Ah, the call-to-action. Not enough gets written about the one-sentence that can often single-handedly affect the behavior of users in your site. A great one can increase conversions dramatically, while a mediocre one can keep your bounce rates sky-high. Are you paying enough attention to your calls-to-action?
When you’re creating content online, you do so with a purpose in mind. Whether you’re trying to get the user to read more, buy a product, or contact you, there’s always a specific goal in sight. And, while this goal should be implicit in the entire contents of the page, the call-to-action (CTA) is the one time when you can explicitly ask the reader to do what you want them to do.
The call-to-action is usually the last thing on each webpage. As such, it stays with the readers at the crucial moment when they decide whether to stay on your page or move on to one of the other 5 billion websites on the Internet.
How can you write a better call-to-action, one that inspires readers to stay and act instead of leaving? Here are 6 tips to keep in mind:
- Make the CTA Stand Out. The easiest step to take, this simply involves making sure that your call-to-action stands out from the main content in a way that makes it immediately noticeable. Using a different font, spacing, or background color are some ways to make the call-to-action easy to find on the page.
- Make a Value Proposition. Customers are ultimately self-interested. To capture their attention with a call-to-action, make it explicit how they would benefit from taking the next step. It’s the difference between saying “Buy our product” and saying “Increase your quality of life by trying out our product”. Both lead to the same result, but one is company-centric and the other centers around the needs of the customer.
- Tone it Down. Everyone on the Internet is vying for customers’ attention. For this reason, most customers have become averse to any advertising that comes on too strong. Stay away from calls-to-action that seem gimmicky, sales-y, or overly excited (in particular, be careful with those multiple exclamation points!!!).
- Lay Breadcrumbs that Naturally Lead to the Call-to-Action. You never want your call-to-action to catch the customer off-guard or come out of thin air. Instead, you should implicitly set up the end goal within the body of the post itself. For example, if you lay out a problem customers often have, and mention that your product is one of the 3 best solutions on the market for that problem, a call-to-action for your product will seem natural at the end. Which brings us to…
- Use Different CTAs on Different Pages. Because your call-to-action should be a natural progression of the rest of the content on that page, don’t use the same generic one on every page of your site. Adapt the call-to-action to match the contents and purposes of each individual page.
- Create Urgency. The customer always has the option to take action now or wait until later. That’s why a successful call-to-action includes a reason not to wait. This reason could be a limited-time offer, an order window that is closing, or simply a call-to-action that’s low-commitment enough to encourage the customer to act now.
Next time you’re creating content for your website, spend a few extra minutes on the call-to-action with the above tips in mind. Then, compare that page’s conversion metrics to those of your older pages. If you notice an improvement, your calls-to-action are likely moving in the right direction.