Experience Design

A Checklist for Great Call-to-Action Buttons

Tom Ross at Noupe.com wrote a great article about what makes a great call-to-action button on a website. As we all know, encouraging visitors to take the action we want them to take is vital to increasing conversions (leads/sales) and ultimately turning your site into a revenue driver for the business.
I took Ross’s suggestions and my own experience and made a checklist for creating great call-to-action buttons. Follow these steps and you’re likely to see your conversion rate of visitor to lead/sale increase on your site.

  1. Make it large.
  2. Use clean, bold, large font
  3. Position your primary call-to-action above the fold of your site’s average visitor’s screen resolution.
  4. Make it a different color than the rest of the site. Often times, red, orange and yellow help make your call-to-action stand out.
  5. Try highlights, drop-shadows or other elements that will make it stand out on the page.
  6. Design the button similarly to a real-life push-able button. Give it depth.
  7. Use active verbs that will tell the visitor exactly what they’re going to get when they click, such as “Apply Now”, “Contact Us”, “Get a Free Quote”
  8. Include words that speak to the value proposition if possible, without making it too long. For instance, “free” — if your site offers anything for free, include that in the call to action. Or if you offer a trial period, use an action verb such as “Try.”
  9. Try graphical elements that indicate forward movement, such as a “>” symbol after the text, or shape the right side of the button like the right-facing bracket.
  10. Typically, people have become used to buttons that are shaped in a horizontal fashion. The eye is not used to seeing a square or perfectly round button, so try rectangles with rounded corners.
Of course, our many designers will tell you that the look and feel of site buttons and links should not be a detriment to the positive user experience that comes from a clean, unified design, so take these suggestions to heart and work with an experienced designer to test some options that can work for your site.  As Ross reiterates in his post:
“…create an attractive, effective call to action button that makes your users take notice. You don’t want to over do things and end up with a tacky, overwhelming call to action that will dissuade your users.”
Ross provides over 30 examples of great buttons he’s found across the Web. Be sure to check it out.
About the Author

Erin E. Moloney is Director of Marketing at Perficient, Inc.

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