When it comes to digital marketing, you’ve heard terms like SEO, convert, leads, call-to-action, keywords, etc. But do you really understand the importance of each of these and how to incorporate them within your digital marketing strategy?

Today I want to focus on call-to-actions and review a few simple rules to follow when implementing these on your website, throughout email campaigns or even in PPC ads.

Call-to-actions are the advertisements in your marketing that tell your target audience what to do once they click on your PPC ad or button on your website. Once a brand has made a blog post, video or sent an email, they’ll usually include a call to action at the end. A simple example could be “Buy Now!” or “Contact Us.”

Call-to-actions are one of the most important inbound marketing tools usually in the form of a text link, image or button that motivates or directs your visitors (leads) to take an action. They are usually linked to landing pages that may get the visitor to register for an event, download a whitepaper, or take any kind of action that encourages them to move further down your sales funnel.

Here are a few critical CTA best practices…

  1. Make them visible. Place the CTAs above and below the fold and within the visitor’s eye path. They are pointless if no one can see them.
  • Use bold fonts and colors that stand out. If your CTA uses a similar color to the background on your webpage, email or ad, it won’t stand out. Make sure it doesn’t blend in. Use fonts that are bold, different and help it stand out. This will increase your click-through rates.

When it comes to size, make sure it’s big enough to read and clickable on mobile devices. Since more traffic probably comes to your website through mobile, you don’t want to lose these visitors. Apple recommends a minimum size of 44×44 pixels for anything clickable. So for size reference, you can always start there.

  • Be creative in your design. Create buttons or images that look clickable by adding bevels, shadows or hover effects. Copy and design should make it clear that users should click on the CTA.
  • Make them short. CTAs should be clear, simple and to the point. Don’t clutter them with long descriptions or adjectives. Save that information for the landing page.
  • Be smart about where you link them. Ideally, you want each CTA to have its own landing page that restates the offer and follows through with what you promise. Don’t just link to your homepage or pages within your website if you can avoid it. If you set up landing pages you will be able to track each CTA and you will see higher conversion rates simply because the user lands where you promise, not just on a page on your website where they are responsible to navigate through themselves.
  • Rotate and test CTAs on your website. CTAs can get stale to visitors who frequent your website. Plus, not every CTA will perform well. Test your CTAs and rotate them often (at least every quarter) so you consistently engage your audience and create new effective CTAs. Conversion rate optimization is a key to successful inbound marketing. There are software out there (like Hubspot) that make testing easy. 

According to Hubspot, a few baseline goals to aim for are:

  • Click-through rate of 1-2%
  • Conversion rate of 10-20%

To achieve these goals, you can test your button colors, copy or messaging, size, placement and more.

  • Optimize. Incorporate keyword-rich ALT tags to your CTAs to add search value to the page. When a CTA is an image this is a great way to add more relevant keywords to your website, so it gets recognized by search engines.
  • Promote. Place CTAs in almost everything you do. Every channel or platform you use is a place to put a call-to-action– emails, blog posts, social media posts, etc. 

The power of your website to convert leads and PPC campaigns to be worth your money comes down to the calls-to-action. The visitor’s action on your website or landing page is what it is all about. When you understand the basics of what a CTA is and how to properly design, place and promote it, then you will see conversion rates rise.

CTAs work consistently if executed correctly and designed with skill. Are you ready to start implementing CTAs? Test them and see your conversions increase. We can help you define, set up and evaluate the results from call-to-actions throughout your digital marketing efforts.

Get started today.