What is a Call to ActionIn its simplest form, a call to action is an action you want a site visitor to take. It could be the purchase of a product or service, filling out a form or downloading a white paper. On an ecommerce site the call to action is usually and Add to Cart button placed somewhere on the product page. However, since not all pages are product pages a sales funnel design should be implemented to eventually lead a visitor to a product page.
Benefits of a Strong Call to ActionMost of the hype regarding the importance of having a strong call to action is actually correct. Several studies using A/B testing confirm the effectiveness of a strong call to action, including:
- Improved conversion rates
- Longer average visit times
- More pages viewed per visit
How to Encourage Users to Complete a Call to ActionThe trick of course is getting your web visitors to complete that call to action. To do so, there are several proven strategies which you can implement and as a side benefit, they all improve typical key performance indicators:
- Identify a problem and propose a solution – Most ecommerce sites do a great job of listing product specifications and features but fail to create a problem / solution mentality. Your product description should be solving a specific problem; specifications and features are not enough.
- Create a sense of urgency – Limited quantities, special sale pricing and limited time offers are great ways to make your site visitor feel that he must act immediately. A site visitor has to believe that the special pricing or the product availability could change at any second. Indeed, you should try to implement whatever you are touting. If your claim is that the price will go up at midnight, make sure it happens. This will create a true sense of urgency next time the visitors checks out your special offers.
- Test with placement and colors of your call to action button – An endless number of studies have been done regarding the impact of colors on call to action buttons. Most agree that a high contrast button most often generates the best results; however your mileage may vary. This is a great example of where A/B testing can help you choose the best layout for your site.
- Make your call to action button more evident by surrounding it with blank space – Avoid cramming your pages with so much text and images that the call to action button gets lost in all the clutter. A bit of empty space surrounding your Add to Cart button makes it really stand out. Imagine a big empty field with one person in the middle versus a field with a dozen people surrounding the one person. How easy is it to find that one person?
- Streamline your checkout process – We all hate paperwork. Just the thought of filling out three or four pages of forms to make a purchase sends most people straight to their browser’s back button. Purchasing should be an easy and non-intrusive process. This is why Amazon implemented a very successful (and much copied) one button checkout. Do you really need to know your customer’s age? It may be good for demographics data but it’s the sort of thing that causes cart abandonment. Reduce your checkout process and your conversion rate will improve. Guaranteed.
- Always include pricing and an add to cart button on every product page – If your potential customer has to hunt for a way to purchase your product there’s a high chance he will simply give up and abandon your site. Since he never even got to the checkout cart, you may not even be aware of the loss of a potential sale. Statistically it will show up as just another site visitor. Make it easy to add a product to the shopping cart and you’re that much closer to an eventual conversion.
- Each page on your site should lead your customer towards a sale – This is basically the sales funnel concept applied to a web page. Every page on your site should be leading a visitor to another page and an eventual conversion. To test this concept simply choose any page from your site at random and ask yourself if that page is leading the customer deeper into the site and an eventual conversion. If not, you may want to re-think the structure of your site.
SummaryAs you can see, a strong call to action can have a huge impact on your KPIs, but more importantly it can seriously improve your conversion rate and your bottom line. Site design as well as content plays a big role and although it may sound time consuming to make broad scale changes, a few changes can yield big gains. As always make sure you implement changes slowly and wait for results. Avoid making wholesale changes at one time if you really want to see what works. It’s a slow process but it is well worth it!
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Web Design and Internet Marketing have been passions of Austin’s for many years. While starting out by creating websites for himself, Austin ascertained many of the fundamentals and theory that constitute professional website development. Through networking and word-of-mouth, Austin soon began building and marketing websites for many different businesses and industries.