Call-to-Action Best Practices

Posted On: 26th April 2023
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Read Time: 6 Minutes
Call to Actions Blog

Call-to-actions (CTAs) are all about getting your users from A to B. They are pivotal points on a webpage or email newsletter that encourage people to click through to the next step. CTAs are a chance to bag the conversions you’re looking for, so it’s important to spend some time researching what works. 

One of the most common forms is a button. You will have seen Buy Now buttons – these are a great example of a CTA.

CTAs are tricky to get right. The deeper you dive into this small yet significant element of digital marketing, the more you realise that there are plenty of things you can do to encourage users to click through. There are also plenty of faux pas you’ll want to avoid. Their effectiveness will depend on how enticing and well-thought-out the messaging and designs are.

How you approach CTAs will very much depend on what type of business you are and your audience. Hit the sweet spot, and you might just find that conversions head in the right direction: up!

The following tips can be applied to just about any website or digital marketing platform, such as an email newsletter. Crafting the perfect CTA is all about how it looks, where it’s placed and what the text says.


What are your CTA options?

Call-to-actionWhat is it?
ButtonsThis is by far the most common type of call-to-action. It’s simple and gets the job done. Common buttons include Buy Now, Learn More, Subscribe Today.

LinksLinks, also known as anchor text, are a way to help users navigate to other relevant areas of your site to find out more information or take the next step.

These are particularly useful to use within blogs and articles to link between relevant content.

There is also an SEO advantage to these, with Google favouring content that has a good internal link structure.

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Clickable image iconsThese are small, clickable icons or symbols that are typically used to navigate users.

A classic example is the basket icon used to send users to their online shopping basket. Another great example is social media icons.

Popups or slidingThese are a great way to grab people’s attention. They can pop-up when a user has been on a page for a certain length of time or even be activated when a user is about to leave your site.

BannersThese are clickable banners.

They are a larger example of a call-to-action as they don’t just encompass a button or icon. In fact, they can take up the full width of a web page.

You can choose to make the whole banner clickable or just the button.

It’s a nice way to separate the CTA from the rest of the website copy.


It’s better to have one CTA than too many

Too many options may overwhelm your audience. 

Really think about where the customer needs or wants to go next. Have one destination in mind and make it easier for your users to move down the funnel. The funnel refers to the customer journey that leads to the purchase stage, also known as the bottom of the funnel. 

Give your users too many options, and they could succumb to decision paralysis. This will most likely end with you losing a customer. Keep it minimal. People love simplicity. That being said, it can be helpful to give people more than one option if you know they may be at an indecisive point in the buyer journey.

Allowing them to bookmark something or add it to their wish list can be effective.

One mistake that many ecommerce website owners make is to include a Learn More button right next to a Buy Now button on a product category page. If the user has reached the stage where they’re ready to buy, you won’t want them to click away to a blog about the product, you’ll want them to add it to their basket instead.

If a user wants to find out more before making a purchase, they can always head to your blog or even call your sales team. Make sure these pages are easily accessible on your menu.

Get to the point

Two to five words are recommended. Learn More or Buy Now work just fine. This is not the place to write an essay. Adding a sense of urgency when you know a user is ready to make a purchase can be particularly captivating. 

The key to call-to-actions is to make sure there is no ambiguity. Choose the wrong words or design, and you could also alienate your audience. They may think they’re not in the right place or be unsure where the next step will take them. Be direct about where the customer is going – or where you’re taking them. It’s all about giving the customer an easy time.

Include action words

Call-to-actions are always about doing something. You want the user to fill out a form, subscribe to your newsletter, or add the product to the basket. This should be reflected in the language.

Keep it low risk

If you promise people a free trial that is the ultimate low risk next step that will make users less hesitant to convert. Obviously, you will still want users to follow through and make a purchase in the end. However, sometimes people need to experience your software, product or service to know how good it really is.

Use navigational signals

Sometimes you may not have an action word, so the humble arrow can come to the rescue.

Arrows are a universal way to signal direction. If a user sees an arrow, they can be sure that they will be navigated somewhere. Without arrows, sometimes there’s a risk that your call-to-action buttons might appear more like headings.

You can even use interactive elements. If a button changes colour when hovered over, that’s also a familiar signal to a user that they will be taken to another page if they click.

 

 

What about the formatting?

Make sure that colours, styling and fonts are all on brand. However, that almost goes without saying. Are there any formats that generate more clicks? We did some digging. Make sure that they stand out and are easy to read. Now is not the time to experiment with fonts. A simple, minimal design is best.

There are some sources that claim specific colours on buttons make people more likely to click, such as green and orange. However, this should be taken with a pinch of salt. The only way to find out what works best for your content is to test!

Make sure there’s white space around your CTA. If your design is too cluttered, users may not even notice your button or banner!

 

Tap into the power of positivity

This is also a good example of using a customer goal to drive conversions. People come to our website to grow their online presence and build brand awareness. This CTA sends a clear message that we can help them reach their goals. 

The language has a positive sentiment. 

To stay on brand, we added a playful colour change and arrow animation when a user hovers their mouse over the button.

Button Example
 
Let’s say you want more people to subscribe to your newsletter for an ecommerce website. Give people an incentive to join – an enticing statement. Simply asking them to sign-up is fine, but it won’t get you the high numbers of subscribers you’re looking for.

 

 

An example like this one from Cakehead is a good shout. This gives an exclusive benefit that can only be accessed by receiving the newsletter. Plus, who doesn’t want offers on cake delivery? 

Over at Search Engine Journal, they’ve even given the user some control over what they see, reassuring them that they will receive relevant, tailored content and won’t be spammed.

 

Personalisation gets more clicks (over 200% more)

Research the language your users expect to see and what they use to describe your services or products. That will make them feel more connected to your brand and the message. In fact, a study by Hubspot demonstrated that CTAs using personalised language generated over 200% more clicks

You can explore Google Search Console to see what keywords are generating the most traffic to related pages on your website. You can also turn to your sales and customer service teams. They will be able to share the language that your customers are using to find out more about your business. 

You could tailor it to their specific problem or pain point. So instead of selling a product, you’re selling the solution. 

You can even use smart CTAs. These automatically change the language to suit the user’s location and browser language. This means less work is required on your part, but you can tap into the benefits of more conversions. 

Place the CTA in more than one place on the page

This ensures that your next step doesn’t get lost as the user scrolls down the page. It also provides a more seamless user experience. 

Are your CTAs measuring up?

Heatmap tools can be an effective way to see what happens when users reach your page. Is there one button in particular they click on time and again, while others are being neglected? This is useful research that can help you level-up your CTA buttons and get even more people to click through and follow-up on an action. 

As a final takeaway, we’ll leave you with three factors that play a key role in crafting successful CTA statements or phrases. 

  • Problem – what problem or pain point are you solving for your users?
  • Positivity – can you promote a unique benefit or positive outcome for users?
  • Personalisation – who are your users? Where do they want to go next?

As part of conversion rate optimisation, we can review and enhance your call-to-actions. Speak to the team today to see how we can help you seal more conversions.

 

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Emma Gibbs at Echo Web Solutions
Emma Gibbs
SEO Content Writer
Writing is something that Emma has always loved, and enjoys using her passion for the written word to help businesses create easy to understand content that drives results.

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