Optimizing Your Calls to Action for Sales

16 Apr, 2021

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The number of sales is the ultimate KPI of all SMBs. The customer journey may begin much earlier on search engines, social media, or local maps, but until that customer makes their first purchase or decides to visit your store, your website is just one of many at the start of the sales funnel. As you will see, this is why calls to action (CTAs) are so important for sales and conversions. They take site visitors a big step closer to becoming a customer. In this article, you will learn the answers to these questions:

What is A Call to Action?

The concept of a call to action (or CTA for short) has been a key term in marketing since long before the days of Digital Marketing. When used in print advertising, the call to action is often a message directly encouraging consumers to complete a specific action: such as a message on the leaflet saying to ‘call now’ or ‘book an appointment today’. With digital marketing, calls to action have much more impact because clicking on them actually allows the customer to start completing the action the CTA encourages: When you are shopping online and you see a call to action button with the words ‘Buy Now’, clicking on it will take you straight to checkout to enter your payment details. This is why calls to action are so important for sales. 

Why You Must Optimize Your Calls to Action?

The ultimate goal of any e-commerce website is to get the customer to that payment screen. This is why all effective e-commerce websites are built around calls to action. It’s not just about making sure site visitors know where to click when they want to buy something. CTAs play an integral role in the decision-making process. You will find a great example of optimized CTAs when browsing through products on Amazon, after you have finished reading a product description, with all of its most appealing features, the add-to-basket icon slides up to fit perfectly on the right-hand side of the screen. This isn't by accident, by optimizing the CTA to appear in the perfect place immediately after seeing the product in the best possible light, Amazon is maximizing its chances of making a sale.

CTAs must be primed to get the best results possible, this means paying special attention to their wording and positioning. Good calls to action are inspiring and always in reach of the mouse, but never overbearing. If you don’t get this right you are leaving the door open to thousands of competitors and alternatives who are just two clicks away. These words from Donald Miller's, modern marketing classic, BUILDING A STORY BRAND, 

“Customers are bombarded with more than three thousand commercial messages per day, and unless we are bold in our calls to action, we will be ignored.” 

Digital Marketing Tip: Optimizing your calls to action is a great way of improving the conversation rate of well-targeted traffic that comes to a website. If you are not getting enough traffic to your website, or the wrong kind of traffic you need to work on key digital marketing strategies such as SEO, SEM, and Social Media Marketing, competitor monitoring, and reputation management. 

If you are an SMB you should try rankingCoach Free or rankingCoach 360 they will help you in all of these areas

Optimizing Your Calls to Action

Regardless of the type of website and what it wants to achieve you can benefit from paying closer attention to the way your CTAs are presented in these key areas. 

Where to Position Your Calls to Action

There are classic places where you will always find calls to action. These spots have been proven to work through years of testing and tracking conversion rates.

CTAs in The Top right-hand corner

A great location for your calls to action on your site page is the right-hand corner. The top part of the page is the consumer's first impression when they are paying attention. This is also why sites tend to place their appealing images and sales messaging on the left of the page so site visitors have time to take it in before they reach the ‘sign up’ or ‘buy now’ CTA on the right. You may have noticed examples of CTAs when reading a product description on e-commerce sites, as you scroll down to read, the ‘buy now’ button slides up to fit temptingly into this position. 

Researchers have found that when consumers scan websites with their eyes using Z-shaped patterns. Researchers have also found that they tend to be more oriented to the side they write with. Because 90% of the population are right-handed this makes the top right-hand side of the page particularly appealing for clicking. For a classic example of CTAs doing this check out our homepage Now you know why our sign-in and sign-up buttons are on the top right!

The bottom center of your page is a call-to-action location that is becoming more and more important. It’s all because of our love of rapid scrolling on our smartphones and consumers' growing use of them for shopping. Eye-tracking research has connected this growing habit with the growing popularity of the T-shaped browsing pattern. Placing your CTA in this position will ensure that when the visitor has finished scrolling that your CTA sits nicely by their thumb. Don’t forget to check the visibility of your calls to action on the mobile version of your site; this may not display your website in the same way. 

Structuring Your Site Around Your Calls to Action

It’s important to think about where you situate your site’s content in relation to your calls to action. For instance. Often sites lineup the eyes of people in nearby images with the CTA. This unconsciously draws the eye line of users to the CTA. Websites that offer established and trusted payment services such as Visa and Paypal, should definitely already be displaying the logos for these services on their site. Situating these logos near ‘Buy Now’ CTAs will reassure users in that crucial moment before they click buy. 

Simplifying The Route to Your CTAs

All eye-tracking studies identify the top of a website as crucial for sales conversions. This is the site of first contact where offers can be presented with CTAs as well as routes to other key pages with CTAs. The bottom menu on the website is referred to as the ‘junk draw’, by some web designers. This doesn’t mean that pages often found in this location such as ‘Jobs’ and ‘contact us’ are valueless, but for a best practice approach to CTA conversion, you need to remove anything that could distract the user from purchasing or conversion paths.

