What is a CTA? 

A CTA, or call-to-action, is simply a prompt on your website which encourages visitors to take a desired action, such as signing up to a newsletter, leaving a comment or review, or making an enquiry about your services. 
Generally, a CTA takes the form of a button or hyperlink and is a vital part of your marketing campaign, turning your target audience from simply visitors into customers 

Why do we need them? 

Here’s something that may shock you: one third of your website visitors view your article for only 15 seconds, according to one oft-cited study. This means that, unless you give those visitors a reason to stick around, come back, or stay notified, then you won’t be seeing them again. 
You need to make sure your visitors are doing something whilst they are reading, and CTAs are the perfect solution. Of course, it is not as simple as scattering a few random buttons and hyperlinks throughout your website as an afterthought. Successful CTA strategies take a little bit of consideration and planning to get just right, and to see the desired results. 
Firstly, you need to establish why you want to use CTAs, before you can suss out how you’ll use them. Are you trying to increase subscribers to your newsletter, wanting to grow your paying customer base, or develop your following and interaction on social media? Identifying your reasoning for using CTAs will give you a solid foundation to develop your strategy, and ultimately implement a successful plan of action. 

How to create a strong CTA 

Once you’ve figured out why you want to use them, then next up you should be considering how to create a successful CTA. 
There are two things that your CTA should do - tell somebody what you want them to do, and then encourage them to do just that. 
Bear in mind, also, that your reader will always be wondering, “what’s in it for me?” So, you might want a reader to sign up to your email newsletter, but you should also focus on highlighting what they will get out of it. “Sign up to our free newsletter for expert tips and tricks” is an example of a strong CTA, because it lets the reader know they’ll benefit from your newsletter with some great resources- resources that they wouldn’t have access to without clicking the CTA and signing up! 
You don’t need to worry too much about how many words you use in your CTA, however, we recommend trying to remain as clear and concise as possible. According to another study, words which make your viewer take action are much more likely to get clicked, such as ‘sign up’, ‘register’, or ‘book’. 
Additionally, adding a sense of urgency is a great way to encourage some form of action from your reader. Offering a limited-time deal, or a reward for immediate action will work particularly well to incite a quick response. 
Similarly, it is a good idea to highlight the low risk of clicking a CTA, for example pointing out that there is no cost or obligation, with CTAs such as “Click to download your FREE guide” or “Sign up today! Cancel anytime”, for example. 
What will work for one business might not work for yours, so don’t be afraid to experiment! Test out a few different CTAs and closely track the engagement and response that they garner. If you notice that you aren’t getting very many clicks on a “buy now” CTA, but you are getting a good response to a “sign up to our newsletter” link, then what can you learn from this? It might take a little longer to turn a lead into a conversion, but it is certainly worth the effort of tracking this information to understand what is working for you, and where you could possibly improve your strategy. 

CTAs on social media 

Technically speaking, you can use CTAs absolutely anywhere in your content marketing. Usually, you’ll find them in blog posts, on any page of a website, or in an email newsletter. But CTAs can also be hugely beneficial across all your social media channels. 
Adding a CTA to your Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube - or any of your social media platforms, for that matter - is the easiest way to direct your followers to your website or blog. There’s plenty of resources and platforms to help you maximise your CTA success, such as Facebook and Instagram

What should your CTAs look like? 

Again, there is no ‘one size fits all’ for CTA design and style, and what works for you might not work for another company. However, here are a few design tips we can share with you which will help to make your CTAs as successful as possible: 
Buttons - it’s harder to miss a button than it is a hyperlink, which can easily be lost amongst your text. Buttons are instantly more engaging and eye catching, and in fact could increase your conversion rate by as much as 45%. 
Visibility - there’s not much point in using a tiny little button which blends so perfectly into the colour of your website page that it gets totally missed! A bright button with a contrasting font colour is sure to draw the eye of the reader, and large fonts are highly recommended. 
Colour - colours are also hugely important when it comes to catching your reader’s attention. Not only that, but certain colours will get a much higher click rate, due to the psychology of colours in marketing. For example, red is typically associated with urgency, and therefore might encourage your site visitors to take immediate action and click your CTA. 

Final thoughts 

It is important to remember that content marketing is constantly evolving and developing, and your goals and strategies will be too. Make a point of revisiting your CTA approach regularly, as well as tracking the results closely in order to adapt as and when you need to. 
As we mentioned a few times in this post, it’s also worth noting that what works for one might not work for all. For instance, when HubSpot ran their own CTA study, they discovered that simple anchor text CTAs created more lead conversions, in spite of the general consensus that buttons or images were gospel for successful CTA performance. So, we recommend that you find what works for you, by tracking and analysing your CTA strategy closely and adapting wherever necessary. 
If you’re looking for a website that will maximise your business success, then the team here at it’seeze Web Design Watford can help. From website health checks to web design and implementation, our team of experts is on hand to assist. Contact us today for a chat about your website needs and to find out how we can make a difference to your business. 
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