Give me 10 minutes and I'll improve the calls to action on your website

Discover. Learn more. Sign up. A call to action is a crucial part of any webpage. It helps your visitors to find the information they want. And it helps you to get the results you need.

What is a call to action (CTA)? Quite simply, it’s an invitation to do something specific on the site. Creating a good CTA is both straightforward and an art form. Here are the three things that you can do to improve your page in minutes:

1. Position

Present some information, invite the user to take an action. It seems logical. But it’s important to make sure your call to action doesn’t get lost on the page. If your CTA is a button – and let’s face it, most are – use colour, white space and positioning to make it stand out. And don’t leave it to the very end, if your page has more than a few paragraphs.

2. Number

Make sure that each webpage has a call to action – even the news pages. This is a great way of double-checking that each page has a clear focus and purpose.

However, if you have a long-scrolling layout, avoid burying your call to action in information. Or showing multiple CTAs that will confuse your visitors about what to do next. If you think it would be useful to offer several actions, group them together in a sidebar menu or quick links section.

Not sure what would work best? Then test the layout on a few people who’ve not used your site before.

3. Words

Short and sweet is usually best. Choose words with positive connotations – imperative verbs work well. For example, ‘Send’ or ‘Apply’ are arguably better than ‘Submit’ or ‘Go’. And you can add a sense of urgency through words like ‘now’ or ‘today’. It’s hard to fit long words into small boxes, so avoid examples like ‘information’ in your call to action.

Consider how you can best engage your audience. Torn between ‘Search’ because it’s short and ‘Search for a course’ because it’s specific? Then test it. Have each of them live for a while and compare results. Even your best ideas can need tweaking, because you are not (usually) your audience. 

Research, logic and empathy are vital when it comes to boosting your site’s effectiveness. If you’d like some expert help, please get in touch. At Blue Apple Education, we specialise in effective school communications and design.

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