The Do’s and Don’ts of Call-to-Action Pages

Call-to-action pages are an integral part of any website that either sells or asks visitors to sign up for something. An effective call-to-action page can significantly boost conversions and signups by 100% or more. As web designers, we should know exactly what makes an effective call-to-action page, both in terms of actual design and the type of content they should ideally include.

Here are some common do’s and don’ts that you should keep in mind when crafting an effective call-to-action page. Just remember that the main purpose of a call-to-action page is to get a visitor to perform a specific action. Do that and you’re likely to have a more successful result!

DO’s

  • Make Your Page Intuitive

When a visitor lands on your site, it’s important that they’re instantly able to discern certain things: the main purpose of the page, what the visitors are expected to do next, how they should do it, and how the page benefits them. Without these, the page is useless, and your visitors will likely leave before taking the desired action.

  • Use as Little Navigation Options as Possible

The more options you give your visitors to navigate away from your call-to-action page, the more likely they are to do so. Your main website might have tons of navigation links, but your call-to-action page should act like the start of a funnel; aiming to direct visitors in one direction.

If you must really include links to other areas of your site, consider minimizing the chance visitors will click on those links. For one thing, only include top-level navigation, and consider leaving some links out entirely if there’s no legitimate reason for someone to click on it on your call-to-action page.

  • Only Include Information Your Visitors Need

Give your visitors the information they need to take the desired action – nothing more. The goal is to give as little information as possible, while still getting them to convert. This isn’t because you want to trick your visitors or clients, but simply because the more information you have to sift through, the more likely something is to interrupt them and take them away from the site.

Think about the information your visitors are likely to be interested in, and express that in concrete, active terms. Keep your copy short but straightforward.

  • Direct Users to the Best Options

If you’re offering your visitors more than one product or signup option, it’s a good idea to make some kind of indication as to which is the most popular or best option. This can be done in several ways. The first is to make it the default selection, and the second is to use some kind of graphical indication to single out a specific option.

The second option is ideal for things like pricing tables. However, don’t automatically indicate the most expensive option as it can turn off potential buyers who might feel like you’re trying to sell them more than they actually need. Choose a good mid-level package instead.

  • Make the Value Clear

Remember that buyers are interested in how something benefits them, not just the features it has. Tell them how your product will help them, rather than just what it does. A strong headline, clear copy and good organization can help make the value evident to your visitors and potential buyers. Make sure, though, that before you start, you know exactly what the value is so you can convey that to your clients.

  • Keep It Simple

Call-to-action pages have one specific goal: to get visitors to perform a specific action. Anything that doesn’t directly contribute to that is unnecessary. This doesn’t necessarily mean your page should be sparse and minimalist, but it does mean that you should take a closer look at what really belongs on the page and what doesn’t. If it’s adding to a visitor’s trust in the page, their comprehension of the content, or positively influencing their visit, then it’s pretty obvious that the element is necessary.

  • Test Your Pages

A lot of web designers spend time creating call-to-action pages but never really bother to test them to ensure they’re really working. This often leaves conversions on the table, and costs companies money.

Spare some time running A/B or multivariate tests prior to deciding on a final version of your page. Take note on the results, and put up the page that converts the best, regardless of what your instinct tells you.

DON’Ts

  • Use Too Many Graphics

Make sure your page includes only the necessary graphics. Too many graphics will clutter things up, especially when “above the fold” in your page layout. A logo and a “hero” image (the styled image of the product you’re selling) should be placed in that area instead. Beyond these, the only other images you should use on your call-to-action page are those that directly illustrate benefits or features. If you wish to use icons, use them only when you want to clarify the meaning of any of your content.

  • Let Your Call-to-Action Button Get Lost

It’s important to draw attention to your call-to-action button. You can do this through location, negative space around the button, the button size, and the contrast with the rest of the page. Some of the most effective call-to-action buttons are green instead of red, while the rest of the site uses little to no green. As a result, creating a button that “slightly clashes” with the surrounding page can often draw attention to that element.

  • Ask for Too Much Information

When creating your signup form, make sure that you only ask for the minimum amount of information. If you only need an e-mail address, then only ask for that, and nothing more. If you really need a phone number, make sure you let your clients know why it’s needed.

Again, this is all about not giving your visitors an excuse to leave your website. Each additional bit of information you ask them for is putting up a barrier to them completing your form.

  • Ask for Too Much Commitment

Quickly asking your visitors to buy something can be a major turn-off. Instead, consider a more neutral phrasing for your call-to-action. Using 2 or 3 steps to lead your visitors to the right direction can be more effective than trying to get them to immediately make a buying decision.

Make your primary call-to-action a button that says something like “See Plans and Pricing” or “Learn More”, instead of “Buy Now” or “Sign Up”. It’s less intimidating and lets visitors know exactly what to expect next.

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