Blog: Web Design
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Best Practices For Call To Action Buttons

Avatar for John Locke

John Locke is a SEO consultant from Sacramento, CA. He helps manufacturing businesses rank higher through his web agency, Lockedown Design & SEO.

Call to action buttons are exactly what they sound like — buttons on forms that entice your customers to take action. CTAs are usually succinct messages like Subscribe on an email newsletter sign-up, or Buy Now on an online shopping cart.

Here are some very simple best practices for these calls-to-action that allow you get better conversions.

Action Buttons Should Be A Distinct Color

Every website has a color palette. But your call-to-action buttons should be a different color than anything else on your site.

The color that you pick for your CTAs should also fit within the color scheme for your website, no doubt about that. But by making it clear that these buttons are different from everything else on the page, you draw the customer’s eye towards the button.

Many designers will obsess over what color to make their CTA buttons. Many people say that green or orange buttons convert well, while red buttons do not (because red is a “stop” color).

The most important thing is to make the call-to-action a contrasting color from the rest of the color palette. For example, orange and blue are contrasting colors, as are red and green. Don’t force weird color combinations where none exist, but keep the button color distinct.

Concise, Descriptive Text

There’s a few things I’ve heard recently that have made me shift how I think about button text. The first thing is that most buttons are written from the perspective of the site owner. Get Your Free Report. Start Your Trial. Subscribe To My Newsletter.

All of these are statements from the perspective of the website, speaking outwardly to the customer. But high conversion buttons speak from the perspective of the customer to themselves..

When the copywriting on our page speaks directly to our target customers, most of our design work has been successfully completed. Think about the copy on your page as getting inside the head of your customers, and they are reading it to themselves. This philosophy extends down to the microcopy on our buttons.

The examples from above now become Show Me My Free Report. Start My Free Trial. Give Me The Newsletter.

Another thing that I’ve had my eyes opened up to is that button text is a reflection of what the customer’s intentions are. And this is why Submit is the dirt worst button text to use.

Even though most out-of-the-box button text has Submit as the button copy, does anyone really want to submit to anyone? I think not!

Find a better way to communicate on your CTA buttons than using Submit. Use Send or just about anything else.

Adequate White Space

Visual design is all about drawing attention to the areas you want people’s eyes to go. White space is one way designers unclutter the page and make sure you see what is being offered.

Another trick I love is when a landing page has a form with an image of a person or character on the other side, and that person is looking at the form. This is a visual clue that our unconscious mind picks up on. We look where other people look, even if it is on a web page.

Don’t Have Competing Offers Close By

When you have customers deep in your funnel, and you want them to take a specific action, by all means, don’t add another button or offer right by the button you want them to click.

Eliminating options on the page means that customers will only have so many actions that they can take. Amazon goes as far as to eliminate all other links when you get to their Checkout page.

If you want to have several different offers, then the best approach is to build separate pages for each offer.

Don’t give people the option to do something else if you have your money action right there. Less is definitely more when it comes to opt-ins and conversions.

Make It Look Like A Button

This one seems very obvious, but then again, I’ve seen plenty of people who are still struggling to figure out what is plain text and what is a link on Apple’s iOS.

Plain text is all the rage these days, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to try and undo everything we’ve learned from the Industrial Revolution up until now.

Conversion design is all about making decisions instinctual. In other words, “Don’t Make Me Think”

It’s confusing when text alone is used for a button — you don’t know what’s a button and what isn’t. At the very least, put a border around the call-to-action button, make sure it looks like something you can click.

Summary

To sum it all up: make your buttons a different color than anything else on the page. Use contrasting colors. Use text that the customer might be thinking to themselves. Make buttons look like buttons. Set up one cal-to-action per page, and not more. Give your offer room to breathe on the page. Give visual clues of where you want the customer’s attention to be.

Avatar for John Locke

John Locke is a SEO consultant from Sacramento, CA. He helps manufacturing businesses rank higher through his web agency, Lockedown Design & SEO.

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