Calls-to-action (CTAs) can come in many different forms, from buttons to text links and images, but one thing remains definitive – they are one of the most critical inbound marketing tools.

They are designed to lead users to complete a specific action, usually by directing them to a relevant landing page. You could use a call-to-action to get your audience to download something, get in touch with your company, register for an event or competition, or progress further down your marketing funnel towards a sale.

Apply now CTA

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Making good use of your CTAs is essential, so we’ve racked our brains to come up with our top seven ways to ensure that your calls-to-action are as successful as possible. You can thank us later!
 

1 – Don’t use the word submit on your buttons

Give more information about what will happen if users click the button, e.g ‘Download Now’, ‘Buy Now’, ‘Speak to an Expert’. The word ‘submit’ does not conjure up positive connotations, so it’s worth really thinking about your choice of wording and whether this will appeal to the people you are hoping to attract.
 

2 – Placement is key

Make sure that your CTAs are clear and visible, taking into account the user scrolling through the page and where they will end up. Also consider having more than one CTA for the same purpose, located at the beginning and end of your page. Make it easy for them – after all, if they can’t see a CTA, they can’t click on it.
 

3 – Make them stand out

Ensure that you choose a suitable colour for your CTAs so that they don’t blend into the background. Take into consideration the overall colour scheme of your site and try to select a colour so that your CTA stands out, but still remains readable. Too many clashing colours will deter the user and potentially lose your audience.
 

4 – Keep it simple

Online users have a short attention span, so keep CTA wording short and simple. Instead of using lots of fancy language or long sentences, which in other circumstances would be excellent bits of copy, try to remember that CTAs are most effective when they’re succinct and direct. As a general rule, try to stick to telling people what they will achieve or receive by clicking on your CTA.
 

5 – Avoid in-depth animations

Avoid using Flash or other complex animations that may result in users of certain devices, such as mobile phones, being unable to see your CTA. Make sure that your CTAs can be viewed by everyone, no matter which form of technology they are using. If they don’t work or your users can’t see them properly, then you will lose your audience.
 

6 – De-clutter

This is similar to making sure your CTAs stand out, but it is important enough to warrant the extra attention. Try to make sure that there is ample white space around each CTA you create in order to draw attention to them. If your CTAs are hidden in amongst a muddle of other page detritus, then your target audience may lose interest before they manage to find it.
 

7 – Make them look ‘clickable’

Online users have become used to recognising clickable elements on a web page, so emphasise this by making sure that your CTAs look 3D. Use of shadows and bevels or hover effects are a great way to indicate the elements you want people to click on, and enhance their chance of success.
 
Push button

Image courtesy of twobee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 
Calls-to-action are the most effective way to transport your readers from your regular content to other places, or landing pages, within your website. This means that it is well worth spending some time ensuring that the design and copy of your CTAs is as good as possible, in order to attract your audience and get those all important clicks.

Do you have any top tips for using calls-to-action? We’d love to hear them!

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