Effective Website “Call to Action” Techniques

Every good website design should have a call to action, its the next physical step you want your visitor to do. What that “next step” is depends on your marketing objective. Ideally you want to trap an email that you can push out information in a controlled environment. Marketers call this a “conversion optimisation”, meaning the visitor took the action you intended him or her to take. Your generating a lead and bringing someone into your marketing funnel.

I won’t go into the attention span here of your average viewer its sufficient to say its short so when developing your page the call to action should be as simple as possible with few distractions on page. You need to abd test all aspects of the page testing colours layouts, fonts images, logos its amazing the results you can achieve just by rearranging the position of your opt in form on the page.

Having an effective call to action is hard to achieve but it’s the best way to measure your sites success.

1). You need to relate to your customer:
Before your customer is willing to complete a call to action you have to

  1. recognise the customers need
  2. you must first identify a problem
  3. present a product that solves that problem
  4. You need to eliminate the competition
  5. You also need to communicate the benefits of responding. What will your customer get out of completing the call to action?

2). Add an incentive
Sometimes you may have to sweeten the deal to encourage users to complete a call to action.
Incentives could include discounts, entry into a competition or a free gift.


3). Have a small number of distinct actions
It is also important to be focused in your calls to action. Too many and the user becomes overwhelmed. Don’t have your site a panacea for all woes stay focused and remember “don’t think of customers in the mass. That gives you a blurred view. Think of a typical individual, man or woman , who is likely to want what you sell to them. “- Claude C Hopkins.

Its ok to have different landing pages for different call to actions that way you are not diluting the message.

4). Clear message
A call to action should clearly tell users what you want them to do. Eliminate the need for customers to do any thinking. They should include active words such as:

  • Call
  • Buy
  • Register
  • Subscribe
  • Donate

All of these encourage users to take an action.

5). Make it exclusive and urgent
Create a sense of urgency and a need to act now, these words can be used alongside phrases such as:

    • offer expires March 31st
    • for a short time only
    • order now and receive a free gift

exclusively to my members


6). Get the position right
Another important factor is the position of your call to action on the page. Ideally it should be placed high on the page. A term “above the fold” is commonly thrown around which means no scrolling. The stats are out there if you make your customer work even to scroll down the page the drop off is quiet significant.

7). Use white space

The more space around a call to action the more attention is drawn to it. I always remember my art teacher making us chant out “spaces left unfilled are as important as spaces filled” and who said the stuff you learn at school has no relevance to real life. Clutter up your call to action with surrounding content and it will distract your customer with all the unwanted noise on the page.

8). Use an alternative colour
Colour is an effective way of drawing attention to elements, especially if the rest of the site has a fairly limited palette.
Use of arrows and red circles draws the eye to the action.
9). Collect only what you need

Its hard enough to get customers to actually click on your call to action don’t make it harder by collecting unwanted data. If you don’t need a telephone number don’t ask for it, especially if you are setting up an email auto-responder.

10). Follow Through

Follow through on your promise enough said on that I think

If you want to develope your website into an inbound marketing machine for long-term success.

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