If you search Google for “click here,” you’ll get more than 1.7 billion results.
That doesn’t include any image buttons that don’t have the phrase in the alt tag, mobile variants like “tap here”, or uses of the term in other languages.
“Click here” is a form of a Call To Action, or CTA. As noted by our Google search, it is used very frequently. Ironically, it is perhaps the worst form of a CTA.
Understanding CTA is essential to modern web design and digital marketing. It’s possibly the most important feature on your website, no matter what your company or organization does.
Are you using CTAs effectively?
What is a CTA?
A Call To Action is just that – a polite but firm request for leads and prospects visiting your website to take the next step on their buyer’s journey. You are literally calling on site visitors to take action in a desired way.
Mark Quadros at AdEspresso describes a CTA as a written directive, encouraging website users to take a specific action.
A CTA can take on a variety of forms, but we’ll be focusing on two of the most common: buttons and in-text links.
Here’s a typical CTA button:
And here’s an example of an in-text link:
Contact us now for your free, no-obligation consultation.
A CTA isn’t always an immediate “buy now” directive, pushing your site visitor to make a purchase, though it can be. Instead, effective CTAs are more often incremental in nature, giving a gentle nudge to the lead or prospect to establish or grow your relationship with them.
(Note: the rules are different for e-commerce / retail websites. In this post, we’ll be focusing on websites that are not focused on e-commerce.)
What to Say in Your CTA
Before you create a CTA, it’s important to know what your marketing goals are.
Ask yourself: “What do I want visitors to my website to do?”
Avoid the temptation to rush them straight to the credit card information page! Pushy tactics like that don’t work well for most people, and will likely send visitors elsewhere.
Instead, define specific goals for your website and its visitors. Do you want them to:
- Sign up for your email newsletter
- Start a free trial
- Learn more about a product or service
- Download a lead magnet
- Contact you for a free consultation
- Register to attend an event
The possibilities are limited only by your imagination (and marketing budget!), but it’s a good idea to make sure your CTA is simple, clear, and consistent with your marketing goals.
Widerfunnel created its trademarked Landing page Influence Function for Tests (LIFT) model to demonstrate a creative way of thinking about CTA. Just like a commercial airliner needs lift to get off the ground, your CTA needs its own form of LIFT to perform:
To put it another way: is your CTA
- A strong value proposition?
- Distracting? (It shouldn’t be!)
- Alarming? (Hopefully not! We don’t want to scare people!)
A strong CTA will have a sense of urgency, without causing fear or alarm. It will be clear, relevant, and have an obvious value proposition (free download, free consultation, informative email newsletter, etc.)
Now that we know the purpose, how do we spell it out in just a few words?
Fill in the Blank
It may feel obvious or natural to say “Click Here” or “Tap Here”, because clicking / tapping is precisely the action you want the user to take. Don’t do this. It doesn’t work.
Start by considering exactly what you want the user to do, then try to summarize it in as few words as possible. If it makes sense, add urgency words like “now” and “today”. Think of catchy, clear, and to-the-point words and phrases. Use action verbs like “get” and “go”. Have something free to offer? Highlight it!
If you’re having trouble, start broadly:
- Learn More
- Let’s Go!
- Sign Up Now
- Get Your Free Consultation
- Free Download
- Book Now
- Reserve Your Free Seat
- See More
- Download Now
- Get Yours
- Subscribe Now
- Claim Yours
- Get Started
If your CTA goal is very specific, don’t be afraid to use a few more words! Again, we want to make it clear to the user what they’re doing when they click or tap:
- Show Me the Results
- Save 20% Now
- Get 50% Off Now
- Get Access
- Create a Free Account
- Switch Now and Save
Part of your objective should include being conversational, not transactional. Remember, we’re aiming primarily at leads and prospects, so we don’t want to scare them off by rushing them to the altar.
Where Should I Post a CTA on My Website?
There are a few things to consider when deciding exactly where your CTA should go.
First, let’s talk about a button CTA. It should stand out. It needs to be easy to see (and easy to read). Contrasting colors are a great way to accomplish this, as shown in this example from our client One Porch Realty:
We recommend placing a high-contrast CTA button in the upper-right corner of your website’s homepage, preferably in the header (so it will appear on all pages). This should be your primary CTA – that is, the most-important conversion goal for your homepage.
Consider a pair of CTA buttons a little farther down the homepage, in or just beneath the hero image. These should ideally be contrasting colors, with different goals. Here’s how we did this for our client Avana Financial:
You may also want to place a button CTA at the bottom of the homepage, just above the footer, and at the bottom of other pages that present information to prospects and leads:
Not all CTAs are buttons. You can easily insert a CTA into any of your website’s text. Just make sure you’re not interrupting the reader’s train of thought – ideally, they’ll be enticed to click that link and take the next step.
At BizTraffic, we can help you with CTA placement and the creation of high-converting websites and digital marketing campaigns. We’re just a phone call or email away from connecting you with a free, no-obligation consultation. Contact us now to get started!
(See what we did there?)