Offering high-quality products or services is great, but it’s not always enough to make a sale. You also need to ensure you have strong calls-to-actions (CTAs) on your website.
These are words or phrases, often presented on a button, that tell your customers what to do next. Sometimes, people just need a little bit of a push!
In this article, we’re going to show you how to optimize your website’s CTAs so you can make more sales.
Make sure your calls-to-action are bright and bold
The design of your CTAs is just as important as the wording! You don’t want them to blend in, or readers might not spot them. So, you need to put some thought into how you can make them stand out.
Typically, CTAs are presented on a clickable button. When choosing the color of yours, try to pick a hue that fits in with your branding, but that will still stand out against the background it’s on. Make sure the button is big enough, too — it should be one of the first page elements people are drawn to when they land on your website.
Let’s take a look at a few examples for inspiration.
Paramount Plus, a new TV and movie streaming service, has a bright and bold CTA right on their homepage.
There are two things in particular that stand out: first, the copy says TRY IT FREE. Because Paramount Plus is so new, it’s important that they reel in customers this way — after all, there are a lot of streaming services out there, so people will want to try before they buy. Additionally, the color of the button is a bright and clear blue. Not only does this color work with the company’s branding, but the blue also contrasts well against Spongebob’s yellow, making it even more eye-catching.
KiwiCo, a kid’s craft subscription service, has a stand-out CTA right on their homepage as well.
They’ve used a bright and bold green color to ensure their CTA button stands out against the grey background, and they’ve also added a fun light bulb icon that draws the eye. Not only does this help the call-to-action to stand out, but it could also spark a website visitor’s imagination and convince them to click through to “get a crate”.
Think about how you could ensure your CTAs stand out on your website. What colors would work well, and are there any fun icons you could add for some extra interest?
Stir up a sense of urgency
If you create a sense of urgency with your CTAs, you can make your consumers feel like they’ll miss out if they don’t act now. This can lead to more people taking the action you’re looking for right away.
You can help create a sense of urgency with timers that outline when a particular promotion will end, or how much stock you have left, for instance. Let’s take a look at an example of a business that uses this tactic well.
For instance, Amazon likes to let people know when stock of a particular product is running low. They’ll then tell you to “order soon” to avoid missing out on the items you need.
This is a powerful technique that could provide a sense of uncertainty that will be just enough to push people into making a purchase. They even have two different buttons customers can press — one of which says “buy now”, which increases the feeling of urgency. Amazon is the biggest online retailer in the world, so this is clearly a tactic that has served them well.
Play on your website visitors’ FOMO
Similarly, fear of missing out, or FOMO, can be a very effective motivator. So, it’s worth playing on this with your calls-to-action. Make your readers feel like people just like them have taken your desired action and are better off because of it!
To provide you with some inspiration for your own CTAs, let’s take a look at a company that does a great job of stirring up a sense of FOMO with theirs.
Venngage, a company that specializes in helping people to create infographics, makes sure to instil the fear of missing out in their audience in their guide to what infographics are.
Within their article, they promote a webinar they’ll be hosting on the topic, and urge people to “SAVE MY SPOT”. This creates a sense of scarcity, and encourages people to act fast to avoid missing out. Plus, the CTA is presented on a bright green button, which really helps it to stand out.
If you’re hosting an event or promoting a limited edition product, make sure you make it clear to people that they could miss out if they don’t buy their ticket or item right now. It could just be enough to boost your conversions.
Provide different calls-to-action for different people
Different people who visit your site might be at different stages of the buying journey. This means it can often be helpful to have different CTAs that correspond to these different stages. For example, you might want to encourage one person to make a purchase, but direct someone else towards giving you a call to get more information about what you do.
Let’s take a look at some businesses that use this tactic well.
For instance, you’ll find several different CTAs on Loganix’s link building services page. At the very top of the page, you’ll see a button that urges people to “get started” — this is great for people who have already decided that they would like some help with their link building and that Loganix is their company of choice.
However, people who scroll down the page to find more information will also find a range of other CTAs, such as “learn more” and “read more testimonials”. These target people who aren’t quite sure about this service or want to know more about the company in general.
This approach is particularly effective for a service-based organization like Loganix. They’re providing something slightly more abstract than a physical product, so people looking to spend money with the business might need more convincing. These different CTAs are sure to point them in the right direction.
Similarly, Best Value Schools have multiple CTAs on their homepage. The website helps prospective students to choose the next step in their education and career, which is always going to be a huge decision. So, they have different calls-to-action to attract people at different stages in their journey.
