Your website (hopefully) serves a purpose for your organisation. It’ not just there to look pretty – when people visit your site there are certain tasks you want them to complete. Whether it’s buying a product or signing up for a newsletter, how do you force encourage people to do what you want them to?
In short, you get people to do what you want by giving clear instructions that they want to follow. On websites these are known as ‘calls to action’. Examples include ‘buy now’ and ‘click here’ buttons.
Here are some tips from digital marketing agency Roundhouse and web content management system provider TERMINALFOUR on improving your calls to action and getting the results you want.
Put the call to action in the right position
When they come to your website, users are embarking on a journey. They start off seeking information about your products and services and they end up a loyal customer.
It’s important that your call to action comes at the right point in this user journey. If it’s in their face on the first page they come to before they even know what’s going on then they are unlikely to respond positively. It’s better to let the user read the information first, then put the call to action afterwards.
Whatever you do, the user shouldn’t have to click the back button to get to the call to action. The structure and content of your website should guide them gently towards this goal.
Make the call to action as descriptive as possible
Use the language that your audience uses, and make it clear. Imagine that you are managing a university website and you want to add a button leading to a page where prospective students can sign up to attend an open day. Here are some options you could go for:
‘visit the university’
It’s clear and doesn’t use any unusual language. Perfect!
‘visit our campus – it’s free for all prospective students and their parents
This is slightly less clear to a general audience. Not everyone is going to be sure what words like ‘campus’ or ‘prospective students’ mean, even though it is difficult to remember when you use specialist language like this all the time yourself.
The text is also too long. It’s best to be brief so users can quickly work out whether the link will take them where they want to be.
‘see where you fit in’ or ‘imagine yourself here’
These are more interesting and creative, but unfortunately they don’t mean much to anyone. The content behind the link might be incredible but if it’s not obvious what they’re going to get, users aren’t going to waste their time finding out.
Use A/B testing to improve your page
A/B testing is a way of comparing two versions of a webpage against each other to see which one performs better with users. Some users may see a version of the page with black text, and others may see a version with blue text and the test will determine what affect, if any, the different font colours had on how people used the website.
Tiny changes like making a button bigger and brighter can have dramatic differences on the percentage of people who decide to click it. Read a blog post explaining how A/B testing can improve call to action buttons.
This article was inspired by a webinar by Roundhouse Digital and TERMINALFOUR.