Successful non profit websites usually have a very strong and clear message to users about what the organisation does, this is sometimes followed by messages pertaining to what the organisation can do for those it provides support for or the next most obvious message can be directed at what the organisation would like from site audiences. Just like any form of advertising or marketing the overall aim of the communication is to move the audience to respond to the message’s ‘Call To Action’. We’ve looked at some of the key factors in optimising traffic through website CTAs in our latest post.
Calls to action in relation to websites usually take the form of buttons, we all have undoubtedly come across these many times in their various forms and guises. Examples you are likely to be familiar with include ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Download’.
It is important that call to action buttons follow certain principles to ensure they are effective and serving their purpose. This article outlines some aspects to bear in mind when deciding the calls to action for your website.
Placement – in order for the user to be able to take the action, they need to be able to identify it. Think about the space around your button, is it noticeable and is there enough space around it so it can be spotted easily. It is common to have more than one call to action on a page so it is important to also think about the prioritisation of them and which action will have the biggest impact for you.
Size – the size of your call to action buttons need to be large enough to be noticed but not so large it overshadows the rest of the website. The font also needs to be clear and readable in order to make an impact.
The Oxfam website has placed a large green ‘Find Out More’ button over the central image on the homepage. This is a great example of catching a user’s attention with the size and layout of your button.
Language – it needs to be clear where this button leads. For example ‘Buy Now’ clearly states what action you are taking when clicking the button. The language you use may impact whether or not the user responds to the button immediately and it is important to create a sense of urgency to encourage the user to move forward.
The below example shows how the Traffic website uses the Free Sign Up button to clearly communicate that the action you take by clicking the button is completely free and you are not tying yourself to any kind of contract.
Include icons or images – using images can help the user easily distinguish what the button is for. For example an image of a basket can be identified as ‘Add to Basket’.
As shown below, we have adopted this approach to the homepage of our own website by including an icon of a phone on the call us now button.
Colour – the appearance of your call to action button needs to coincide with the overall design of your website. The colours used need to be bold and contrasting so the button stands out to the user.
The Fitbit website does this well in that the website is blue and grey and the buttons are highlighted with a bright pink. They really stand out and are easy to identify.
Evaluate – look through Google Analytics or other tracking software you use and see how many clicks those buttons are getting and how useful they are to your website. It may lead you to moving some buttons around or changing the order to make more of an impact.
Calls to action are an important part of any website and the above points are guidelines as to how you can make them more effective. It is important to remember that users are on a journey on your website and it is up to you to direct them. Simplifying your site and distilling key messages is the way to develop clear pathways through your site. Although users may want a number of different options and alternative available on the site, presenting this all at one time can become overwhelming and confusing. Clear CTA’s make navigation easier and more satisfying because the user is aware of where they are going and what they might expect once they are there, in addition to this they help organisations reach important targets by controlling traffic flow to critical areas.
If you have any comments or points to add please feel free to let us know via the comments box below.