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Creating Call to Action Buttons (CTAs) that Work

By on June 21st, 2016 in Design

Every website has a purpose.

To buy, to contact, or join; whatever the purpose is, the user needs to take action in order for that process to complete. Call to action buttons or CTAs play a big role in this process. But often times they fall short of doing their job because they are misused or not used at all. CTAs need to be prominent on the page. It should be very clear what is going to happen when a user taps or clicks on the button. People fail at testing different words and colors. Creating CTAs that work can potentially help your website live up to its purpose.

CTAs should be in a highly visible area on the page.

When viewing websites on a desktop computer, users normally scan a website in an F or Z pattern. Putting CTAs in key locations in these patterns will ensure users are looking at them. On a mobile device CTAs should have sufficient white space around them. White space helps the CTAs stand out from the rest of the content. The great thing about CTAs on mobile devices is they can be put virtually anywhere. Users are used to scrolling and in most cases enjoy scrolling on their phone.

When creating buttons, words like “Click here” or “More Details” doesn’t indicate what’s going to happen when they click or tap. Buttons should show action, something like “Download PDF” or “Start Application” this really helps users know what that next step is going to be. If users know what’s going to happen they are more likely to click or tap. Button text should be concise, “Click here to ask us a question” is too wordy. Something like “Ask A Question” would be better, people know they need to click or tap we don’t need to remind them. Try different wording on your buttons until you get the result you want. It might be a slight tweak in text that helps users to understand the benefit of clicking a button.

Test, test, test.

The color of the button and wording can have huge impact on conversion rate. Both of these should be tested until you find the right balance. Maybe your buttons don’t stand out enough from your website color palette; perhaps you use a color slightly outside of your brand colors but something that still looks great with the other elements of the page. If buttons are created right with css, it would literally take about 1 minute to change the color of all the buttons on your website. Along with color you may want to test different size buttons. Maybe you launched your site and realized your buttons are going unnoticed, perhaps they are too small. Again if your site is programmed right, a few css tweaks and your buttons should look a lot better. Before you start adjusting and testing your buttons, review conversion rates and any other metrics you use to measure your website’s success. Get a baseline for how your website is performing. Once you have a clear understanding of how users are interacting with your site, start tweaking things. Make a few tweaks then wait a little while and re-evaluate your conversion rates.

Buttons play a vital role in a website’s success.

Testing everything about your CTA, color, text, size, and placement is the only way to get the results you want. If you don’t have any CTAs on your current website I would suggest adding some to key product or service pages and see what kind of response you get. In the end we all want our users to have a great experience on our websites. If your CTAs are doing their job your users are navigating your website and finding the information they need easily and your conversion rates show it. A website should never reach a “finished” stage. We should always be testing and tweaking. Amazon didn’t get to become on the online superstore it is by creating a website and calling it a day. If you are not treating your website like a physical location you are selling yourself short.