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.