Common advice would have you think that different parts of website copy are the most important element. Some say it’s the headline, because it catches attention. Some say the benefits, because they create desire. Some say this, some say that. It’s none of those. The most important element of any copy you write is the call to action. That’s where the magic happens. You’ve put a lot of effort into writing your copy already – making it compelling, educational, shareable and targeted to your audience – so the last thing you want to do is fumble the ball one yard from the end zone. Whether you’re using text links, banners, buttons, or any other means of proposing a next action to your reader, you need the right amount of forethought to make the action you’re asking for as appealing as possible. Fortunately, it’s not rocket science. Here are 5 ways you can make sure your calls to action are worthy of saying “yes”.
- Limit your readers’ options
Too many calls to action create what’s called a “paradox of choice”. Also known as option paralysis, this happens when the reader sees multiple choices, directions or actions, and they all seem potentially good… so the reader can’t decide between them. When readers have a hard time choosing, they choose nothing. Wherever you’re putting your calls to action, consider the most important action you want readers to take. That decision can be made globally (based on your business goals) or contextually (based on what the page is about), but keep your call to action options as low as possible. The less, the better. And yes, only one call to action is just fine.
- Keep directions clear and specific
Every call to action must have specificity and a “reason why.” Click here to sign up today. Complete this form to set up your account. Request your free report today. Each of these call to action examples contains a specific command and a clear outcome. Nothing’s vague. Nothing’s clever or cute. Everything’s plain, straightforward and specific. Too many people create calls to action that miss essential components. Links that say nothing more than “click here” or banner ads that don’t sell the outcome won’t convert the way you want them to. 3. Test variations to see what works best There’s no magic formula for writing the perfect call to action – every market and consumer demographic is different, and what works best for one business might not work well for another. That’s why it’s important to test different variations of your calls to action to see which version performs best based on your specific audience. Testing takes a little bit of time and creativity, but the results can pay off very quickly. Discovering that “Download your free report instantly” converts 50% higher than “Download your free report” can make a real difference in your bottom line. So test well – and never stop testing, ever.
- Draw the right amount of attention to every CTA
A car with a shiny new paint job draws your attention much more effectively than the same car after years of fading have taken their toll on the color. The same is true with calls to action – if you can’t easily see them and they’re easy to overlook, conversion drops. Sometimes, conversion disappears. Look at different ways to make your CTAs stand out and draw attention. Try bold text or use high-contrast link colors to make sure they get noticed. If your call to action has visual elements, make sure they jump off the page from both a color and graphics standpoint. Test various colors, sizes and amount of surrounding whitespace. The goal is to make people stop and take action. To do that, you have to make your CTA impossible to ignore.
- Use powerful language to make readers act now
Take a look at any call to action currently on your website and start playing around with words. See what happens when you add powerful, emotionally charged language to the mix. How can you say what you’re saying more strongly? More urgently? What can you do to make people more likely to take the action you want rather than drifting off elsewhere? Time-based words help create a sense of urgency – words like now, instantly, in 60 seconds – and they can give you a boost in conversion. Words that have a visceral association also work well, which is why you see get, claim, and give me in so many calls to action on the web. Point being: Before you put any CTA into place, consider whether what you’re saying could be said in a stronger way. Do this next and watch your conversion increase Right now, think of the most important action you want your website visitor to take. Maybe it’s getting on your list, or calling you, or going to your online store. Now take a look at the primary call to action you’re using on your website. Go through all five of the recommendations above and see which ones you should be applying to your CTA. Put them into practice, and your conversion – guaranteed. Have you increased conversion to your site with your CTAs? Let us know in the comments below