Your website is a well-oiled machine, a critical component in your firm's marketing strategy. And one of the most valuable features of your website are its calls to action (CTA's). CTA's are what convert your visitors into prospects, leads and ultimately customers. Making a few small changes to your CTA's can yield dramatic changes in your conversion rates.
Lesson #1: Choose Your Words Carefully
The text that precedes your CTA is just as important as the CTA itself. What benefits will your visitors enjoy if they take the desired action? Spell these out clearly and succinctly — ideally under a punchy, SEO-friendly headline and sub-headline. The copy that accompanies each CTA should be tightly focused and user-oriented. A few other guidelines:
- Keep your CTA's short (usually no more than five words). Your text should fit confortably on a button.
- Lead with a verb. Every CTA should be action oriented — and focused on the exact benefit your visitor will receive from that CTA.
- Avoid weak, generic CTA's like "Click Here" or "Submit Form." Instead, state exactly what your visitor will get, for instance, "Get My Cheat Sheet" or "Request a Demo."
- Opt for first-person instead of second-person pronouns. Research shows simply changing "Download Your eBook" to "Download My eBook" can significantly improve conversion rates.
- Stick with lower-commitment propositions. "Buy Now" could deter visitors who aren't yet ready to make a purchase, while "Shop Now" implies no such commitment.
Lesson #2: Go Above OR Below the Fold
"Above the fold" is newspaper parlance for the part of a page that shows when a newspaper is folded in half. Newspaper editors typically placed their most compelling headlines here to grab readers' attention. The term has been adopted for web design, referring to the top part of a web page, which is visible without scrolling. Before web users became so accustomed to scrolling, web designers were careful to put all important information — like CTA's — above the fold.
These days, however, the rules are changing. Studies show that while CTA's placed above the fold certainly get more views, they're not necessarily the ideal placement in every scenario. The more complex your product or offer, the more information your visitors will need to digest before they decide to take further action.
Take the example above, presented on the KISSMetrics blog, where visitors are invited to sign up for a home energy audit. The longer landing page, with the CTA far below the fold, resulted in 63% more conversions.
Lesson #3: Address Your Entire Sales Funnel
Your website visitors will fall into all stages of the buying process. Some will be in the initial stages, doing their preliminary research, while others will be primed to make a purchasing decision or may even already be customers. You'll want to engage these different segments by incorporating appropriate calls to action.
- Top-of-funnel prospects haven't yet decided to give you their business, and they're often in the early stages of the buying process. They'll be attracted by more basic offers with a low barrier to consumption, such as email newsletter sign-up or cheat sheets.
- Middle-of-funnel prospects have a better idea of what they're looking for. They are often ready for more in-depth information like case studies and white papers. You can place a medium barrier of consumption on these offers.
- Bottom-of-funnel prospects are ready to make a purchasing decision. Offer them consultations or demonstrations of your product, and place a high barrier on these offers — you'll want to make sure they are highly motivated.
- Existing customers may not traditionally be part of the sales funnel, but you shouldn't neglect them. Maintain engagement, keeping upsell opportunities in mind.
Incorporating CTA's for all groups is pivotal for not only attracting more leads overall, but also for better assessing each lead's place in the buying cycle. You'll want to ensure that submissions for each CTA are routed to the appropriate lead nurturing list.
With the right CTA's, your website will more effectively capture more qualified leads. For more information about optimizing your website as a marketing tool, download our guide, 25 Website Must-Haves.