How to Get More Clicks on Your Website
Effective websites guide visitors follow a particular path – whether it's buying a product, signing up for a newsletter or joining as a member. This article gives practical guidance on how to achieve effective Calls to Action.
What is a Call to Action? (CTA)
A Call to Action (CTA) is a clickable element on your website designed to guide users to “do something” or follow a particular path.
They may be as simple as a text link, but they are most frequently graphics or animations. Most importantly they are highly visible and clear in what they are asking the user to do.
Ecommerce websites are home to the most prolific example - the “Buy Now” button. But even if you’re not selling products, CTAs on your website are effective in guiding users to “do something”, or take a particular course of action – for example:
- Filling in a contact form
- Signing up to a newsletter
- Making a booking
- Placing an order
How can a CTA help users and your business?
1. It brings focus and direction to your users
Without focus and direction users:
- Become bored and click off your website
- May look around your site and wonder what it’s about
- Hunt for offers but never find them
2. It’s a good way to measure your site's success
- Use Google Analytics to link each button, graphic and link text within your website – This will enable you to see how visitors interact with your website through reports. If this is something you’ve not done before it does take a little time to get your head around but it’s worth the effort to see which calls to action work the best.
- Remember each web page takes in a clear path for conversion as does each CTA
3. It makes your business more successful and profitable by encouraging
- More enquiries
- More customers
- More sales
What Makes the best calls to action?
In our practical guidance section we're going to give you some useful tips on how you can learn about effective calls to action: how they can help you convert users into subscribers, followers or buyers and get them coming back for more.
Practical Guidance – Effective Calls to Action
The design of your CTA button should fit well into your website design but that’s only part of the process.
Understanding how the following will affect the conversion rate of your call to action is essential.
Colour - One of the most important aspects is the use of colour for your CTA buttons. Your site design will play a big part in determining the best contrasting colours to use. However, striking colours always work best: it's reported that the colours green and orange have the best performance
Size - The CTA button should ideally be the largest button on the page
Scale - The scale of your CTA button is very important: it should be large enough to stand out without overpowering the page design
Other buttons - You may have other buttons on your website which aren’t CTA buttons. For these, try using grey scale colour, monochrome or light shades and keep your main calls to action bigger and brighter in colour
Using Images, Graphics and Text for CTAs
Ecommerce sites use CTAs within images to sell their products. It's worth remembering. People hardly buy anything without seeing it. By using CTAs with graphics and images you’re really going to improve your chances of getting your users to click through.
Charities like Save The Children and Barnardo's use images in their CTAs to encourage users to make donations. Here the RSPCA also demonstrates the same technique on their home page. by using an emotive image alongside their main call to action ‘Donate’.
Newsletters are a great way for you to target offers, send out new product info and to get more users on your website. But how do you stand a better change of getting them to click through and subscribe?
Use good quality images which will engage with your users emotions. In this example below the image is directly focusing on the user which invites clicks to a ‘Free Mailing List Service’. The photo instantly tells the user what the CTA is about and is far more likely to be clicked than just an envelope icon
Using an Infographic as a CTA
Infographics are great for inbound marketing and can also be used on your website.
Yes, it’s another learning curve to get through but done well, infographics are highly effective.
To sum up infographics, they are ideal for turning a boring subject into a captivating experience. Ideally an infographic should be:
- Clear and easy to understand – Within your design make the call to action button large enough to be seen and positioned towards the bottom of the graphic
- Visually appealing –Don’t use too many different fonts : use complementary colours
- Be appealing to your target audience – Focus on the point you're wanting to make first before you add any visuals, like background patterns, shading or gradients
- Set up Google alerts to keep track of social sharing – This helps in two ways: it keeps you in touch with users / customers who may share your infographc and it lets them know who’s behind the idea or concept
An important factor to consider is the positioning of the CTA button on your webpage. The ideal place is high up on the page and in the centre.
For blog posts and articles, it’s ideal to have social sharing buttons to accompany each post to encourage your users to share your information. Ideally these buttons should follow the reader as they scroll down to read.
White space refers to the space around important aspects of your website content, like text. titles and images, and includes your CTA.
There should be enough clean, clear space around your CTA to get it noticed. If your CTA is crowded in by other content it’s less likely to be noticed and clicked by your user.
The main call to action on the example below are the three links indicated by >
It has clear informative text and no other CTAs, just a well-designed graphic with an image to reinforce its message.
A quick scan of this page and the user can make an informed decision on where to click next.
How Many Calls to Action?
As we’ve mentioned earlier on in the article, Ecommerce sites are more likely to have more CTAs within their web pages.
By contrast if you have a website which isn’t selling products directly, we recommend limiting CTAs on your website - too many are likely to confuse users.
By limiting the number of choices for users, it will reduce the amount of mental work they have to put in. A few carefully designed CTAs will be more beneficial in guiding your users around your site in a more logical way.
Use of Language
A call to action should clearly tell your users what you want them to do, and encourage them to take action. E.g.
Don’t leave it up to the imagination of your users but tell them in a clear manner what you want them to do and what they'll get when they click the CTA.
Use words which describe what the button does and try to keep the description short
Consider Your Words Carefully
The use of the word FREE on CTA buttons contributes to the offer value. We recommend that you consider what you are offering and test how the use of the word 'free' might best be displayed. E.g:
- Download My Free Ebook
- Get Free Samples
- Free for Start – Ups
Encourage Users to Take Action
Try to avoid words like 'Submit', 'Click Here' and 'Enter'. CTAs should feature text which grabs your users' attention, it should be striking and action orientated, like:
- Download your guide
- Book your Room
- Subscribe to our newsletter
- Make a donation
We’ve talked about labeling items with 'Free' and how this can encourage your users to click through.
But how can you make the most of this and get your users to share your info far and wide?
There are other ways in which you can encourage your users to take action to your advantage.
In the below graphic, the CTA offers a free eBook by sharing via social media or entering the user's email details. It’s not costing the user a penny, it's just asking them to help in marketing the product.
The CTA Graphic below uses a whole range of incentives to encourage click-through rates, it emphasis it's offers with bold type, highlights the keywords in larger bolder text, explains clearly whats on offer and has a bold call to action button, 'Shop Now'.
Create a Sense of Urgency
Users are more likely to take action if your CTAs have an expiry date, for example
- 50% off until 30th June 2015
- Order now to receive your free sample
- Buy one get one free
- Sign up now and get 25% off
Deliver on Your Promise
Users should know exactly what they are getting when they click onto your CTA. Imagine you’re a user. The last thing you want is to:
- Be directed to somewhere you didn’t want to go
- Tricked into subscribing or adding your details
- Taken to something which is of no value to you
- Feel excited only to be let down by false promises
Everything you do on your website must reflect a positive and beneficial experience to your users. Therefore, it’s paramount to give them a clear indication of what your CTA is going to give them. Be honest and use your integrity at all times.