Best Practices for CTAs: The Power of Calls-to-Action
Once someone has read all the way through an article on your blog or watched a video on your website, what do you want to happen? You want them to take some sort of action, like maybe buying something for you!
How do you make that happen? By using very specific and direct language commonly referred to as a “Call-to-Action” or CTA.
What is a Call-to-Action?
Calls-to-Action (CTAs) refer to any buttons, links, or devices designed to evoke an immediate response or action. CTAs are found everywhere in marketing - including on websites, in emails, paid ads, videos, commercials, etc. Common CTAs include ‘Start Now,’ ‘Buy Now,’ ‘Call Now,’ ‘Learn More,’ ‘Download,’ ‘Sign Up,’ ‘Schedule a Consultation,’ or ‘Request a Free Trial.’
When used correctly, CTAs can be the ultimate navigator of your website, as well as the sales/lead generator of your overall marketing strategy. Here’s a few eye-opening statistics on calls-to-action to review:
More than 90% of visitors who read your headline also read your CTA
Emails with a single CTA increased clicks 371% and sales 1617%
Adding CTAs to your Facebook page increase click-through rates by 285%
HubSpot found that anchor text CTAs increased conversion rates by 121%
Making CTAs look like buttons created a 45% boost in clicks for small business
CTAs on Your Website & Landing Pages
With CTAs on your website, you can carefully direct visitors through a specialized pathway of your site – bringing them to the top pages and products you want them to see. On each webpage, you can provide links to specific product or services pages, blog posts, download options, buying options, or additional contact information.
A landing page refers to the destination (often some sort of webpage) a reader or visitor arrives to after clicking an initial CTA button, anchor link, offer, etc. - whether from an ad, email, or webpage. Now, when constructing your landing page, you must consider your call-to-action strategy. First, do you want this landing page to be primarily for sales or to simply provide more information on a particular product or service?
If you’d like to generate sales with this landing page, create a standalone landing page built primarily for conversions in this situation. Don’t include the common navigation options and uniform menu used throughout your website. Instead, in order to solely drive sales of a particular product or service, limit navigation options and include 1 clear CTA – either ‘Buy Now,’ ‘Get Started,’ ‘Request a Free Trial,’ or any other clear call-to-action that guides visitors toward your intended conversion goal.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to remember to match your landing page to the intended call-to-action. If a visitor clicks the CTA, ‘Learn More About Constant Contact,’ this landing page needs to have information on Constant Contact or the visitor will quickly exit the page. With Google Ads, Google actually lowers your ad rank and shows your ad less if they find that your landing page does not correlate with the CTA message in your ad. We’ll touch more on landing pages over the next few weeks, so make sure to keep up to date with our blog.
Optimizing CTAs: Buttons vs Links
It’s important to note that there is no one-and-done perfect CTA formula for everyone. In the end, you’re enticing those in your target audience to click to a specific page or offer. When optimizing CTAs and determining their style and colors, think about the demographics of your target customer and what type of landing page you are bringing them to.
What are their preferences, age, and expertise in your industry? Don’t complicate your CTAs with too much information and funky colors – simplify them and match them to their audience. Analyze previous clicks (more on this shortly) and see what’s working. When you’ve taken a second to answer these types of questions and take a look at click rates, apply these preferences and statistics to the style and creation of your call-to-action.
How simple is your message? If you’re attempting to build awareness for your organization, create a simple ‘About Us’ button with your brand colors:
Note: Make sure all CTA buttons are mobile friendly, and the target size of each button is large enough for someone to tap with their finger on their smartphone. Apple recommends a target size of 44 pixels wide by 44 pixels tall for mobile CTA buttons.
If you’re attempting to provide more in-depth information on a key topic or service, perhaps take this a step further and link to your landing page through anchor text, such as:
Testing Your CTAs
Calls-to-action are easy to test and change. You can compare the effectiveness of different CTA types through A/B testing, analyzing click rates, and monitoring what topics and pages are the most popular on your website. Through these types of tests and statistics, you’ll eventually see a pattern of what types of CTAs work best and what landing pages are most effective.
Again, there is no perfect CTA formula that works for every organization. Analyze the actions and clicks being taken by your visitors and make the appropriate adjustments. Consider who your audience is and what type of landing page you are bringing them to. As long as your CTAs are clear, relevant, and optimized according to your target audience and intended message, your calls-to-action will be a powerful driving force of your marketing strategy.