Getting noticed online is a big challenge in itself. For businesses, it adds a layer of difficulty since online competition is fierce. However, there is a need to capture people’s attention, directing that attention to encourage them to take action. It is a crucial element towards a business’s success by incorporating it in your digital marketing strategy.
So you managed to attract the user’s attention, now what? With users’ fleeting online attention spans, you must take this sliver of opportunity to compel your audience to act and do something. How can you do that? Great question! A great tool to achieve this is the use of a Call to Action (CTA).
CTAs act as virtual signposts on a web page that help guide your users on what you prefer them to do next. The absence of CTAs in any of your content keeps your user/s hanging, and will most likely leave without accomplishing anything after they consumed your content.
Let’s say a user landed and read through your blog content without a CTA at the end of the post, chances that your reader will simply leave without completing or performing any other tasks are high. But, if you have a CTA at the bottom of the blog, you open the opportunity for them to interact and engage with you more. This is accomplished by pointing them towards what or where you want them to go to, and/or what to do next.
A CTA makes it clear to leads or potential customers which action/s to take as you move them along their consumer journey. You can have multiple CTAs spread across your website and on different landing pages. This is particularly helpful, especially if you have multiple desired actions you want your users to take.
The point of the CTA is that you can encourage users to continue interacting with your site and encourage them to: Read more, Sign up, Share, Support, or Buy, to name a few.
Defining Call to Actions.
A CTA is a vital element of a website and any marketing material. There is a good reason why CTAs should be a staple on a website, content, and ad copies. Great CTAs can captivate your audience’s attention, provoke interest, and are the take-off points toward guiding your audience to your desired course of action.
CTAs are opportunities to motivate your audience to take real steps toward converting them into clients or customers. It is the determining factor between having a lead to garnering conversions.
Directing User Behaviour.
All digital products have a specific purpose. Most website elements are part of a basic website navigation. An example would be headers that contain a menu.
However, there are key actions that you need users to do, to drive them and your business to attain success. This can be in the form of a button, a link, text, or images that act as a supportive element, to help your audience find value in what you are offering. Whether that means having them sign up for newsletters, make a purchase, or perhaps guide them to where they can find more information about your product or service, or learn more about your business.
Since CTAs are designed to give clear instructions, it makes it so much easier for your users to be convinced and convert. By using CTAs in strategic touchpoints, you can direct users towards specific desired actions.
You can let your audience know what to expect once they click on your ad for instance. You would be able to dissuade wrong users from clicking with a clear and direct message while making your desired audience take action by giving them a compelling reason to do so.
The important thing to remember is that CTAs don’t just encourage users or customers to complete an action, they are also what help in completing an activity, like say, when they click “Buy Now!” You then lead your buyer to your payment screen, making it more likely that they will make a purchase.
This is why CTAs are vital in digital marketing and an effective tool for conversion and improving sales on a website.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised that a lot of business websites don’t do this properly. It can be quite a loss, especially if your website is enjoying an increase in traffic, an indication that your search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques are working.
CTAs are the driving force behind any conversion optimisation. It plays a major role in turning visitors and prospects from leads to customers. Note that you have only a few seconds to make an impact.
CTAs feed on capitalising on the fleeting attention spans of users by grabbing their attention and providing them with a clear pathway and/or incentive to take action. If you create a sense of urgency with your CTA, for instance, you can then highlight your value proposition and compel your audience to act promptly, which can significantly boost your conversion rates.
Creating Clear and Compelling CTAs.
A clear and concise CTA serves as a handshake between potential customers and your offerings. It’s an opportunity to encourage prompt decision-making by clarifying benefits to the customer and guiding them towards a solution.
By communicating trustworthiness, addressing pain points, and persuading users to move through the sales funnel, a CTA can promote conversion rates and positively impact profits.
An effective CTA allows your business to break through the online clutter and noise to better connect with individuals. By providing a clear path, it enhances the user experience by accelerating them through your marketing funnel.
Contrary to popular belief, giving your audience a lesser choice is better. With fewer paths to follow, your consumers are more likely to follow the direction you wish them to go. This helps your audience by eliminating any uncertainty and decision fatigue, stay engaged with your website, and move them further through your sales funnel.
Creating clear, concise, and compelling CTAs is both an art and a science. It can make a lot of difference in engaging and converting your audience.
To create effective CTAs, below is a short guide to help you craft CTAs that hit the mark:
1. Use Actionable Language.
The best way to grab a potential customer’s attention is to ensure you don’t alienate them. The choice of words you use needs to be a deliberate decision. It’s imperative to use words that are strong and action-oriented when creating your CTA, as these words will encourage your visitors towards the actions you want them to take.
