Are you taking advantage of using effective Calls to Action? Are your CTAs capturing your audience’s’ attention? Here is the science behind what can make your CTA compelling!  

Using Psychology & Website Design to Create an Effective Call to Action

First off, what is a Call to Action (CTA)? A CTA is exactly what it sounds like: any clickable element or button that calls for a prospective client to do something. It can ask visitors to subscribe for a newsletter, purchase a product, or contact the business. But what is the best way to make your CTAs attractive? Well here is the psychology behind it. In order for a CTA to be attractive to the viewer, it needs to have exceptional design. Successful web designers will put consideration into color, placement, elements surrounding the CTA, size, shape, copy, and other factors. When a person visits your page, they want to instantly know “where do I click?” Your CTAs need to be visible, engaging, and alluring.

1. Color

Color is such an important subconscious cue, that it aids people in many daily functions from the way a food tastes to the way we interpret the actions of a stranger. To make a button stand out, designers use something called an accent color. An accent color is used to draw attention to the CTA by using contrasting colors. This is important to ensure that the most important links and buttons do not get overlooked or lost in the webpage. For example, if your page has mostly blue elements or an all blue background, you may choose to make the CTA a bold and fearless red to grab attention. In addition to color, designers also put whitespace into consideration. A contrasting color in a sea of white is another way to capture your viewer’s interest.

2. Placement

It will be a challenge to convert customers if they cannot find your CTA. However, showing them a CTA too soon can also push clients away. Successful placement varies depending on the product you are selling, type of CTA, user, and other elements. There are two main types of placements: either at the top of the page or at the bottom of the page, which requires some scrolling. You would think that at the top of the page would be more effective, but it isn’t always the case. A study by ContentVerve discovered that there is a 304% increase in conversion when you place complex buttons at the bottom than at the top. Now these are the types of products or services that a person needs to get a little more information before committing. For example, if someone is looking into hiring an attorney, he or she may want to learn a little more about your practice before contacting your business. It is important to give your web visitor some time to process the information before making a decision. Either way, every situation is different and placement depends on the cognitive flow. Your page should communicate information in a sequential and organized manner. Deciding when to present the visitor with the CTA is crucial in conversion success.

3. Elements Surrounding the CTA

You want to surround the CTA with information that will aid in the decision of your prospects. If they are on a page to purchase a new kayak, you’ll want to include a description, size, and color of the kayak. In addition to a description, you should definitely incorporate trust factors within close proximity to the buttons. For example, a 100% Money-Back Guarantee is wise to have near the “Purchase Now” CTA. Trust factors are extremely effective at improving overall conversion rates since they help the visitor to feel at ease.

4. Size and Shape

There is no one size that works for all CTAs because every case is different. The only rule of thumb for size is to not make it so small so that the button is unnoticeable. On the other hand, if it is too large viewers may not think that it is clickable. The only advice for size it to test to see what is best for each situation. For shape, it is extremely efficient to stick to rounded and circular corners. Rounded corners point inward and draw attention inside rather than square edges which point outwards and draw attention away from the object. Another reason to use rounded corners is because studies have shown that it calms our subconscious. We have a biological programming that causes us to avoid sharp edges in nature because it could be a possible threat. Lastly, another reason to use circular shapes is because they are easier to look at and it actually takes less visual effort to see. Rectangles and sharp edges have more elements for the eye to process.

5. Copy

To write effective copy, don’t be boring. Generic terms like “Subscribe”, “Download”, or “Buy Now”, will not spark your visitor’s curiosity. These terms lack character and personality. The web page serves as the beginning of the story but the CTA continues that story. The CTA buttons will use enticing terminology that predicts and promises but doesn’t give everything away. For instance, if a viewer is researching a blog about traveling throughout Europe, he or she may come across your Travel Italy blog. It should describe what your blog has to offer, but then invite the viewer to become a part of that journey. Your unique CTA may sound something like “Begin Your Trek Here” rather than just “Sign Up.” Curiosity is one of the strongest psychological tools in marketing and people want to know what is behind that last button. Compelling copy on a website tells a story. If your product or service doesn’t resonate with your viewer on an emotional level, they won’t convert.

How Website Design & CTA’s Can Improve Conversion

In conclusion, all these tips may help to improve conversion, but the best way to ensure success is to test and compare results for what works best for your website. Excellent design decisions put everything into consideration from color, placement, size and shape, to the language and copy used in your CTAs. A powerful call to action could be the tipping point between a bounce and a new customer. The human mind is amazing and acknowledging the psychology behind CTA’s can help you get on track with conversion!

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