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What are the four best qualities of an online call to action?

Published September 23, 2013 at 8:13 am

When customers shop at brick-and-mortar locations, they aren’t confronted with many calls to actions (CTAs). They already know what they want, for the most part, and they know how to finalize a purchase.

For businesses that rely on other marketing strategies, particularly those focusing on online sales, a little more hand-holding of the customer is required.

Small Business Trends recently found that 70 percent of small businesses do not display calls to action on their web channels.

Think about that.

Nearly three in four businesses are missing out on conversion opportunities because…well, it’s not entirely clear why. Creating actionable CTAs isn’t difficult. Here are four elements of the best CTAs:

Highly visible: Whatever you do, don’t bury your CTA “beneath the fold” of your web page. Near the top of the page, around the navigation bar, is best. Internet users are inundated with images and text during their browsing sessions—they’re sure to overlook your CTA if they have to do any amount of digging to find it. Make it big and make it prominent.

Direct language: Do not waste a word of text. The written copy of a CTA is not a chance for you to flex your creative muscles (save that for the graphical layout). Make it clear to your viewers through actionable, succinct wording what they should do (“register”) and what they’ll get from doing so (“a free trial version of the software”).

Stand out: The colors of your CTA should contrast sharply with the rest of the web page. Again, your goal is to get eyeballs (and mouse cursors) on your CTA. That’s impossible to do if your gray CTA is camouflaged on a gray background.

Professional design: Clean edges, even spacing and proper use of white space are all hallmarks of well-crafted graphical elements. CTAs are no different.

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