“I don’t care if my visitors don’t want anything from me” – said no one ever.

When it comes to building an effective website, call to actions are essential if you want to convert visitors into potential leads. Who doesn’t want that? As simple as it may sound, there are a number of common mistakes that can make or break an effective call to action. We’ve rounded up some of the top tips for creating an effective call to action.

Placement is Key

Since call to actions are so versatile, they can be used throughout most of your marketing communications, including your website, email and blog.

Using a number of different CTA’s on your website allows you to promote various services and products to your visitor at different points throughout their journey. Depending on your business, multiple CTA’s can also allow for the opportunity to move your visitors through various pages of your site. Common places for a CTA include in your Hero image (or somewhere above the fold) and at the bottom of the page.

If you’re an active blogger, consider using one at the end of your post. This particular CTA should be used to recommend next steps or provide related content and/or offers. Since the blog or news section of your site is one that is updated frequently, the influx of new visitors can potentially turn into leads. Keep in mind, all blog posts should conclude with a CTA that is relevant to the topic.

Not much of a blogger? If you send newsletters to your clients, that’s another great forum to place a CTA. Since emails are generally short in nature, they can serve as a CTA in itself, followed by a single button. If you decide to include a CTA button in your email, be sure to focus on just one main action.

Text and Style Matters Too

While placement of a CTA is important, what it says and how it looks is just as important, if not more so. If you aren’t using the right language to prompt an action, the visitor is less likely to “act.” Here are a few principles to keep in mind:

  • Make sure the CTA is relevant to the content on the page
  • Use contrasting colors so the CTA stands out from the rest of the page
  • Use action-oriented language such as “download”, “contact us” or “learn more”
  • Keep the button copy less than 5 words

Most importantly: be clear in what you are asking the visitor to do. If you want action, you have to ask for it. Let’s say you work in retail. Using a sense of urgency in your text can prove to be beneficial. CTA’s that contain language such as “Today is the last day!” or “Sale ends at Midnight!” are likely to prompt those loyal customers or those in the consideration stage to take the next step.

Test. Test. Test.

Once you have written all of your CTA’s it’s important to test them. Our advice? Keep up with your analytics and determine how effective or ineffective your CTA’s are. If you find that your CTA’s aren’t working, start by making a small change, such as the copy or color. If not much changes, try updating the color and/or the placement of the CTA. The less you do at once, the more you’ll be able to pinpoint the issue. Perhaps your visitors aren’t crazy about the phrase “free download” or maybe they don’t like the color purple. Look into what works best for your audience and go from there.

Do you have other tips that you’d like to share? Let us know!