There are two key aspects when it comes to online marketing: First, your marketing should drive traffic to your blog or website and second, it should convert that traffic into customers.
Almost 95% of business sites fail to achieve traffic conversion. That is the big mistake most bloggers make.
As a business owner and blogger, you want to make sure the money spent in creating your website is worth it. After all, what’s the point of driving thousands of unique visitors to your blog but not convert one?
The problem may not be your service/product but the “call-to-action” or CTA you’re using (you are using CTAs, aren’t you?)
A CTA is a hyperlinked image or text that urges the visitor to do something. Common examples of CTA are “Click here”, “Download now” and “Subscribe” buttons.
CTAs such as above are a hit or miss because, well, they are too generic. Instead, it’s a much better idea to create a CTA that is specific to your product or service to get more leads and clicks.
Before we look at how to create high-conversion buttons, here are the some types you can use on your website and blog.
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4 types of “call to action”
Here are some of the major types of calls to action that are used for websites and blogs
1. Add to Cart or Buy Now: Generally used by e-commerce sites to promote and nudge you to buy their products.
2. Free trial: These buttons let a user trial your service for free for a few days and reduces anxiety attached to a purchase. During the free trial period, users receive tutorials, tips and hacks on how to make the most of their trial, with a gentle reminder of the number of days left before trial period expires.
3. Sign up: Used for signing up to a service, a newsletter or a monthly online program.
4. Download: Serve the same purpose as “Buy now” buttons, or they may be used to invite a visitor to download a freebie. I find download buttons are more enticing than their “Add to cart” counter-parts.
There could be variations of the above, but you can apply the following 5 steps to any type of CTA.
Here are 5 steps to improve your Call-to-Action
#1. Make them stand out
Most websites just include a CTA button such as “Add to cart” without the image of the product. Once you include an image of your product, they know what they are getting when they click the button. It might work for you or it might not, but it clearly is worth trying.
Another tip is to make your buttons stand out from the rest of your page. SAP tested a large, orange colored button on their page. This is how the control and test pages looked.
With the inclusion of big, orange button, their conversion rates increased by 32.5%.
Don’t be afraid to make your CTA stand out — experiment and test what works best for your brand.
#2. Use active verbs
If you do what others are doing, you may be disappointed. If doing X makes someone else’s conversion rates touch the sky, why can’t you do the same and expect the same results?
Simply because your brand is different and unique than anyone else’s. Rather than copying someone, make your button copy relevant to what you’re offering.
Check out how CrazyEgg uses a specific CTA “Show me my heat map” instead of a generic “Click here”.
As a rule-of-thumb, try using action verbs that nudge them to take positive action. For example, “Learn more”, “Get started” or “Yes, send me my free pack!”
#3. Use appropriate size
Although it’s good to have a catchy CTA button, a button too large will overpower your web page and not convert very well.
On the extreme end, a button too small and grey in color will get lost on your page.
You have to find a sweet spot where your button catches attention and stands out at the same time doesn’t stop your visitors from reading the rest of copy on the page if they wish.
Ideally, your CTA button should be the largest button on your page. It should not use overly contrasting colors so as to blend in with everything at the same time.
Keep running A/B tests no matter how “minor” the change and repeat what’s working for you.
Check out how HubSport uses two non-contradicting CTAs at the bottom of their blog posts – the one that’s specific to a post is larger in size (first preferred action); the other is more generic and smaller in size (second preferred action).
#4. Optimize for SEO
Optimize your buttons and banners for SEO by including an appropriate alt tag with rich keywords. Most backends like WordPress allow you to create alt tags easily.
SEO will improve your visibility on search engines like Google and send more traffic your way.
#5. Get creative
Making small changes, like color or placement of your CTA can have huge effects. Kymberly Snyder did an A/B test of making people watch a 30-min long video with no option of skipping it. It was only after the video finished that a CTA button appeared.
This sounds against logic because you think people will leave the page out of frustration. Instead, it actually led to 144% increase in conversions of pre-qualified leads.
Another common tip is to include your CTAs “above the fold” – this means your visitor doesn’t have to scroll down the page in order to notice a CTA. By all means, go ahead and include it above the fold, but don’t assume this will lead to an increase in your conversion numbers.
Why? Because it’s is about what you say and how you say it more than it is about position. Sometimes, your prospects are better motivated to do something once they have read through the copy.
Others already want to buy from you – they are pre-qualified and ready to buy, so they might as well be given a CTA above the fold without much of reading any copy. This post explores 3 key scenarios you should evaluate before going above or below the folds.
For better results, you can use banners combined with buttons as CTAs like QuickSprout does here:
By the way, you don’t have to spend a fortune on CTA banners. There are tons of free tools that let you do it online; one good example is Visme.
Without a stellar call-to-action, your visitors will get confused or worse, they will leave your page. Make sure you utilize your CTA so they keep moving in the direction you want them to.
Guest author: Payman Taei is the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award winning web design and development company that creates custom web and mobile sites and applications for businesses and organizations.