Use words such as: “Buy,” “Learn,” “Subscribe,” or “Join.” Ensure that your language is compellingly dynamic, enough to sway users to take immediate action.
2. Highlight Your Value Proposition.
Articulate what value and benefit can your user gain by clicking on your CTA. Can it help solve their pain points? Will it be worth their time? Regardless of the benefit you offer in saving time and money, learning more, or improving the way they do things, your value proposition should be prominent and crystal clear.
3. Maintain Clarity and Conciseness.
Keep it short, and sweet, but direct to the point. If possible, use only a few words to convey your message. Specify what they must do and what they’ll get in return.
4. Create a Sense of Urgency.
‘For a limited time only,’ ‘Act Now,’ ‘Get Exclusive Access,’ ‘5 Items Left.’ These are just some examples of using phrases that induce a sense of urgency to motivate users to act quickly, or they might miss out on something valuable that you offer.
5. Use Contrasting Colours.
Design your CTA links or buttons in a colour that prominently stands out from your content or background. Visual contrast draws the eye to your CTA and encourages clicks.
An effective CTA needs more than just using the right language, it must also be presented with a great design. Your CTA should be prominent enough for it not to be missed.
6. Match Your CTA to Your Content.
A CTA that’s related to the content your audience is consuming would be more relevant and compelling. Related content also makes it easy for your audience to absorb one piece of content to the next on your site. What this does is make them learn more about your product or service and will likely sway them faster into making a purchase.
7. Instill Confidence.
Trust badges, customer testimonials, or a mention of a money-back guarantee near a CTA signals a reduced purchasing risk. Not only can it reassure customers you’re trustworthy and provide a low-risk shopping experience, but more importantly, it can help motivate purchasing behaviour.
Using trust signals prominently helps in boosting user confidence in your website’s credibility and security.
8. Personalise when Possible.
Is it even possible to personalise a CTA? The answer to that is yes indeed! Personalising your CTA means you’d be able to show different versions of your CTAs to different groups of visitors based on characteristics, preferences, behaviour and/or demographics. This helps in increasing relevance, engagement, and trust with your audience, which ultimately leads to conversions.
Placement and Visibility.
A CTA can be included across the entirety of your marketing assets. When you present a clear CTA any time you want customers to take action, you can dictate your consumer’s behaviour right through to the end of the purchasing process.
There will be visitors who scroll faster and deeper than others, which means they might miss your first CTA, especially if you place it near the top. By placing your CTA on various areas of your page, you increase the odds of your audience seeing it wherever they may end up scrolling.
However, don’t make the mistake of placing your CTA below the fold if it’s on the main page of your website. Place one on the top, one in the middle, and one near the end.
Just be mindful that how many CTAs you place depends on the type of page and the length of your content. The longer your content, the more CTAs you can place in between.
It makes sense to put a CTA at the top and at the end of blog posts to cover both skimmers and the more vigilant readers. Place your CTA where users will see it, since we read from left to right and from top to bottom, CTAs work well if placed on the right or the bottom of the page.
You should also consider placing a secondary CTA at the end of relevant content to increase your conversion opportunity. It’s an excellent way to engage and capture people who may find your primary CTA less appealing or may have missed it entirely.
A/B Testing CTAs.
There’s no way to determine which CTA will deliver the best results, therefore, testing different versions of your CTA is good practice. Ultimately, testing is the only way to keep improving and maximising opportunities to gain a response from your audience.
Conduct A/B testing by experimenting using different colours, wordings, shapes, sizes, and placements of your CTA. See which resonates best with your audience by analysing the data, and always optimise your CTAs based on the results of your testing.
Experiment one element at a time (e.g., design, copy, or placement) and run tests for a good period and sample size to get reliable results. By monitoring your CTA metrics and analysing the data, you can identify the winners from the losers.
Do keep testing and optimising your CTA variations until you find an optimal combination that works for each segment.
Given that mobile users are at an all-time high, and still growing, a website that’s optimised for mobile devices stands to gain better online success. It’s no secret that a significant portion of internet traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets.
The great part about this is that mobile users are on the go and in search of efficient interactions wherever they’re at. Given this, your CTAs need to be optimised and strategically designed to work for smaller screens.
A suitably sized and mobile-friendly CTA should be responsive to adapt seamlessly to various screen sizes and orientations. Don’t run the risk of alienating a substantial audience and losing potential conversions by not making your CTAs mobile-friendly.
