CTA is web speak for Call to Action. What do CTAs do? They do exactly what they say they do – reach out to your customers and encourage them to act. Acting could mean filling out a survey, making a purchase, setting an appointment, downloading a manual, or sending a message via your contact form.
Whatever the goal of your website, your CTAs should funnel visitors towards the fulfillment of that goal.
You’ve probably noticed CTAs before. They say things like:
- Learn More
- Sign Up Now
- Schedule an Appointment
- Try It Now
- Free Trial
- Subscribe Now
Normally a CTA consists of a button or link placed strategically on a website.
Don’t fill your CTA with a bunch of text. Doing so is a quick way to guarantee visitors lose interest. In most instances, 2-5 words should be just fine for your CTA. Check out the list above for some typical examples.
It’s best if the words you use are action-oriented with a sense of urgency. “Sign Up Now” is more compelling than “Sign Up”. There’s a reason you’ll see it used more often.
Use language that fits the voice and style of your brand. Give your CTAs a personal touch when possible.
Make sure the style and message of your CTA is a good match for the content surrounding it, so it acts as a natural accompaniment to the page. If the message seems too out-of-place, it isn’t going to entice visitors the way you might hope. Think about who will be landing on the page, what they’re looking for and how you might be able to provide it. Shift your mentality so that you’re offering them what they need, not trying to get something out of them. Clicking your CTA should feel like a safe act that will get visitors one step closer to their goal.
No tricks! Don’t be sneaky by promising one thing, then delivering something else. Your company’s credibility and reputation are worth far more than a few confused leads. Avoid vague language and be clear about what you’re offering.
CTAs should complement your branding, but also stand out enough to be noticed. Many websites have found success in utilizing a color that contrasts with the main color used in their branding. Examples of contrasting colors (also known as complimentary colors) are:
- Blue and Yellow
- Green and Magenta
- Red and Cyan
Size is important. As with all things, go for balance. Your CTAs should be big enough to be noticeable, without distracting visitors from the content on your page. If you annoy people navigating your website, the only action they’ll take is to close the browser tab.
Your CTAs should be placed on pages with the most traffic so you can take advantage of the high visibility those pages provide.
Where’s the best place for a CTA within a page? Unfortunately, there isn’t one clear answer that works every time. The best location depends on your content, what you’re offering and the overall design of your website.
You don’t want your page to end up looking too cluttered, so the CTA should act as a natural extension of the existing design. It could be:
- A button beneath a convincingly-written paragraph of text.
- A banner at the side of the page.
- A badge or starburst on the corner of the page.
- A pop up message
If you aren’t sure what will work for you, get a second opinion. You probably look at your website all the time, so a fresh pair of eyes can give you invaluable insight.
You’ll want to have a system in place for tracking the effectiveness of your CTAs. Don’t just stick them up on your website and forget about them. Instead, keep track of what’s working and what isn’t. If you aren’t getting the results you want, look for ways you can revise your CTAs to make them more convincing or clear.
Finally, make sure you have a system in place to follow up on the leads you get from your CTAs. Many companies have found success with auto responder software tools enabling them to ask for feedback or reviews, or allowing them to reach out with a thank you note.