A guide to incorporating calls to action
A call to action (CTA) is a prompt that tells your audience what action you want them to take.
Common calls to action include “Comment your thoughts on this post” “Follow this account” or “Click here to book a consult”. All of these statements are clear, direct and tell your audience exactly what you want them to do. Still, 70% of small businesses are missing the mark and don’t have any call to action on their website (click for source).
Including CTAs throughout your site is imperative because If you don’t tell your audience what the next step they should take is….they won’t take one.
Do not fear, friend! Calls to action are really, really simple and they are a fantastic way to improve visitor retention rates and garner interest in your work.
By including calls to action in prominent places throughout your site, visitors are much more likely to take action.
After all, we don’t want to risk having otherwise interested leads click away from your site because they don’t know what to do next.
Where should you put calls to action?
The calls to action you include on your site depend on your industry and the way that your website is set up. Be logical about where you place calls to action, trying to place them in areas where customers are likely making a decision or where you want to prompt them to take a specific course of action, such as clicking on a button to learn more or reading a blog post on a particular topic.
It’s also a great idea to include a call to action in the header of your website or near the top of your site before visitors have to scroll. This placement is highly accessible and immediately let’s visitors know the course of action they should take to best engage with your business.
The homepage of this desktop site, for example, has two calls to action before visitors have to scroll. One is in the upper right and says “Schedule my free brand consult”. The other is on the main image.
Try making calls to action more prominent than other text on your site.
Larger fonts, buttons, and attention-grabbing colors are a great way to make sure visitors don’t miss them. The first two calls to action on this site are in an orange button, clearly differentiating them from surrounding text.
As always, use your judgement when it comes to the placement and design of your call to action. You don’t want to accidentally turn away customers by making your call to action overbearing or pushy.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples:
Patagonia has one prominent call to action on its homepage prompting you to read an article about Guri Bigham. They differentiate the CTA from the other text by placing it in a solid white button.
The Parks Project has a call to action with a white border around it “Shop Now.” It is highly visible and easily accessible to viewers.
Feeling good about this whole call to action, thing? Use the checklist below to incorporate killer CTAs into your own site!
Call to action checklist:
Is your call to action brief? They should only be a few words and no more than a sentence.
Is it truly actionable? Can your audience act on what you are saying whether it be by clicking, commenting, liking, scheduling, etc. Create CTAs that inspire your audience to do something not merely think about something.
Is it well-designed? Is your call to action aesthetically pleasing while also being cohesive with the rest of your site?
Is it placed in a high-converting spot on your site? This may involve some good ol’ experimentation, but you will likely find there are some areas on your site where visitors are more willing to take action than others. I suggest 2 calls to action before the visitor even has to scroll, but I recommend testing out multiple placements to see what gets you the best results.
Have any questions about creating killer calls to action for your site specifically? Click here so we can chat more about this simple way to improve your retention rates! (And yes! In this case, “Click here so we can chat” is the call to action) :)