Just as building a house requires equipment, building a customer base also takes the right tools and approaches. Instead of a hammer and nails, the tool of choice for converting site visitors into customers is the call-to-action (CTA). You likely know that it’s essential to weave these critical one-liners into landing pages, blogs, email newsletters and the like. But are you leveraging the potential of your CTA? We’ve put together three main considerations for building a kickass call-to-action.
What’s the end behaviour you would like to guide visitors towards? Is it to download a free trial of your product? Or to subscribe to your mailing list? Don’t make it a mystery – identify the goal and write a specific CTA to give visitors a clear sense of what they are clicking on and where it will lead them.
A CTA with generic messaging won’t fly. Which of these is more compelling?
It’s also important to consider that it’s called a call-to-action for a reason. Inspiring action requires compelling CTAs that use strong verbs to entice users to act. Bonus points if you can use personal and conversational language, for instance, it’s not about starting a free trial, it’s about starting your free trial. This will help a visitor internalize the value of your offer in the context of their own life.
You want to introduce the CTA at just the right moment. Too soon and visitors may not have learned enough about your product or service to feel prepared to follow through. If you wait too long, their attention may bounce elsewhere and you might have lost your opportunity to convert.
For web pages, this can mean placing your primary CTA below the fold – or in other words, far enough down that visitors have an opportunity to scroll before seeing it. For a lengthy blog post, you might want to anchor a CTA mid-way through. After all, when was the last time you made it to the very end of an article or blog? (We hope it’s this one!)
Alignment can also play a role in your CTA’s effectiveness. With a left-to-right reading pattern, we often scan websites in a “Z” formation, with our gaze finishing and lingering on the right. This makes right-aligned CTAs strong performers in many contexts. UX Movement does a great job breaking down this idea in detail.
The design of your CTA is an important criteria that can define how successful it is in attracting visitors. You’ll want your CTA to stand out from its surroundings and be the center of a visitor’s attention. This means choosing a text colour that contrasts sufficiently with its background. This is also critical from an accessibility perspective, as your CTA may be viewed by someone with colour deficiencies. There are tools like the WebAIM contrast checker, that you can use to check if your colours meet the right contrast ratio.
Apart from colour, there is also form to consider. What does the CTA look like? Ideally, its form should suggest clickability. Feedback when hovering over the CTA with your mouse – for example, a change in colour – will do the trick. Consider all the different states to make user interactions easier and quicker.
Nothing says “click me” quite like a CTA in the form of a button. As a bonus, a button style also increases the clickable surface area of your CTA, making it physically easier and faster to interact with (there’s actually a whole science to this called Fitts’ Law). If you’ve ever had to tap a hyperlink on a mobile device, you’ll know why this one counts!
So, is your CTA working?
At Art & Science, we’re all about context – and we know that context is highly variable. While these patterns are a good place to start, testing is what allows you to ensure your CTAs are working for you like they should be.
Want to know more about how you can optimize your conversions? Let’s get in touch!