03 May 2012

Improve Calls To Action On Your Website in 4 Simple Tips

By Ninja Karina

Do you get a lot of traffic to your site, but have a low percentage of those visitors actually convert? You may be confusing your users; they may not know how to get to the next step, or they may not even realize there is a next step on your site. How can you successfully get users to the end of your conversion funnel? With calls to action, of course! Calls to action tell the user where they need to go, or what they need to do next. Below are four things you can do to improve your calls to action:


Simplify Your Design

Have you ever arrived at a webpage only to have fifty different flashing lights and bouncy icons and a sea of colors vying for your attention? You’re not really sure where to click first so you click the first item that catches your attention, which isn’t necessarily what you should have clicked on and you don’t end up finding what you’re looking for.

The other scenario is that you spend a lot of time looking around the page at every fascinating thing that jumps out at you, which takes forever and you eventually become fed up and leave the site.

This sounds like a dramatic scenario, but it is one that is far too common on many websites, especially on home pages. It is an easy trap to fall into, especially if you are a large e-commerce site with a lot of departments and products to offer your customers. You want them to be able to see everything you offer so that you don’t lose a single one. But such as the scenario described above, often times trying to include everything can have the opposite effect. Open up your site’s design a little more and put focus on the most important parts of your website.


Keep Things Consistent

Consistency is key because many people will use the visual cues they’ve learned on a previous page to help them get through subsequent pages. For instance, if a particular button on the previous page is orange, and it was orange for the few pages prior to that, then users will notice a jarring difference when the buttons all of a sudden change to blue. They think to themselves, “Does this button do something different?”, “Is this button special?”, or “Am I still on the right track?” Or perhaps they don’t even notice the blue button because they were looking for the orange one. Make sure that all calls to action that do similar things, look the same.


Make It Obvious

One of the easiest ways to improve the call to action on your website is to make it look very obvious. This can involve a number of different things, including making it look like a button that “pops” off the page. This makes the call to action stand out and users are attracted to bright, shiny buttons. Another way to make a call to action obvious is to place it where your users are going to see it. This typically means putting it “above the fold,” as well as any place a piece of content ends and an action needs to be taken. This suggestion also plays off Tip #1 from above, because de-cluttering and simplifying your page will also help make the call to action more obvious in that it is not competing for attention.


Test, Test, Test!

Website conventions and best practices are a great base to lay your website foundation but they don’t always tell the whole story. What is the absolute best way to improve the calls to action on your website? Test! One way to do this is to set up split testing or multivariate testing. This involves creating two or more versions of a page and these versions are randomly fed to different users. After enough data is collected, you can see which page performed the best. If you’re looking for a less intense option, you can install a program called ClickTale on your website, which tracks user behavior on your site and presents the data visually with colorful heat maps and conversion funnels.

Ultimately, improving the calls to action on your website will improve the user experience and lead to higher conversions.