Last Updated on April 4, 2018 by Fabrizio Van Marciano
CTA buttons are very important elements of a website that, unfortunately, are sometimes neglected.
Either because of lack of understanding or simple carelessness, the designers usually boil CTA buttons down to the choice of color and attractive look.
However, it is impossible to create a high-converting call to action button without a deep understanding of the main principles that make them efficient.
In this post, we are going to discuss these principles and define the characteristics of a high-converting CTA button.
Let’s get to it!
First of all, why do we need call-to-action buttons on our websites?
The name, actually, speaks for itself. The core target of a CTA button is to make the visitor do something.
The sort of action totally depends on your goal. It can be signing up, downloading a file, adding some item to the shopping cart, and so forth.
The functions and the text on the buttons may vary, but there are some basic principles that are common for all of them and should be followed if you want to get a higher conversion rate.
Let's get through some of them right now.
This may sound obvious, but make your CTA buttons actually buttons and not texts, hyperlinks, gifs, or whatever else.
Leave your creativity aside when it comes to this item. The fact is that the human brain is a complex system that uses particular models to rule the behavior of the individual.
One of such models is using certain patterns of behavior for some recurrent situations. In other words, if the brain finds a situation familiar it will make the person perform some habitual action.
How can this be applied to our CTA buttons?
Well, over the years people have become accustomed to the world wide web and have gained some online experience. We have developed a strong connection between the call-to-action and the button.
When we see a button, we know it should be clicked. And vice versa, when there is no button on a page it confuses us.
We ask; What do they want from me? What should I do? What's going on?
So, don't make your visitors panic like this. Give them buttons and make them obvious that they are buttons.
Check out this tutorial on how to design HTML and CSS buttons that convert!
This is actually what you need to think about first. Not the color, not the size, and even not the placement of the button, but its message.
The words you choose for your CTA button can have a huge impact on your conversion rate.
The main rule is using action-packed texts. And it should be as straightforward as possible.
You want your visitor to perform some action? Put it baldly. The text should be short and on target.
Don't rack your brains trying to invent something really unhackneyed.
Experience has proven that the most effective words in terms of conversions are at the same time the simplest ones.
The words "get", "buy", "free" work well in practice.
Your website users should know exactly what action you want them to take. If the text on your button makes your users question, it results in a pause, which can cause lower conversions.
Also, CTA buttons are not the right place for exquisite typography. The text should be bold, large and clearly readable.
This is a good policy when you want your visitor to carry out the action you want with little thinking as possible.
The more opportunities the visitor has to pause and think, the more opportunities he has to say “no".
You need to create the sense of rush so that your visitor gets the feeling that he or she needs what you are offering right now.
Create a slight pressure that will encourage him to decide immediately. This trick might not work with some high-cost products.
However, in terms of low-cost and free actions, it may raise your conversions significantly.
Not always, but there are some situations when you may need to provide your visitors with some extra information.
This can be often be seen with 'trial' or 'download buttons'. It may include the information about the length of the free trial, the size of the downloadable content, or whatever else.
However, don't overegg the pudding.
Remember that the main focus should be kept on the call-to-action. Add only the information that is essential, relevant and can influence the visitor's choice.
Make sure that the text for the additional information you add is less visible and doesn't steal the show.
When the visitor comes to your website he is expected to go along some particular path.
At least, it should be so if you have thought out the design of your website.
CTA buttons must be placed in the path of the user.
The main rule is to put a CTA button where the visitor is going to look next. If you your design is thought-through it would not be hard to predict.
The usual structure of the landing page looks like this:
And this is what is called a logical placement.
Although, there are lots of discussions on the subject of the CTA button color, don't get too obsessed with them.
It won't influence your conversion that much as some of you are expecting. However, analyzing the experience we can define a common feature of the high-converting CTA buttons.
They have a contrasting color. One of the main goals of CTA buttons is to draw the visitor's attention. And using a color contrasting to the page's background is the most effective way to achieve it.
Don't make your CTA button compete with the other elements on the page. It should be noticeable and stand out all by itself. Thus, use negative space.
It is better to incorporate some blank space between your content and call to action button. It will make the button noticeable and catchy. However, you need to correlate the size of the button and the amount of the negative space around it.
Your content and the button should still stay a single entity.
When it happens that you need to have more than one CTA button on the page, you should remember about prioritizing.
There exists so called "the paradox of choice" that is when people find it difficult to make their choice between too many options presented.
So, if you really need to include multiple button choice, single out one choice among all the others to guide the user.
You can use the color or the size to highlight the most important button on the page. But never use them equally. This will definitely make the visitor stop and you are likely to lose him.
You can include some visual graphics to your CTA buttons. Still, you should do it only if the icon or image really adds something to the user's experience and not makes him confused.
This strategy should be approached carefully. It is not likely to give you a significant conversion boost when used properly. However, if you use confusing icons or they distract the visitor you can get conversion reduction.
This is by far the best way to get to know whether your idea works or not.
Simple A/B testing can tell you a lot and reduce uncertainty.
Don't be afraid of testing. Test everything: color, size, text, placement.
When you start doing it you will see how the tiniest details can influence your conversion.
So, this is it. Of course, this is far from doing everything that you can to create the best CTA buttons for your site.
There are many more tricks that can be used to increase your conversion. However, we recommend you to start with these ones first. If this seems not enough for you try some other tips. Test, test, and test!
Don't be afraid of trying something new either. Only by testing new things you can discover the perfect blend that will fit your particular project.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through this post, if you need help with creating custom CTA buttons for your website, or designing a conversion focused page for your website, click this link to learn how I can help you.