They have options to “find your school”, “view all resources”, “view all rankings”, and more. Think about all of the different types of people who could be browsing this website. “Find your school” targets people who already know what kind of path they want to pursue, while the CTAs that urge people to find more information are more suited to people who are earlier in their journey, and who might not even be sure that higher education is for them. There’s a CTA for everyone.
Consider who’s likely to land on your website, and what they might need in their current stage of the buyer journey. Do they want to make a purchase straight off the bat, or will they need more information? You should add CTAs that cater to everyone.
Make it very obvious if you’re offering a freebie
If you’re creating a CTA to promote something that won’t require your website visitors to spend any money, be sure to make that very clear. This can work well for free templates, free trials, free consultations, and the like.
Keep in mind that offering something for free is also a great marketing strategy in general. It shows people what you do, and is likely to lead to them spending money with you in the future.
To provide you with some inspiration, let’s take a look at companies that incorporate freebies into their marketing and CTAs well.
For instance, Bay Property Management Group, a real estate management company with multiple locations across the east coast, promotes their free property management analysis on their Philadelphia location page.
You can clearly see where you need to click to get a free property management analysis, as the bright blue CTA button really stands out! Just above their freebie call-to-action, they also outline the benefits of clicking through — doing so will help prospective to find their ideal tenants without breaking the bank.
The company is offering a very valuable service for free, and they’ve made that very clear with their CTA. This is sure to lead to a lot of click-throughs and could drive a lot of future business for the company.
SocialPilot does something similar partway through their guide to Facebook analytics tools.
They provide their own social media platform so, along with outlining the pros and cons of all the different tools out there, they’ve mentioned and promoted their own. Not only that, but they’ve also encouraged people to try it for free.
The bright blue banner really makes this CTA stand out, and they’ve made it very clear that trying out their tool won’t cost the user anything. They’ve mentioned “free” twice and even clarified that they won’t take your credit card details, so you won’t be stung if you forget to cancel at the end of your free trial. This is sure to convince a lot of people to give it a go and could lead to a lot more sales for the company.
Could you offer something valuable to your prospective customers for free? If so, make it very clear that engaging won’t cost them anything, and it could actually boost your bottom line in the long run.
Lead with a strong verb
The whole point of a call-to-action is to convince someone to do something — that means you should always lead with a strong verb. Words and phrases like “sign up” and “submit” might do the job, but they aren’t very powerful, so you’ll want to go with something stronger for the best results.
Here are some examples of CTAs with strong verbs that you could use:
- Download now
- Get started
- Create your account
- Explore now
- Discover more
- Schedule an appointment
All of these CTAs are clear, convincing, and make it very obvious what you prospective customers should do next.
Inject some personality into your calls-to-action
You want your prospective customers to engage with your CTAs, and injecting them with your personality can really help. To start, you should identify your brand voice, if you haven’t already.
Consider how you want to address your customers, first and foremost. Are you professional? Funny? Playful? Inspirational? Think about who your audience is and how you want to relate to and communicate with them.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of businesses that do a great job of incorporating their brand voice into their CTAs for the best results.
For example, Express, a clothing retailer, does this well on their homepage.
When you first visit their site, you’re presented with a banner that urges you to “join the TikTok challenge”. They’re trying to get their customers to post about their lives post-pandemic, and want them to share their outfits (which are hopefully from Express). This CTA wouldn’t work for every business, but it’s effective for Express, which is a young and savvy clothing brand with an audience that is immersed in the online world. This shows the company is engaging, boundary-pushing, and adventurous, which increases the chance of their ideal customers clicking through and jumping on board with their challenge.
There’s also plenty of personality in the CTAs that the luxury vodka brand Grey Goose uses on its homepage.
One of their most interesting examples is “uncork the truth”. This phrase suggests a few different things about Grey Goose’s personality. First, using a word like “uncork” is fun and relevant, as they are an alcohol distiller. Second, the phrasing shows that they want to be transparent in how they make their products and what ingredients they use. Consider if you can use a similar play on words in your own CTAs to show off your brand personality.
Your CTAs are some of the most important aspects of your website! To get people to do what you want them to do, you have to give them an extra push. In this article, we outlined seven different ways to enhance your CTAs, including using your brand personality, improving your design, using strong verbs, and more. There’s work to be done — get to it!
Author bio & headshot
Adam Steele is COO and co-founder of Loganix, which is an SEO fulfillment partner for digital marketing agencies and professionals. The company provides the SEO services that businesses need to grow and achieve their goals. If you enjoyed this article, you can find more SEO guides and templates on the Loganix blog.