One of the most challenging yet rewarding aspects of operating a website, particularly one selling some kind of product or service, is the process of maximizing conversions.
Conversions are those visitors to your site that ‘convert’ insofar as they take the desired action – buying your product, or signing up to your mailing list, for example.
Your site’s conversion rate is pivotal to the success of your online efforts as it more often than not correlates directly with your bottom line profitability.
Higher conversion rates equal greater profits – in this article we’ll help you on your way to both, with some simple ‘button creator tips’ you can implement today.
These tips are centered around one of the most important elements on your web page – the ‘call-to-action’ button design, a component that on its own can significantly affect the conversion rates on your site.
Tip #1: Check for Correlation.
Before you even start tinkering with your web site design, you need to take a moment to consider what you’re actually trying to achieve on the page in question.
What is it that you want visitors to this page to actually do?
As a rule of thumb, you ought to be focusing on a single ‘rimary action’ per page (there’s so little time to communicate a page’s purpose that more than one message generally over-complicates matters and dilutes conversion rates), and this ‘ingle-most important action’ needs to correlate directly with the expectations of your site’s visitors.
How do you know what the visitor is thinking – what their expectations are likely to be? Well, this pretty much comes down to three things:
i) Common sense. More often than not, it’s pretty obvious what people searching for specific terms/content are ‘looking for’. If someone searched for “Replacement Sony TV Remote” you’d have a pretty good idea of their expectation on clicking though to a site from the search results.
ii) Your innate understanding of your customers’ wants and needs… their ‘ain’. Over time you’re likely to have developed a ‘gut feel’ for your customers’ wants and needs, from your ongoing dialogs and from customer feedback.
iii) Stats. Take a look over your site analytics data and see where people are being referred to your site from, and what search terms were entered by your organic, search engine traffic.
These three things combined will give you invaluable clues to the likely state-of-mind your visitors will be in, when they land on your web page.
So, given their likely state of mind and their expectations you need to deliver; you need to give the visitor a clear, straightforward means by which they can get what they want.
That’s basically what we mean by correlation – aligning your primary page objective with the expectations of your visitors. If they’re not aligned, you’re going to find yourself taking visitors further away from what it is they want from your site.
Tip #2: Call-to-Action Button Size.
When you’re designing call-to-action buttons for your page, think ‘slightly over-sized’.
The competition for attention on most pages is huge; headlines, header graphics, menus, images and more… all compete for the attention of your visitor, so you need to use slightly larger buttons where possible (but not ridiculously large!) to ensure you get visitors to ‘zone-in’ on the call-to-action device.
Tip #3: Call-to-Action Button Color.
As with size, color is a designer’s secret weapon for grabbing attention, especially when the choice of color contrasts well with the rest of the page content. Bolder colors like reds, yellows and greens are often the marketers’ preference, as they stand out well against the page background and text (as well as holding their own against other image content in the page design).
There are other considerations to bear in mind, however. There’s actually much written about color psychology that may in fact influence the visitor’s likelihood of clicking.
Red, for example, is considered a “stop color” (it’s a color used for warning signs worldwide) which may grab people’s attention better than, say, green. Similarly, yellow is considered to be a ‘positive’ or ‘happy’ color and also reportedly aids concentration, so that might be a good choice too.
My recommendation would be to start out testing yellow, orange and/or red button colors and see how you get on. Whatever color you opt to use, make sure it compliments (but contrasts with) your overall site design.
Also, I would suggest that once you make your color selection, you use it consistently throughout your whole site.
Tip #4: Call-to-Action Button ‘White Space’.
This is an important tip, and one that most website owners miss by a mile: make sure your calls-to-action have ‘room to breathe’ on the page. If you pack lots of content and design elements around the button, it’s too easy for people’s attention to be diverted away from the button itself.
Make sure you give some room around the button graphic so that once a visitor’s attention is locked on, it doesn’t get unnecessarily drawn away.
Tip #5: Call-to-Action Button Text label.
Use descriptive terms, not generic phrases like “Click here”, “Download” or “Submit”. These generic examples are nondescript and do nothing to reinforce (in the mind of the visitor) that this button-click is going to result in an expected action.
Conversely, using button labels such as “Download Free Report” or “Join Our Mailing List” or “Add Product X to Shopping Basket” leaves the visitor in no doubt as to what the result of their click will be.
Remember, you need to make the process of satisfying the visitor’s expectation as quick and painless as possible.
Making every step as obvious as you can is crucial to conversions.
Tip #6: Split-Testing Call-to-Action Buttons.
This is perhaps one of the most important tips of all.
Since there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to designing the perfect call-to-action (this will ultimately depend on your market, your visitors, your site design, etc.) the only fool-proof way to design the perfect call-to-action is to run tests.
What is Split-Testing?
In simple terms, split testing is taking two elements of your web page design (so, let’s say a red call-to-action button and a green one) and setting up an automated test (using a tool like Google’s free ‘Website Optimizer’) to split the traffic arriving at your site between a version of the page using button ‘A’ and a version using button ‘B’.
After a while, your chosen split-testing tool will reveal which of the two button designs has the most beneficial effect on conversions (i.e. which button got more clicks). From there you can simply stick with the better-performing button, or perhaps move onto another test, say ‘different text-labels’, for example.
In this way, by running a series of definitive tests, you can establish to a very high degree of certainty the ideal button size, color, position and text. And you could then apply that new-found knowledge across your whole site for maximum impact on conversions.
Taking the time to think about your call-to-action button designs, and to test the different component parts of your call-to-action buttons (in line with the six simple tips above) will get you a step closer to maximizing the conversion rate on your web pages.
To speed the process of designing high quality call-to-action buttons, you can use download some free button creator software such as the ShoutDesigner Button Creator (Google ‘ShoutDesigner’ for more information).