Call to Action Buttons – Key to Visitor Conversion

31 Aug 2011Greg read

These are the main elements that are designed to prompt, nudge and generally shout at the user to pick up that phone, hit the email or click the order button on your site – they are key to visitor conversion.

Although their only purpose is to encourage your visitors to click a link, “call to action” buttons come in a wide variety. They may be used for downloading a brochure, adding a product to a shopping basket, requesting additional information, signing up to your newsletter or something else entirely.

There are many factors involved in using and styling these “calls to action”, which range from;

Size and Placement
Ideally they should be the largest buttons on the page, but without overpowering all other content. If you have two calls to action side by side, which one is more prominent? Maybe differentiate by colour or font size?

A difficult balance to get right, you want to grab the users’ attention without overwhelming them, but get the colours too complimentary and the buttons simply blend in the background and user will overlook them.

Wording can have a huge effect on conversion rates. You want to aim for punchy, easily recognisable labels. Standard terms used which you will recognise on all good eCommerce sites as an example would be: “Add to Basket” “Buy Now”, “Free Sample”; all clear and to the point.

However it is worth noting that the language used will depend on the purpose the call to action is intended for. For example, calls to action for downloads often have additional information added like file size and version number. Free trial calls to action tend to include a bit more detail, although normally no more than a sentence.

Entice the user – Hurry them up!
Ideally you want all calls to action to be used as soon as the user sees them. The longer the user pauses over a call to action to work out what it is about and what it does means ultimately you will probably lose their interest. Having a clearly labeled, well-designed call to action button means the user can quickly see what is going to happen when the they click – increasing the chances of them doing just that.

One way of adding some emphasis is to give the Call to Action button some urgency.  Encourage them to make that commitment and contact you. For example, under your “Buy Now” button on an eCommerce site, why not display  Limited time only, or “sale price“. This won’t work for every call to action but for low-cost items it can have an effect.

With this all in mind, it’s worth looking at your own site and considering if it is time to review your Call to Actions. If you think it is time to review , design and update your site then please contact the team.