your pricing. By this point, they’ve wasted time and you have wasted spend in your account, neither of which makes anyone happy.
But, if you include pricing in your CTAs, your customers will know what they’re getting in to. For example, you can say, “Order before Sunday for Free Shipping!” or “Shop for Lamps for under $30!” They have an idea of the prices they’ll see or the incentives you are offering, which will entice them to make a purchase.
We’ve just thrown a lot of information your way on how to get the most out of your calls to action. At the end of the day, you want visits, clicks, and conversions. Following these best practices for calls to action will help you see a boost in clicks and sales on your site. Good luck!