In my last arti­cle, I wrote about the ele­ments needed to cre­ate an effec­tive land­ing page. To demon­strate there is method to my mad­ness, I’m back to tell you how to make sure your land­ing page copy isn’t sta­tic, bor­ing, or uninvit­ing. It all starts with cre­at­ing and test­ing your call to action (CTA).

I’m cer­tain just about every­one has heard of the all-important CTA. This isn’t just a Buzz­word Bingo thing folks! Hav­ing a strong CTA is of course impor­tant to your brand. How­ever, have you thought about how about the CTA will res­onate with the site vis­i­tor and poten­tial cus­tomer? Are you answer­ing the ques­tion or need they had in mind when they began their search for your com­pany and prod­uct? What can you do as the mar­keter to really make a CTA stand out, appeal to the site vis­i­tor, and ensure it has the poten­tial to assist them on their jour­ney to con­ver­sion, there­fore find­ing the right solu­tion to their orig­i­nal need?

While hav­ing any call to action at all (“Buy today” or “Down­load this white paper”) is bet­ter than leav­ing the cus­tomer in limbo, it’s a smart idea to make sure your CTA is reflect­ing the needs of the cus­tomer. Your copy should sing. This is true at all times, but even more so when a user has entered your site from a search engine. They have already told you what they are look­ing for!

Your copy should tell a story about your brand and what it has to offer. It should be bla­tantly obvi­ous why the user needs to look no fur­ther to answer the ques­tion or ful­fill the need. Finally, it should cul­mi­nate in the one short state­ment (the CTA) that leaves them want­ing to buy or request­ing a ser­vice pro­posal. The generic “Buy Today” sim­ply doesn’t cut it. What will work is a state­ment that’s clear, sim­ple, and entirely cus­tomized to your brand.

Once you find what you believe is your brand’s per­fect CTA, don’t call it quits. The jour­ney has just begun. Cre­at­ing an A/B test to opti­mize your call to action will ensure that it’s per­form­ing as you want it to. Some­times the best calls to action are cre­ated as but­tons with lit­tle text or a small graphic. And it’s easy to exper­i­ment with dif­fer­ent col­ors and fonts to deter­mine which have the high­est con­ver­sion rates.

One way to make your CTA but­ton stand out is by cre­at­ing a unique look. For exam­ple, Ama­zon, which has a long his­tory of test­ing its CTAs, cre­ated a styl­ish but­ton that has nei­ther round nor square but­ton edges. It’s eye-catching and has been extremely suc­cess­ful, to say the least. Here at Adobe, we are con­stantly test­ing our CTAs on search land­ing pages. Some of the main things we test include, but are not lim­ited to, pric­ing vari­ants, offers con­tent, and per­pet­ual ver­sus sub­scrip­tion ver­sus upgrade based con­ver­sions. And the list goes on and on.

What else have you been miss­ing regard­ing your calls to action? Con­trary to pop­u­lar opin­ion, it doesn’t have to be above the fold or on a spe­cific side of the page. In many cases, CTAs below the fold or on the left side of the page per­form just as well. It all depends on your prod­uct and the story you are shar­ing. If your prod­uct needs a long intro­duc­tion or a lot of con­text, you may want to delay your CTA until you’ve stated all this infor­ma­tion. In that case, place it below the fold. Of course, test­ing comes in handy here as well. Try both above and below the fold and the left and right sides. Then see how your cus­tomers react to switch­ing up the location.

Per­form­ing a side-by-side com­par­i­son of the con­trols and treat­ments’ con­ver­sion rates (the CTA before and after edits) through A/B test­ing will help you deter­mine if unique solu­tions like those listed above can boost con­ver­sions. Remem­ber, though, hit-and-miss guess­ing around your CTA isn’t as effec­tive as edu­cated guess­ing. Though there aren’t any strict rules about test­ing a CTA, there are some best practices:

  1. Con­sider the Value of Your Text. Use only as much as is nec­es­sary, and keep your CTA clean.
  2. Your But­ton Should Stand Out. It should be in con­trast to the rest of your page and pro­vide a clear next step
  3. Make Pri­vacy and Secu­rity a Pri­or­ity. Many con­sumers are uncom­fort­able shar­ing data with sites they haven’t used before. Make your pri­vacy pol­icy eas­ily acces­si­ble when solic­it­ing email addresses as part of your CTA.

Are you ever done test­ing? Not really. Even after you find a CTA that works for you, it’s time to retest if you’ve made major changes to your CTA copy, changed your busi­ness model, redesigned your site, or changed your tar­get cus­tomer. It’s imper­a­tive to keep your CTA rel­e­vant for your audi­ence and in line with your company’s over­all branding.

Stay tuned for more infor­ma­tion about how test­ing your search mar­ket­ing land­ing page ele­ments can improve con­ver­sion rates, and have fun cre­at­ing a unique CTA!

MSKR Marketing
MSKR Marketing

Hello Maria,

Thank you for this insight on how large of a role the Call-to-Action plays in the effectiveness of conversions. You hear "call-to-action" so much that it can easily become overlooked as long as you have one on the page that's not basic. But, seeing how important it is to actually tailor each one to the page it's on and the customer's needs is an eye-opener.