When you open your products landing page, what catches your website visitors eye first? Is it that big, bright green “Free trial” call to action button staring boldly at you? Is it an average-sized button or text link that blends into the background amidst a clutter of words?
Whatever caught your attention, you will decide within the next 3 seconds if you’re going to stay and explore or leave.
This online behaviour can be understood with Seth Godin’s example of the bananas and the monkeys, where the objective is for the monkey to find the banana within 3 seconds (before it gives up):
“Force yourself to design each and every page with one and only one primary objective. That’s the banana. Make it big. Make it blue (or red). Make it obvious.”
A call-to-action is a goal you want your website visitors to be compelled to do. Since it’s almost always designed in the form of a button, so lets discuss what makes a great button great!
The only reason your site exists is to get customers to pile up their shopping cart, sign up for a free trial of your software, join your mailing list, or download that free ebook. So make that button as big as you can to get your customers’ attention. Go ahead and play with the colours – the greater the contrast, the more eye catching it is, the better your conversions.
Tempt them with the banana by placing it in the most obvious part of the website, such as the centre. You don’t need an eye-tracking device to figure out where they are looking – if you do, you have a very cluttered page screaming for revision.
One way to tell where their eyes would be, is where the main message (those with the biggest font), or biggest picture is. Put the call to action right in the middle. Put it above the fold if you can. Humans lose attention fast, and most don’t bother scrolling down the page.
To prove it (and to satisfy our egos), we did a couple of tests using a large button above the fold for our email campaigns and even our homepage. We added an even larger one at the end of the page. Guess which button snatched a whopping 80% of the clicks?!
Use an action verb with your call to action, and urgent active ones like “Signup”, “Download”, “Subscribe”, “Register.”
To create a sense of urgency, tempt them with an irresistible offer that expires:
“Offer ends 31st Dec”
“For the first 200 customers only!”
“Free shipping till Valentine’s Day.”
Keep It Short & Simple! Less means more. The lesser your words, the stronger your call to action. Be succinct.
What doesn’t suck:
Make the banana simply irresistible
What’s the best you can offer? “Free”? Put your offer into the call to action, or around the call to action.
You might want to refrain from generic terms like “call now” or “buy now”. Be specific and use inviting phrases such as “call now to learn more.”
Different people like different bananas. So to find out which bananas are more attractive to your crowd. AB test the button to death with tools such as Google Website Optimizer. You’ll be surprised with the findings you get. More importantly, an increase in conversion rate from 5% to 6% means an overall 20% increase in your conversions!
Design the page with one and only one objective; your call to action. If you have to have more than one objective, prioritise them.
We don’t want to confuse our visitors with many call to action buttons. A few pages have multiple call to actions. The best way to go about prioritising them is to add striking colours.
The example shows two objectives for the call to action. However the ‘Buy It’ button is more prominent than the ‘Download Now’.
As much as you can, limit your call to action to one objective. If you have multiple objectives, the last thing you want your home page to look like is this :
Many people are wary of giving away their information. Let customers know that you value their privacy. Use a privacy statement, make terms and conditions explicit.
You want to give customers the confidence to click, especially the first-time visitors who are not familiar with your business. You can create confidence easily by displaying trust seals (that almost everyone recognises) near important fields.
If you have a shopping cart button, reinforce your call to action “trustworthiness” with logos like Visa, Mastercard, Paypal or Verisign. Trust seals have proven to increase conversion rates and reduce shopping cart abandonment, so make full sure of that.
The goal for most Australian websites (besides e-commerce and some not-for-profit ones) is to generate business leads.…
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