The calls-to-action (CTAs) on your website play a crucial role in converting visitors into leads for your sales team. Take the time to create an optimised CTA based on best practice and you should see a significant change to your click through rate. In this blog Noisy Little Monkey's Creative Director, Natasha Baldwin, shares her recommendations for creating click-worthy calls-to-action.
Call-to-action best practice:
- Make it about them, not you
- Use SMART CTAs and personalisation
- Run tests to see what works
- Keep your copy concise
- Add contrast to make the CTA stand out
- Think about position on the page
- Don't overwhelm users with choice
1. It's about them, not you
What does a user get when they click on the CTA? Whatever it is, make it about them. For example, avoid language like "download OUR free ebook here" and instead say "get YOUR hands on this free ebook today".
2. Use SMART CTAs and personalise the content
SMART CTAs are a clever way to show dynamic content on your website. This essentially means that the CTA content can change depending on the user who views it. Rather than showing the same CTA to every visitor on your site, you can tweak the content so it displays a different CTA for that specific user. Showing relevant, timely content gives you a much better chance of increasing those clicks.
If you want to experiment with SMART CTAs, HubSpot offers this function and it is definitely worth checking out if you're a marketing professional. Noisy Little Monkey are offering free HubSpot onboarding for 90 days at the moment - just click the CTA below for more info!
3. Using imagery? Trial graphics vs people
If you're incorporating graphics or imagery into your design, create a few options and trial what works best for your audience. Do they respond better to a male or female figure? Do they prefer something simple? Run a test to find out which style works best for your conversions.
Also think about where the imagery on the CTA is pointing, can you use the shapes or line of sight to point to the "download" or "register" button on the image?
Example of a directional CTA. Image Source here.
4. Keep copy concise
Your CTA needs to get straight to the point, so keep that copy concise. Use action-orientated words and create a sense of urgency with the copy you use. For example, note the difference between "Get our free guide" vs "Download your free guide today!"
Another thing to think of is that your CTA might be being viewed on mobile, so you want to keep the text as concise as possible so that it doesn't end up being crammed in on a teeny tiny screen and become hard to read.
5. Give the CTA context
Why should people click on your CTA? What's the benefit to them? Make sure you provide context - you can either do this in the CTA or do it in the copy before the CTA. Using the ebook example again, if your CTA says "download the guide", what guide is it? Can you indicate this through imagery? Can you talk a bit about the guide in your copy before you insert the CTA?
6. Add contrast
Make sure to add contrast to your CTA in order to make it stand out on the page. If your website branding is all blue, don't make a blue CTA - it'll just get lost.
If you're including a button on your CTA image, make sure it contrasts to the background colour and that the text on the button is legible. Check out the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines for help on this.
7. Think about position
Don’t just put your CTA at the bottom of your page. Try to include a CTA near the top (people are lazy and don't always scroll to the bottom!!) and have an additional CTA a bit further down if you're writing a longer pillar piece of content.
8. Spread 'em out!
Don't put too many of your CTAs close together - yes, you want your visitors to take an action on your site but you don't want to give them 'banner blindness' or create a frustrating user experience where the copy on your page is so hard to read because there's a CTA interrupting the narrative every five seconds. Exercise caution when thinking about placement.
9. Don't overwhelm users with choice
It's best practice to give users one action to complete. So have a think about the Buyer's Journey - what is the most appropriate call-to-action for the page they are on? If it's consideration stage content, you could signpost to a case study, if they're on a service page, stick a "book a meeting" button in there rather than a link to you blog - you don't want people to bounce off a crucial page after all.
10. Make it actually look clickable
Sounds obvious but if it doesn't stand out and isn't obvious that your CTA is clickable, no one will click on it. Think about the button shape, colour, hyperlink text, and so on.
11. Think about where the CTA is being viewed
Consider your target persona - are they viewing this page on mobile, desktop or tablet? Does your CTA need to be responsive and display a different graphic dependent on device?
Remember, what works for one business won't work for another - there is no right answer. So come up with a few different CTA styles and test them against each other to find out what works for your audience. You could create the most hideous CTA but it could perform better than anything that’s been designed beautifully. You just never know! Try to test one thing at a time per CTA group so you can narrow down what change has made the difference.
Call-to-action features you can test
- Size of CTA
- Colour of CTA
- Imagery on CTA
- Text on CTA
- Button vs text-based CTA
- Position on page
- Personalised vs non-personalised content
- Animated vs still (eg a GIF)
Other best practice CTA resources we'd recommend
If you're just getting started with CTAs, visit this handy page from HubSpot: https://knowledge.hubspot.com/cta/get-started-with-calls-to-action-ctas
HubSpot has also produced an example of some fantastic calls-to-action so you can get inspired: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/call-to-action-examples
You can also check out sites like Canva, Freepik, Pinterest or Dribbble for design inspiration! This blog also has a few great pointers in it.