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A good website should tell its visitors what to do. Great calls to action combine kick ass copy and stellar design to achieve the best results.

The term “call to action” generally conjures up ideas of ecommerce or donations but that isn’t always the case. It’s about convincing web visitors to take action on our sites. If we want someone to do something, whether it’s contact us, buy something or even just read something interesting – we have to ask them to do so. The magic comes in how we ask and hence the need for charming, good-looking calls to action.  

Your call to action is a link, a button or some text on your website that your visitors can’t ignore and don’t want to because they are enticed, intrigued and ready to click to get through to the next step. 

Here are a few simple tips to help you create effective calls to action on your website:

1. Catch The Eye

When designing your call to action there a couple key things to keep in mind. Ask yourself, is it prominent? Does it stand out from the rest of the design? You can use a bright button with bold white text that asks your visitors to “Sign up now” or “Buy now” or whatever it is you want them to do. Granted prominence isn’t always achieved through size alone, you can also use contrast and white space to effectively draw the eyes of your visitors to your CTA. Here's a great example of a CTA that has prominence from the folks at Netflix:

NetflixCTA

2. Be Succinct

Say what it is you want simply. Get to the point – your asking for an action. By being blatant about it, like saying “Read this” or “Sign up here”, your user knows exactly what to do and what is going to happen once they click the link. You don’t want to be mysterious or ambiguous on the web. The fact is, people are more apt to scan your web page rather than savoring every single word, so be quick and concise. Spotify gives you two options, get it free or get the premium version, you just have to choose: 

SpotifyCTA

3. Take Control

Make sure you’re asking your web visitors to do what you want them to do. You need to take control of the situation by directing them clearly on what to do next through your calls to action. Without direction, you’re asking your web visitors to figure out what’s the most important thing on your website on their own. Which isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have faith in people – but alas, if they can’t figure it out - then they won’t.  Uber does a great job of taking the driver's seat and telling people to "start riding with uber": 

 UberCTA

Your Calls to Action are critical for measuring the success of your website and also for turning leads into full fledged customers. Make them a priority when envisioning your site or if you already have a website up and running, take the time to review how they are displayed and what they have to say. Tweak them accordingly and have your visitors clicking through to where you want them to go.

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Located in Calgary, Alberta, Blue Ocean Interactive Marketing creates online marketing strategies that enable your business to grow.

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