Website Content

Call to Action – Part 2

Posted on August 31st, 2012 by chaseweb

What’s In It For Me?

Having an attractive Call To Action (CTA) on your site – one that fits in with the overall theme – is just the first step in creating an effective CTA. Just because it’s pretty doesn’t ensure that your site visitor will click it. The first question they will ask themselves is, “What’s in it for me?”

There are many incentives that you can use to increase click-throughs. Discounts, free gifts, pertinent information, or just plain fun can induce a potential customer to click your CTA and see what they get. It doesn’t have to be a shiny new car – an ebook, free newsletter, or discounted prices are enough to perk their interest. Whether your CTA is on your website, or used in your social media sites,  you can offer great incentives to get them to click that button.

It is important the your CTA is not misleading – let the user know exactly what they will get when they click that button, and then give it to them. Some examples of CTA text could be: Learn More, Get Started, Buy Now, or Free Gift. And when they click that button, they will expect to get what you promised them. If your CTA says Learn More, and they click the button and then have to fill out a form, join your mailing list, or give their credit card number in order to get to the information, they will not be impressed. Don’t try to trick your site visitor into signing up for anything. You can come right out and ask them, but always give them the option.

Using words like ‘It’s Free!’ ‘Sign up in 60 seconds’, or ‘No sign up necessary’ will put your visitor at ease. They will be much more likely to investigate more if you have been honest. And they just might click that Sign Up Now, or Buy Now button.

Show me the goods

 

Showing an attractive image of your product is also an excellent way to inspire curiosity. Take a look at Instagram.com. Their home page shows how their product looks on your iPhone or iPod Touch. Looks like fun, doesn’t it? And their CTA buttons aren’t big and flashy – they just tell the user where they can get this product. Simple, effective, no pressure.

So, what else can you do to induce a visitor to become a customer? Giving them a ‘sneak peek’ at the product can definitely increase the number of click-throughs you get on your CTA. Amazon uses this technique to great effect. Once you read a little of the book – and get hooked – you are much more likely to hit that BUY NOW button. Give your visitor a little taste of what’s in store for them. Answer that, “What’s in it for me?”, and you’ll be much closer to closing the deal.

Choose your words carefully

There are always many ways to say the same thing. A CTA can say BUY NOW, SHOP NOW, ADD TO CART, or GET YOUR DISCOUNT – it all means the same thing. So be a little creative with your wording. Giving a short, simple explanation of what they can expect when they hit that button will help too. Adding a tagline that says, ‘It’s free’, No Purchase Necessary, or Get a Free Gift lets the visitor know exactly what they’re getting into, and what they can get out of it.

Give me some options

You can have multiple calls to action on one page. But you don’t want them to compete with each other. One effective way to do this is to have one ‘button’ CTA, and then text-based CTAs around it. Giving a primary and a secondary CTA gives the user a little more control, and it gives you the opportunity to show how much you have to offer them. Secondary CTAs can be Learn More, FAQs, Watch the Video, Get Coupons, or Take the Tour.

Indie Aisle has done this quite effectively. The big yellow ‘Sign up for free’ button is there. But beside it is a less intimidating CTA for those who want to check it out first – Take a Tour. And above that there is more information, with ‘more info’ links to check out – lots of options for the visitor to choose from, and no-pressure text to entice them.

As you can see, there are endless ways to creatively and effectively use CTAs to enhance your site, and increase click-through rates. Color and language are just some of the things that will create a more engaging CTA that stands out and encourages click-throughs. In the next installment, we’ll look at CTA placement, more options to offer, and using video as a Call to Action.

50 Shades of “Hey!”

Posted on August 17th, 2012 by chaseweb

Call to Action – Part I

Every website you visit will have at least one button, somewhere, that invites you to click it. Whether it says BUY NOW, LEARN MORE, or just CLICK HERE, it is a Call to Action. Sometimes these buttons stand out, and sometimes they get lost in the crowd. Obviously, you want your Call to Action to stand out. Here are some pointers on how to visually help your Call to Action catch the viewer’s eye using color.

Not all Call to Actions are buttons. Sometimes it is just text and sometimes it is an image. But no matter what kind of graphic you are using, you want it to do two things, visually: Stand out, and blend in. That might seem like a contradiction, but let me explain. And then I’ll give you a couple of visual examples.

A short lesson on color theory

Making something stand out doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be in glaring colors that completely clash with the colors and design of your website. Knowing a little bit about color theory can help you use colors that will stand out, but still fit in with the overall theme of your website. One method of creating a stand-out Call to Action is to use what are called ‘complementary colors’. There are many complementary color combinations that can be used with great effect on your site.

Take a look at the color wheel. The colors opposite each other on the color wheel are ‘complementary colors’. So, put simply, if your website’s color theme is green, you would use a red color for your call to action; if it is blue, then you would use an orange color. This is not a carved in stone ‘Rule’, just one of many ways to help your Call to Action stand out, while still working with the main theme of your website.

 

Here is an excellent example of using complementary colors for a Call to Action – Akamai. The predominant color of their site is a light blue, and they have used a simple orange button for their call to action. It stands out, but it doesn’t clash. You can see that they have used complementary colors in their logo, and built the site with those colors in mind. This works.

Akamai call to action

More killer color combos

There are other color combinations that work very well to help draw the viewer’s eye to an area of your site that you want them to check out. Black can be a great backdrop for a Call to Action button – use white, pink, red, yellow, or neon colors, to really have it jump off the page. Hoi Moon Marketing uses a dark background to great effect. Notice that there are only 3 red elements on the page – the logo, the flower, and the Call to Action. Nice.

Hoi Moon Marketing

You can also use a white background and put a darker color like red, orange or blue. It all depends on the effect you want – black and pink is a much more dramatic color combo than white with blue.

Sometimes you have to break the rules

Of course, there are circumstances where clashing colors might be just what you want. An abstract artist, a punk band, or a graphic designer might employ clashing colors on their site if it fits in with their overall theme. Neon colors, and color combos like purple and green might be just the ticket.

In conclusion

There are many ways you can enhance your site using the proper color schemes. And when you are adding elements such as a Call to Action, it is usually in your best interest to use a color that both works with your site’s color scheme, and stands out enough to catch the eye.

Take a cruise through some sites and see what others are doing with their Call to Action graphics. You will be able to tell the sites that have taken the time to create a Call to Action that works well with their site – and the sites that created a big, bright bold Call to Action button, and just plunked it down willy-nilly, with no thought to how well it goes with their site. You want your call to action to reach out to the viewer and invite them in, not necessarily jump out and punch them in the nose. And using the right colors is just one of the ways you can do this.

This is Part I of a series of articles on creating a Call to Action for your website that is attractive and effective. In these articles, I will discuss the visual aspect as well as choosing the right words, using the right graphics, and proper placement. Join us every Friday for a new installment.

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