Call-to-action, otherwise known as CTA, is one of the most important elements of your landing page. This is the only area that represents your conversion goal – whether it is a purchase, a customer registration, or just a simple lead generation – so it needs to be as functional as it is persuasive in order to prompt an action from your page visitors.
With that in mind, here are some effective tips that should help with your CTA planning and implementation.
Keep it Above the Fold
As the most important element of your page, your call-to-action deserves a place at the top, somewhere above the fold. This means viewers don’t have to scroll down in order to spot it.
Each person who lands on your page only spends a few seconds quickly scanning your content, looking for the precise information they came for and clear instructions on how to get it. The last thing you want is to make your visitors work for it and risk driving them away in frustration.
Consider the top right hand side of your page for an effective call-to-action placement.
This tactic is dictated by simple logic. In the English language, we read from left to right. By placing your CTA on the right hand side of the top of the page, it follows on nicely from your initial headline – giving the visitor the offer description they were looking for, immediately followed by instructions on how to get it.
Image: Magntize landing page. Call-to-action appears above the fold, on the right hand side of the page. (source. Kissmetric)
However, for every rule there will always be an exception. Some people might actually want to carefully read through the information BEFORE arriving at your CTA. After all, it’s only common sense that a customer would want to find out as much about an offer before committing to a sale or registration.
This is something certainly worth testing. You may want to consider running two different versions of your landing page – one featuring your CTA above the fold, another featuring your CTA at bottom of the page, following on from relevant information and other forms of supportive content, such as social proof – and segment your traffic in order to see which produces the best conversion rate.
Presentation is everything: Make it BIG, CLEAN and CONTRASTING
- The purpose of your call-to-action is to attract the attention of webpage visitors, and one way to convey its importance is by enlarging it. In other words, the action you want the visitor to take has to be as big and obvious as possible, otherwise they might not understand its significance, or perhaps even miss it altogether. Use a clean, flat button that demands the visitor take action. Think about the size and how it complements the overall design of the page. Size shouldn’t be determined without taking other factors into consideration – it is tightly related to the surrounding elements and overall context of your page.
Image: These clean, flat buttons are easy to spot on a landing page. Making it simple for the user to complete the required action. (source. hubspot)
- Another way of ensuring your call-to-action stands out clearly from the rest of the page is to utilize spatial effect. In other words, give it a little room to breathe. Creating a buffer between your CTA button and the surrounding text is an effective way of attracting attention. This conveys importance and, by freeing it from visual clutter, makes finding the button far less of a peripheral irritant. Of course, white space doesn’t necessarily have to be White. Fill your call-to-action with warm, autumnal colors, such as red and orange, which appear larger and closer to the viewer than colors associated with coolness.
Image: The CTA on this landing page has been given its own space, surrounded by warm colors to encourage action. (source. clicktobusiness)
- Contrast is one of the most effective graphical techniques you can apply to calls-to-action. The fastest way to grab someone’s attention is by making your CTA stand out from the rest of the page and making it dominant. You can achieve this by picking a color for your button that contrasts the background.
Image: The orange button in this landing page stands out against the pallid background, making easier for users to find straightaway. (source. Bashooka)
Use Clear, Concise and Compelling Copy
Your call-to-action is the last stop before your visitor’s decide whether or not to go through with completing a conversion – so make sure to leave them with a lasting impression that supports their decision to act by using strong, convincing copy. Moreover, the majority of people who arrive at your page will more than likely go directly to your call-to-action. So it only makes sense to include a little information for the sake of context.
- Go for clarity over creativity. If you want your visitors to take action, tell them exactly where they need to click. Concentrate on text over graphics and explicitly tell them to “click here now”. It really is that simple.
- Keep your text concise. You’ve already captured your visitor’s attention with a snappy headline, and hopefully secured their interest with an intriguing sales pitch. However, there’s no harm in strengthening your pitch with some last minute copy that emphasizes the value of your offer. Just make sure to keep it concise, so as not to clutter your CTA area with unnecessary information that could draw attention away from your button.
Image: The CTA on this Geico landing page includes the value of the offer and a prompt, without seeming too heavy-handed. (source. Greenlotus)
- Use action-orientated language. When you write with verbs, you’re giving a stronger, more definitive instruction for visitors that help them understand what they are supposed to do on that page. Furthermore, used correctly – and often quite dramatically – action verbs are an effective way of firing people up, providing that extra ‘push’ toward completing a transaction or user registration. Avoid using the word ‘Submit’. It might sound like common practice to include it on a form requesting a person’s information, but nobody wants to submit anything; it’s dis-empowering and gives visitors very little in return for what they are giving you. Instead, use words that motivate and make your visitor feel as though they have something to gain by completing your offer.
Image: The button text in this landing pages prompts the user to ‘Join Now!’ in order to provide that extra push. (source. tapfortap)
Don’t Be a Square
Most calls-to-action buttons have the same shape: that of a standard rectangular box. This is generally accepted as best practice and typically yields a steady, satisfactory click rate.
However, sometimes it’s good to go against convention and embrace new and exciting ideas. Don’t be afraid to experiment with unconventional shapes. For instance, you may want to draw inspiration from the meaning behind your page and incorporate that into the way your button looks. This creative approach is an effective way of ensuring your page looks different from everybody else’s, and if your button is crafted well enough, a unique design will encourage visitors who have grown over-familiar with typical button shapes to get excited about something different and click on it.
Image: The button examples below are variants of the traditional four-sided square, including “cut out lines” you would typically find around a coupon. (source. scalemybusiness)
This is an element certainly worth testing. Try running different versions of your landing page, each with differing variants of your button shape – ranging from traditional, to more experimental – and segment your traffic in order to see which produces the best conversion rate.
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