OK, someone clicked through to your web page…
That’s really cool.
But that’s not enough. Getting a visitor to your website is only half the battle. Once they are there, you’ll want them to do something specific. This is your “call-to-action”.
A call-to-action (CTA) is any copy that encourages someone to act in-the-moment. Be that to purchase a product, watch a video, share content, or even just to find out more information. In marketing terms, a successful CTA is a “conversion”. The process of turning a visitor into a customer is the “conversion funnel”.
There are diverse call-to-action types you can play with. We can conditionally divide all of them into three big groups:
1. A simple button
It is all those ‘Buy now’, ‘Start your 30-day free trial’ etc… Despite such simplicity and direct approach such call-to-actions work really well. The button itself is often a vibrant colour that really stands out. Furthermore, due to the fact that it provides a basic route for the reader to go on, CTA button can significantly increase your conversions and sales.
2. Lead Generation
How does it work? If your visitor hands over the contact details, you are giving something away for free (eBook, guide, directory etc.). This can be used to generate leads and make sales further down the line. Thus, the CTA here is that your visitor needs to sign up to get his free gift.
It is said that this often works best as a sidebar on your website. Also it could be a box at the end of an article or even a floating banner.
3. Basic text
Things can be simpler — calls-to-action can also just be text with a link.
If you know that the copy is persuasive enough and hence you don’t need any fancy images, buttons or lead generation efforts, why even bother, you know? It’s just text that you know will convert and with a simple text link, people will start clicking and signing up or buying your products or affiliate products without a lot of glitz and glamour on your website.
Well, we have already dealt with major types of CTA and now we are ready to move on.
Try to guess which of these two CTAs had the highest clickthrough rate.
Here’s CTA #1:
Here’s CTA #2:
Have you thought this through?
Ready for the answer?
The winner was #1! It had more than triple the click-through rate as CTA #2.
And I bet some of you guessed that the winner was #2 (to be honest, I was in the same boat as you). The truth is, you won’t know which CTA is the better performer until you test it!
Set up several different ones and see what performs better. You can easily do an A/B split test where one person on your site see’s one CTA and someone else sees another. After a while of doing this, you will have a much better idea of what one works.
Here is the list of tests you can run on your own website to try to increase click-through-rates:
1) Test the colour of your CTA buttons
Are your CTA buttons blending in too much with the rest of the page? And at the same time a green button on a yellow background is never going to win you friends. However if you get the colour scheme right then you can make your CTA button prominent and convince people to click on it.
Do keep in mind that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to colour selection. So you’ll need to spend time considering your goals, as well as the overall impression you want to present to your visitors. For example, red is a solid option if you want to project a sense of urgency. However, if you’d rather promote a feeling of security for more reluctant buyers, blue is your best bet.
2) Test the placement of your CTA
Not only does the way your CTA look play a role in success, where it’s placed has a significant effect. Remember, that people usually read websites in an F-shaped pattern; also most readers only get 60% through an article. It is traditionally believed that on your website pages, your CTA should be above the fold — near the top of the page so visitors don’t have to scroll down to see it.
However, there are other scanning patterns your visitors might follow or they may get more through your articles. Besides, latest surveys show that tradition of placing all vital elements above the fold isn’t necessarily true and may not lead to higher conversions. Michael Aagaard provided a test for a B2C landing page where he changed the position of a call-to-action button and placed it below the fold. The results were unexpected: conversions increased by 304%.
So don’t be afraid to test out different placements, as this will be the only way you can learn which locations are most successful.
3) Test static vs. motion-based CTAs
People are accustomed to seeing ads on websites now, so their eyes glaze over static images that stay in one place. So perhaps you could test a CTA that slides in when the user reaches a certain point on your page or blog post, and compare the clickthrough rate to the static CTA you’ve always had on the page.
4) Test different copy
Here is only one general rule: “Add a verb that refers to users and really calls them to act”.
Also most standard phrases like “Download”, “Add to Cart” or “Click Here” are too trite and boring. There are so many different ways to say that you can “download” a piece of content: Get this ebook, Claim this ebook, Snag this ebook, Receive this ebook, Grab this ebook… Even the smallest changes can make the biggest impact!
5) Test the button size and shape
Obviously, if your CTAs are too small, they might go unnoticed on your website. The button shape may become a perfect design element and raise certain emotions. Usually, rectangular elements speak of reliability, traditionalism and balance. Circular elements create soft, friendly and calming atmosphere.
If you’re unsure what CTA size and shape will work best for you, test different variants.
6) Test time-sensitivity
Reminding people to do something now can increase the chance of them actually doing it now. Add words like “now” or “today” to your CTA button to add an element of urgency. Test telling people to do something right now, it could work in your case.
Remember, you won’t know what works best for you and your website in your industry with your audience until you test it for yourself! What performance tracking tool should you use for testing your calls-to-action? Obviously, PeerClick! It is exactly what you need to optimize your campaigns. A wide range of universal tools makes PeerClick perfect for collecting, analyzing and evaluating information. Good luck!