Getting traffic to your website or landing page is half the battle. Getting that traffic to follow through with the desired action is reaching the finish line.
If your traffic is not interacting with your site in the way you want, those advertising dollars are wasted on potential customers that just “bounce.” Anytime spent advertising and driving traffic to a sub-optimal page is practically a waste of money.
The thing is, very, very small changes to your website’s interface and design can completely determine your click-through rate (CTR).
You only have a few seconds to encourage a potential customer to engage with your page, and implementing the right formula to improve your CTR can be really easy. It’s often as simple as changing a few minor details to see major results
Here are some ways to create better calls to action and increase CTR.
Consider actionable, strong language
Powerful language is the most basic starting point to improve your call to action (CTA). Your CTA can be a beautifully designed button or a simple hyperlink, but the copy will make or break it.
Craft your CTAs with a particular attention to language choice. Vague or bland CTAs don’t do it. It is a call to action, so use language that incites action.
Leaving your copy as “submit” or “begin” won’t get your user to click as it doesn’t explain what the step is. Use words that are precise, actionable, and descriptive like “create,” “view,” “contact,” “join,” “shop,” and “explore”, for example.
The words you choose obviously depend on your aim, but it’s worth checking out this list of powerful keywords for inspiration.
Create an emotional reaction
As noted before, vague language like “submit” doesn’t cause an emotional reaction for anyone scrolling through your page. Prior to your CTA, there should be copy and elements that instil an emotional response that keeps users interested in moving forward. You want to inspire enthusiasm and not just state an action.
Use words that convey enthusiasm and the excitement behind whatever action you’re promoting. For example, “Shop for your new look” is personal and gets the user excited about the possibility behind their action.
Here are over 150 power words guaranteed to help you craft emotional copy.
Present relevant, helpful information
Before a CTA, you have to do a little more to show users that have landed on your page you’re in line with what they’re looking for. Try to provide relevant content ahead of time, via ads or your blog, for example, that shows users your value and authority in what they’re looking for.
One tool that can help engage new users on your site is Beamer. This tool launches an interactive feed featuring your news, updates, and content on your website’s interface.
By simply clicking an icon or “What’s New” tab in your navigation, the Beamer newsfeed opens discreetly on the side of your site. Users can scroll through curated content, updates on new features, sales, etc. with CTAs to explore the rest of your site.
If you find it’s hard to share a lot on your homepage or your bounce rate is high, try adding Beamer to share relevant, actionable information with visitors immediately. You can make the content interesting and purposeful with photos, videos, or GIFS followed by link or button CTAs.
Make the benefit of the action clear
Your CTA should display the benefits of clicking and moving on to the next step clearly. It shouldn’t be a complete mystery what will happen next or why they should click through. Otherwise, it’s unlikely to happen.
For example, instead of just saying “sign up,” explain the action and say “sign up for a free trial” or “sign up – it’s free.” It shows the benefit and explains exactly what the user will experience, so they are less likely to bounce.
Create a sense of urgency
A sense of urgency or a limit on a benefit will entice people to take action immediately. You want to eliminate “I’ll think about it” and replace it with “I need to do this now.” It’s easy to do this by including phrases like “only [X] days left” or “offer ends today.”
We naturally want to protect ourselves from loss. If we feel we may miss out, we act to prevent that. It’s a very simple change to increase CTR with no effort.
Here are a few examples of countdown timers in use to help you visualise the sense of urgency these tickers create.
Make it personal
It’s amazing how even some very simple pronoun changes can completely shift how a user feels about your onsite experience.
Like mentioned before, feeling and emotion is an important part of powerful copy. Always use language that is personal to the user and prompts them to reflect on what you’re communicating in relation to themselves.
We’re in a very relationship-centric selling era, especially online. Even if your product is B2B, you’re selling to benefit an individual who will click through and make the purchase.
Always try to use personal pronouns and possessives with your CTAs. For example, “increase your sales today” or “sign up for your free trial” evokes ownership and personal gain as a result of the action.
Pay attention to design details
This is probably the most important on a technical level. CTAs often fight for attention with everything else on your page, but they shouldn’t. Its importance and location should be very clear as it’s often the most important part of the page, and yet, there are several common mistakes brands make when designing a CTA.
Avoid making the button too big or it is likely to seem like another unclickable feature on your site.
Also, avoid colors that blend in too much with your scheme. There has been plenty of research about what colors get the best CTR, and which ones invite poor performance. Very generally speaking, the best colors are red, green, yellow, and orange. The worst are black, white, and brown.
CTA design details that work include creating a drop shadow or beveled edge to show dimension to the button to make it look like it’s lifting up a bit. Also, place the button in a sensible place on the page; where next action should be taken. It’s also quite useful to have one of your CTAs in the navigation bar so users don’t have to scroll back up to find it again.
Just making any of these small changes can drastically improve your CTR, as simple as it seems. Sales is just as much psychology online as it was offline!
Sophia Ellis is a writer and user engagement expert at Beamer — a newsfeed and changelog that you can use to announce relevant news, your latest features and updates.