What is a call to action on a website?
If you have spent time with the likes of web designers and developers, you have probably heard us saying “CTA” or “Call to Action” enough times that being rewarded with quarters would make you wealthy (i.e., “if I had a quarter for every time I heard that”).
A call to action is one of those pieces of web jargon that is kind of obvious in a way that leaves it unexplained entirely. So what is it?
A call to action is “a piece of content intended to induce a viewer, reader, or listener to perform a specific act, typically taking the form of an instruction or directive (e.g. buy now or click here ).” (OxfordLanguages)
On websites, this is frequently a button, image box, or form.
Two Types of CTA
There are two types of CTAs we use on websites. You only want to have one main driving ask for your user on each page or website. But there is a backup request because not everyone is ready to take the full plunge.
What is the one thing you want the user to do when they land on your website? Book a consultation? Purchase?
You have to know what you want your user to do and then ask them to do it! Your website copy, images, and layout all support this primary, direct ask of your user.
If your users aren’t quite ready to buy from you today, you want to create a way to be nurtured as a lead. This call to action is softer. Some prevalent examples include eBook downloads with information capture or requesting free samples.
Three Call to Action Tips
1 – Sell Your Ask
Tailor your layout and content to sell your primary call to action. If your page doesn’t consistently lead the user back to your CTA, why will they use it? It is okay to be gently pushy. Build value and make your CTA the next logical step!
2 – Use Action Words
Your CTA should be a literal action – if there is space to make it descriptive, even better. On our website, you will find “Start Now” and “Book a Free Consultation.” Both are the same CTA, but depending on where they are placed, we use more or less descriptions of what you are signing up for.
You can also track different locations and messages to see which are the most effective.
3 – Make it Ugly, Kind Of
Researchers have tested to death what colors, sizes, and other factors improve click-through rates on calls to action. In the end, it is going to be up to your website and audience, but here are some maxims.
- Larger sizes convert more.
- Bold, contrasting colors are clicked more frequently. Experiment with this!
- Emotive, time-sensitive words around a CTA help it convert. For example, “See Instant Results Today.”
- Leave space around your CTA.
- Please test it out! See if your CTA will float or sink.
If you need help building web pages that convert with great CTAs, click Start Now in our navigation bar and book a free consultation!