It’s no secret that a great website has this:
An irresistible CTA (Call to Action)
The call to action is what tells your website visitors what to do next. The CTA is what converts visitors into leads, prospects, and ultimately customers.
What is a call to action?
Do you want more customers, more subscribers, more download, more sales? You won’t get them without a solid call to action at the right place and at the right time. A call to action tells the customer what to do at a specific place at a specific time.
Your website should have instructions for visitors. The instructions or CTAs tell your website visitors what to do. If you have an e-commerce site, you should have a “Buy Now” CTA. If your website has a long sales cycle, you might have a “Subscribe Now” call to action or a “Download” CTA.
Why Your Website Needs a Strong Call to Action
Many companies simply stick a form on their website, expecting their visitors to know what to do. These businesses are hoping that their site visitors know what the company wants them to do, but that’s not how conversions work. You need a CTA to tell people what to do. If your website has the correct CTA in the optimal area, you no longer have to hope for website conversions.
If you put the time, energy, and money into creating your website, social media accounts, blog, and email campaigns, it makes sense to include the right CTAs in each. Without the appropriate CTA, your website will fail to drive sales.
What makes a great call to action?
You don’t need just any call to action. The only CTA that works is the one that convinces people to act.
There are two main purposes of a website call to action:
- To motivate a site visitor to take action.
- To instruct a site visitor what action to take.
Many companies have websites that should have more email sign-ups, file downloads, and sales, but they don’t. The reason most websites underperform is that they fail to motivate visitors to take action. Without that, your website will fail, and you won’t see the types of conversion rates you should.
Before the CTA, the content must answer this question: Why should I do what you want me to do? Unfortunately, most websites fail to answer this question. They fail to have a strong CTA that motivates and triggers the desired action.
CTAs are used for the following reasons:
- To close the sale.
- Lead generation.
- Social sharing.
- Event promotion.
- Grow an email list.
How long should a call to action be?
The beauty of a call to action is that you have flexibility. Some people think that a call to action must be one or two words, sign up or download or buy now. But a website CTA can be as long as it needs to be. Yes, that is correct. Your website CTA can be as short as a word or as long as it needs to be. You could have a long call to action, a complete sentence, or an entire paragraph.
The length of the CTA doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is how well it converts. If you have high website conversions, your CTA works.
Some of the most common websites call to actions are:
- Buy now
- Add to cart
- Free trial
- Sign up
- Join Now or Join Free
- Get started
- Give ___ a try
- Create an account
- Get access now
- Log in
- Find out more
- Get your copy (book, report, whitepaper, etc.)
- Show Me My ___
A website call to action is executed through CTA buttons.
- Don’t beat around the bush. Tell people exactly what you want them to do.
- Keep the call to action short and strong. The call to action should be 5-words or less.
- Avoid boring words on the CTA button. Instead of “click,” “submit,” or “enter,” use action-packed text. Spell out what you want website visitors to do like:
- Add to Cart
- Download Your Book Now
- Get Started
- Use the right color for your CTA buttons. One of the most important things about your CTA button colors is to make sure that they stand out. Red is a great CTA button color, but it will be less effective if the page’s primary color is also red. In general, the colors red, green, and orange are effective CTA button colors.
- The shape of the button should be tested on your website. Buttons come in all shapes and sizes. What works on another website might not work so well on yours. The CTA button should draw attention immediately. If you have done your job right, the CTA button will be one of the first things the site visitor sees.
- Your CTA button has to be large enough to stand out. Again, it makes sense to test several different button sizes.
- Create a sense of urgency. Include text like: “now,” “today only,” or “limited time offer.”
- Include numbers such as “75%” or “$25.”
- Experiment with changing from second to the first person. Instead of “Get Your Book,” try using “Get My Book.”
- Place the CTA button above the fold. If website visitors have to scroll to see the CTA button, it will hurt your conversion rates.
- Use “Free” in the CTA text. Including “Free” on the button will help you with your click-through rate.
- Use words that promote emotion such as “New,” “Amazing,” or “Revolutionary.”
- Allow for white space around the CTA button.
- Test, test, and test. Don’t settle for OK. Always try, improving your call to action buttons.
- Make sure your CTA button works well on mobile devices.
Avoid the most common call to action mistakes:
- Too many CTAs will hurt your website conversion. Identify the most important CTA and use it.
- Don’t settle for a non-specific Call to action. Tell people exactly what you want them to do.
- Avoid hype. The best call to action has real substance.
- Never hide the CTA below the fold.
- Don’t forget about the importance of having a call to action on a web page. Most web pages should have a CTA.
- The CTA should really stand out, so don’t hide it. A CTA that blends into the web page is bad.
- If the CTA doesn’t include a benefit, it won’t work. “Free consultation” is far from motivating people to take action. It scares people away.
- If the call to action doesn’t include a way out, it will be less effective. Offer guarantees.
- Don’t ignore the importance of urgency. If you don’t set a deadline to take action, people won’t act.
- Never use confusing language. Use simple language, words without jargon.
- Don’t settle for a low-performance CTA. Test different offers to find the one that performs best.
The call to action is what makes your website an asset for your business. The concept is simple. To create a great call to action will take time. Follow the above advice to create your website call to action. Create multiple calls to action. Also, design multiple CTA buttons. Test the various CTAs and buttons. Use the highest performing one on your website.