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Research How to optimize a call to action on your website
March 03, 2016

Optimizing the call to action on your website is all about making the most of the sales opportunities you get. By making clear what actions you want your users to take, you pave the way to a purchase.

The thousands you’ve spent on lead generation can go to waste if you don’t actually convert the traffic coming to your website. Sometimes even the smallest change can lead to a huge increase in the number of conversions.

Learn how to make your call to actions irresistible for your customers.

What is a call to action

A call to action is an element on a page that is supposed to convince the user to take a specific action. Usually it’s presented as a link, a button or a clickable graphic. For example, a Buy now button you can find in online shops is an example of a call to action.

Even though it may sound simple, there is a lot you can do to make sure that your call to action leads to conversions (people click it to perform the action you want them to take).

For example, changing the wording on the button can have a huge effect on the way it converts users. The same goes for the look of the button or even its placement on your page.

Changes like this are called call to action optimization. You test several different versions of the button to check which is the most effective.

What makes a good call to action

When optimizing a call to action on your website, there are several key components you need to take into consideration. Although you don’t have to always use all of them, it’s worth keeping them in the back of your mind so that you can make the most of your call to actions.

Here’s what you need to do with your call to action to make it successful.

1. Make it stand out

The look of your call to action is what will help you grab your customers’ attention. Years of browsing various web pages on the Internet have taught us to expect certain things. We usually expect that the big, contrasting or flashy elements of the page will allow us to move further. This is the kind of habit you want to use when deciding on the looks of your call to action.

If it’s a link, it should be presented in a different color than the rest of the text and it should be underlined. If it blends with the rest of the text, you can’t really expect that users will click on it.

If we’re talking about buttons, they need to be in contrast with the background color. For example, a green button will simply disappear on a green website. Once you make the button red, nobody will have a problem with finding it.

When it comes to button color, don’t listen to the experts saying that a certain shade of red will yield better conversion results. If the button stands out, there’s really no difference if it will be in firetruck red or brick red.

When it comes to buttons, the positioning is also key. A user shouldn’t have much problems with locating the call to action button with one glance. If they need to actively look for it, you might want to move it up on the page or make sure that it doesn’t contest with other elements on the page.

2. Use actionable language

Another important aspect of every call to action is the text you use for it – the message that is supposed to convince people to do something.

You want to avoid bland, vague language in favor of strong, short verbs. For example, instead of having a link that says sign up form, you should have something more in line of sign up now.

If you use the right language, customers will immediately know what action they need to take and won’t have to figure out what on earth did you mean by that vague-sounding text.

Suggesting what can be achieved by taking the action is a good practice you can use to boost conversions. People use this method on their website to increase the number of chats they get. Instead of a generic ‘chat now’ message for their chat window, they changed it to ‘schedule a demo’, which resulted in 40 percent more chats from that call to action.

3. Promise a reward

What is the single best way to convince someone to do something? Offer a reward. The reward can be a powerful motivator for customers to click your call to action.

For example, instead of simply asking users on your website to buy now, you could ask them to buy now to get a 10% discount. In the long run these rewards won’t cost you much as you will be closing a lot more sales by simply offering some incentive.

Depending on the type of business you run, you can offer all kind of rewards – from discounts and special deals (buy one, get one free) to free shipping or overnight delivery options.

Boost your sales by optimizing your call to actions

Without properly optimized call to actions, a lot of the hard earned traffic you bring to your website can go down the drain. It doesn’t take much to make a few changes in the wording of your call to actions, to move them a bit on your website to get better conversion results.

No matter what changes you introduce on your website, make sure you keep track of the results. After some time, you will know exactly what kind of call to actions work best for different pages on your website.

Have a call to action optimization story of your own? Feel free to share it in the comments!


Cover photo courtesy of Michael Goodin via Creative Commons.
Jacob Firuta

Customer Success Manager at LiveChat

Jacob is responsible for preparing articles, reports and other materials that help companies create better customer service. You can read more of Jacob’s articles on the LiveChat Blog.