Additionally, it’s not merely about adjusting your CTA’s dimensions; it’s also about creating a seamless user experience. What you want is to give your users CTAs that are clickable, intuitive, and don’t require excessive zooming or scrolling.
A strategically placed and mobile-optimised CTA ensures users can effortlessly and swiftly take the desired action. Neglecting mobile optimisations is akin to locking your door to potential conversions originating from people using their smartphones.
Remember that the key is to make your CTA both enticing and informative, leaving no room for confusion regarding the action you want your audience to take, and the benefits they’ll gain.
CTAs in Email Marketing.
An email without an effective CTA is like a ship without a sail. Yes, it might be moving, but it’s unlikely to reach its intended destination. Consider this, CTAs are akin to hooks meant to capture the attention of your recipients and entice them to engage further.
An email with a well-crafted CTA serves as a direct pathway for users to take action, be that by pointing them to your website, directing them to make a purchase, downloading a resource, or more. It adds a layer of interactivity to emails, encouraging your recipients to move from being passive readers into active participants.
Express your value proposition to make it clear to the recipients what they will gain by clicking your CTA. Don’t forget to optimise for visibility by using contrasting colours and strategic placement to make it stand out within the email.
Check if your CTA is clickable both on desktop and mobile devices. A compelling CTA in your email will not only boost your click-through rates but can also help enhance the overall success of your email marketing campaign, which translates to increased engagement and higher conversions.
Measuring CTA Performance.
Before you can measure the performance of your CTAs, you need to define what you want to achieve with your CTA and how you will track its progress. For example, you might want to keep track of your click-through rates and conversion rates of your CTAs as your key performance indicators (KPIs).
It’s good practice to analyse multiple metrics and consider your user’s behaviour within the broad context of your website. From there, you’d be able to gain a comprehensive understanding of CTA effectiveness, allowing you to make even more informed optimisation decisions.
Below are key metrics and analytics tools for tracking your CTA performance.
|Click-Through Rate (CTR)
|Percentage of users who clicked on the CTA.
|Google Analytics, Email Marketing Platforms
|Conversion Rate (CR)
|Percentage of users who completed desired actions after clicking the CTA
|Google Analytics, Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) tools
|Visual representation of where users clicked on your webpage or email, helping effective CTA placements
|Hotjar, Crazy Egg, Mouseflow, etc.
|Percentage of visitors who left your web page after clicking your CTA without further engagement
|Compare different versions of your CTAs to determine which performs better
|Google Optimise, Google Analytics, Hotjar, Unbounce
|Time on Page
|The average time users spend on a page after clicking the CTA
CTAs initiate real action to take place, whether your visitors finish their purchases or sign-ups. Such actions have a direct bearing on your conversion rates.
Follow these steps to refine and optimise your CTAs:
1. Analyse Data: Review the collected metrics you gain from various analytics tools regularly. Thoroughly analyse your CTRs, conversion rates, and heatmaps to gain insight on your user’s behaviour to gauge the effectiveness of your CTA.
2. Identify Patterns: Identify elements that drive more engagement and conversions by looking for patterns, such as the use of specific wording, colours, or placements.
3. Experiment with A/B Testing: Create variations of your CTAs and implement A/B testing to test different elements, such as the text you use, colour, size, and placement of your CTA on a page. Collect data to determine which version yields the best results.
4. Iterate and Optimise: Refine and iterate your CTAs based on your A/B test results and data analysis. Implement the more effective changes and continue testing to optimise its performance further.
5. Monitor Continuously: It pays to remain vigilant in tracking the performance of your CTAs. User’s online behaviour is as fickle as their attention spans, behaviour and preferences do change both in an instant and over time. Learning to adapt and optimise your CTAs regularly ensures continued success.
By utilising data-driven insights, you can make informed decisions to enhance your CTAs, maximise user engagement, and ultimately, propel higher conversions on your website and your marketing campaigns.
CTAs are the driving force behind a website’s and digital marketing success. They are like navigational compasses that help point your users towards specific actions they should perform that align with your objectives.
The importance of CTAs can’t be overstated. A well-crafted CTA, that’s thoroughly positioned, can help in transforming mere visitors into loyal customers.
If you aim to have a conversion-optimised website with the capability to get visitors clicking on your CTA buttons and links, we’d be more than happy to help.
The Accentuate Web Design and Marketing Team has designed high-performing websites for our clients. Learn more by signing up for our Digital Marketing Strategy Session, where we will help you achieve your business goals.