When someone stumbles upon your business' website or is sent there from your social networking profile, pages that link to your website, or any other source of traffic, there's one thing you expect to happen. You want the person to go from looking and browsing to performing certain actions. You might want them to buy your products. You might want them to ask for promotion codes. You might want them to ask for your free ebook, or sign up for your newsletter. A lot of the time, business websites serve one purpose - to persuade people to perform certain actions.
To be able to do that, your website needs to be equipped with some tools. For example, it needs to have persuasive copy. It needs to have an attractive visual design. It needs to be functional and easy to use. And, of course, it needs to contain a call-to-action button. This button lets people do what you want them to do, but it also serves as a tool that persuades them to do it. Call-to-action buttons are important, and if you want yours to work well, you need to follow certain guidelines.
Color and Placement
Call-to-action buttons need to attract attention. You can have the most persuasive copy in the world on your web page, but if the users can't find the button they need to press to do what you want them to do, all of that good copy is worth next to nothing.
You create prominence by choosing the color and the placement of the button. The color needs to stand out from the color theme of the website. It doesn't have to clash with it, but it needs to ensure that the button will stand out against the background. Some will say that red and orange are the best colors for call-to-action buttons, but other colors might work better with different color schemes.
Choosing the placement of the call-to-action button is equally as important. You don't want to bury it in some corner of the web page. It has to be in a position that attracts the maximum visual focus on the page. It's usually said that headers, side panels, and footers are good places to put calls to action because those places follow how people's gaze moves across a web page. Ideally, you should be able to do some tests that allow you to track user behavior on the page and find the place that attracts maximum attention.
The Call to Action Copy
Call-to-action buttons usually have some short copy on them. The copy that ends up on the button needs to be action-orientated and suggest urgency. Using words like "apply," "sign up," and "order" together with the words "now," "today," or "limited offer" will do the trick. You'll be able to tell the visitors what you want them to do, and how quickly you want them to do it.
The copy on the call-to-action button isn't the only copy that relates to the button. Usually, there's some other copy placed very near the button, and that copy should follow different rules that the copy on the button itself. With this copy you'll be able to expand on the copy that's written on the button, and give the users a reason to do what you ask them to. If you ask them to order now on the button, tell them what they're getting using the additional copy. If you ask them to sign up for the newsletter, let them know about the advantages of doing it.
How Many Buttons Is Enough?
Another thing you might want to consider when you've nailed down how to create a good call-to-action button to a web page is how many of these buttons you'd like to have on the page. There's no rule that says that you only need one call-to-action per web page. If you can place more of them without cramming the page, feel free to do so. But remember that a good call-to-action button needs to contain good copy and be prominent, and you should never rely on numbers while ignoring quality. It's better that you have one good call to action than five bad ones.