Wording Your Calls to Action 

The importance of CTA means that great care should be taken in the way they are worded, They are often short and simple. They often begin with a verb and time phrase to create a sense of urgency. the user can complete these important actions with just one click. The simple wording is crucial for clarity, users can intuitively spot a CTA, they know that clicking it will make a commitment, they will only do this if they are completely sure what this will mean, so it’s important to make sure that the meanings of your CTAs are always crystal clear.

  • Buy Now

  • Subscribe 

  • Book a table 

  • Add to cart 

  • Schedule appointment 

Digital Marketing tip

Wording your CTAs is all about finding words that convert. This is different from SEO keywords which is about finding the best value terms on search engines for the products you offer. If you need help with this,Try rankingCoach Free & rankingCoach 360


Building Trust in Your CTAs

Customers can spot a call to action a mile away. They know that clicking on a CTA will lead to some sort of commitment. Unless they are completely sure what this commitment is they won’t click on it, so the messaging on your Calls to action needs to be crystal clear to give customers the clarity they need to click. This will boost your sales by building trust. A good way of making your CTAs more relatable is to mention people to make your business feel more personal, and to remind the customer that real people are waiting to help them. So instead of a call to action saying ‘Schedule a meeting’ say ‘Talk to Us’ Now´ 

Calls to Action That Appeal & Convert 

This doesn’t mean your CTAs have to be as simple as the examples above. Some marketers use more complex CTAs to appeal more to users’ desires. For instance instead of book guitar lessons now, They will say: take my guitar playing to the next level! The use of the first person here (my) puts the consumer in a position of power and gives them a greater sense of the benefit from guitar lessons.

CTAs like this can boost conversion rates if they are used in the right context and don’t sound too overblown or ridiculous, A bad example of a call to action for a plumbing website: take my toilet to the next level, a good example of a call to action:  FIX MY PLUMBING TODAY— note the use of eye-catching all caps and the inclusion of a time phrase, creating a greater sense of urgency. 

Direct Calls to Action vs Transitional Calls to Action

It is important to remember that ‘Buy Now’ may be the most well-known call to action but not all calls to action are as direct as this. CTAs fall into two distinct categories ‘Buy now is what we would call a direct call to action. These kinds of CTAs appear near the end of the customer's journey. They take site visitors a clear step closer to making a purchase. Transitional calls to action on the other hand are used for marketing to customers earlier in their buyers' journey. For instance, a call to action asking visitors to ‘Sign up for alerts’, ‘sign up for our workshops’, or ‘Find out more’. These CTAs are not going straight for a sale, they are trying to build a relationship that will hopefully one day lead to a purchase. 

Examples of Calls to Action 

To help show you that calls to action are more than just buy now. Here are some classic examples of calls to action you will find on many e-commerce websites. Classic examples of calls to action include:

The Up-selling Call to Action 

When browsing through products on sites like Amazon you will often find the words ‘frequently bought together’ encouraging you to buy the item you are currently looking at in combination with another matching item. For example, a children's toy may have AA batteries advertised below it. By suggesting connected items you will save your customers time and money on postage and packaging by ensuring they don't forget, whilst increasing your profits.

This is a classic example of using CTAs for upselling. On top of the classic CTAs for selling the actual product, you may also want to add CTAs that introduce products related to those being browsed and make it possible for the visitor to ‘Add both items to cart'.

Lead generation CTA

Calls to action can also help customers to get in touch with your sales team. These calls to action could be direct such as ‘Talk to our team’, or the transitional ‘Sign up to our mailing list’. Many sites present these CTA with chatbots to provide a more personal feel. These kinds of CTAs often emphasize the shortness of this conversation, ‘Let’s have a quick chat’, or the lack of obligation, for example ‘Book your free consultation now’ is an important tactic for generating qualified leads

Lead Nurturing CTA

Many companies provide educational content in the form of downloadable PDFs. These materials can build a relationship with the downloader may become a lead. If the content is useful it can also be shared across the internet by the visitor. These kinds of calls to action also stress the benefit of the materials, for example, ‘Get for all our latest tips’ or ‘Download all 50 tips’. 

Form CTA

Form submission boxes are used on websites for many purposes: from contacting customer service to setting up appointments and asking questions. Businesses only get this vital info if the form is submitted. This is why your forms should be engaging and easy-to-understand are confused or put off. So the CTA for a survey should be ‘Take a quick survey’.

Social Media CTA

The follow me on social media follow button is a call to action. Well-placed calls to action can really help grow your following and extend your site's reach on Social Media. This will help you to build more connections that can eventually become customers.

Content Engagement CTA

A useful transitional CTA that many people often don’t see as a CTA is the ‘Read more’ button. It is often used on blogs, online magazines. It appears by a picture or excerpt from the story snippets drawing the visitor into a story. An engaging teaser with clickable calls to action will make sure visitors view multiple pages on your site and stay around for longer which is good for conversion rates and improving bounce rates. 

The Final Word on Calls to Action

Optimizing your calls to action is a great way to boost sales on your site. You should always take great care in how you word and present your calls to action along with where you place them. Beyond direct sales, they are also extremely important for boosting the reach of your marketing activities and building relationships with customers.

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