Digital Marketing

A Call To Action (CTAs for short!)

26th January 2021
3 minute read

If you own a website or have looked into getting yourself a website for your business, I’m sure you’ll have come across this terminology – the CTA.

Yes, it’s important and can quite often be the differentiating factor between a website that performs well and a website that doesn’t. But they’re nothing to be afraid of. In fact, they can be quite simple really.

Take a look at Country Navigator for example. What’s the first thing you notice? That’s right, buttons. And that isn’t an accident.

So, want to learn more about effective call to actions to take your website from ‘meh’ to ‘YES’? Well, let’s crack on!

What is a Call To Action?

Let’s start with the basics. What exactly IS a Call to Action? Well you may not realise it, but you will come across these multiple times each time you go on the internet, no matter what the reason for you being online is. In fact, call to action’s have been used since the beginning of marketing, even before the internet had even been thought of!

Just like Catchphrase, it’s a case of say what you see. Essentially, a call to action (or CTA for short) is a button or any sort of prompt on a website that tells the user to take some form of action.

This could be anything from a ‘Contact Us’ that links users to your internal contact page, to a ‘Sign Up Now’ that takes users away from your website entirely and onto a sign up form.

How to Write a Call To Action?

Now we’ve over the basics of what a CTA is, lets move on to how to write the perfect CTA.

Start Strong

The first and potentially the most important point is to start with a strong command verb to get your point across. Web users don’t always take the time to read through every last detail your write (I know, annoying) so you can’t waste precious space – let them know exactly what you want them to do.

For example, if you’re a restaurant and you want people to look at your menu, ‘Download Our New Menu!’ would be a lot more effective and clear and ‘Our New Menu Is Available Now’. See the difference?

Both phrases essentially say that there’s a new menu, but only one of them directs and prompts the web user into taking a look.

Provoke Emotion

Another tip for the wording of your CTA would be to use words that provoke emotion. If you know your marketing, this won’t be a surprise to you.

If you were looking for a new bathroom and one website told you to ‘Plan Your Bathroom’ and another website told you to ‘Plan Your Dream Bathroom’, which would excite you more and which would you be more inclined to do?

Another easy way to do this is to simply add an exclamation mark. Remember the more enthusiastic you and your website are, the greater the chance of having this enthusiasm rub off onto your web users.

How to Style a Call To Action?

Now, if you’re going to take anything away from this post, please let it be this: colour is the most important thing.

As a general rule, green and orange buttons are reported to work best across the board. However, don’t be sticking in random green and orange buttons into your website just because they’re reported to work best.

Your CTAs need to be a complimentary yet contrasting colour. If your website is green, green buttons just aren’t going to cut it. How do you expect your users to be able to pick the buttons out easily?

Different colours evoke different emotions so also be sure to take this into account!

Where to Place a Call To Action?

So, you have your text and your button ready to go – now, where to place it?

It goes without saying that you should really have a call to action (and I would even say your most important one) above the fold and near your hero.

Are you wanting people to sign up to your newsletter? What better place than the hero! It ensures that it gets seen and not missed later on down the page.

However, this doesn’t mean that ALL CTAs should be in the hero of course. They should be scattered throughout the page as appropriate. If you give a user too many options, they can often panic and even leave the website in frustration.

The Takeaway

There you have it! As mentioned previously, adding in a call to action isn’t difficult and in fact, most of you will do this without much thought whatsoever.

The hard part is to make sure that your CTAs are concise and effective.

When you’re next going through your designs, take a look at what your buttons say and see if you can improve your click through rate and interest!

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