The other day I was standing in front of a pay terminal with no idea where to start. It took me a few minutes just to figure out how to give the garage my money. The problem? No easy-to-identify place to start. In web parlance, no clear call to action.

Clear, compelling calls to action are the lifeblood of your business on the Web. They are the sign posts and cues that give your users the guidance they need to continue down the right path towards conversion.

Calls to action are often just thought of in terms of a button, if they’re thought of at all. Too often, calls to action are omitted or stuck into the design as an after thought. Which is a tragedy because weak calls to action (CTAs) result in confused visitors and lost opportunities as potential customers wander out of the conversion funnel and away from your site. In this post we give you six ways to create compelling CTAs that really drive results for your website.

Hello Bar Call To Action

Six Ways to Get More Action

Before we get started, it’s important to note that a call to action isn’t just about sticking a button on a page. A call to action is the entire sum of the design and content helping visitors move down the funnel toward conversion. When you think call to action, think holistically, not just in terms of a button.

There are many different types of CTAs, from buttons to buy, links to download and visual design cues guiding your visitor down your conversion funnel. Without CTAs your users can get lost and confused which, in the worst case, will lead to them leaving your site. To keep your customers headed in the right direction here are our best practice tips for your CTAs.

Creating Compelling Call To Actions

Use these in your design and watch your conversion rate soar.

Make them stand out. From a design perspective your CTAs should be easily distinguishable from other content in your design. Use a color that is easy to see on the slide and stands in contrast with the background.

Keep CTA design consistent. Your CTAs throughout your site should be consistent and easy to recognize. Changing from buttons to links, and drastic changes in colors and shapes can can create confusion. Help your visitors identify CTAs by keeping them consistent.

Use active and descriptive phrases. Phrases like “Get Started”, “Download Now”, “Learn More”, and “Get an Invite” create a sense of positive action that gets visitors moving forward down the right path. Avoid CTAs such as “Click here” at all costs.

Crazy Egg CTA

Use design elements that indicate forward progress. Include design elements such as arrows in your CTAs to indicate momentum and progress. This helps your visitors feel like they are moving in the right direction to solve their problem or meet their need.

Lean Startup CTA

Put them on each page. After a visitor skims a page on your website, they’ll try to figure out what to do next. Ensure they head in the direction you want them to go by putting prominent CTAs on each slide and page. Plus, never assume a visitor is entering your site from the first step of your funnel, help them orient themselves quickly with clear guidance.

Digital Telepathy Calls to Action

Keep them visible. If you have long content pages, make sure you have multiple CTAs so that users don’t have to hunt them down once they’re ready to act.

Unbounce CTA

A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action Please

Without strong calls to action your visitors will get confused, frustrated and lost, leading to fewer conversions for you. Lead them to the promised land with clear, action-oriented CTAs that guide them down the funnel.

By being consistent in your design and placement, using active and descriptive copy, and indicating forward progress in your design, you’ll be on your way to improving the conversion rate of your site.

Have a favorite call to action? Let us know in the comments!