Developing websites that convert free users into paying customers can be challenging. One of the key considerations when optimising conversion performance is the positioning of your call to action or ‘CTA’ for short. Conversion optimisation strategists have long extolled the virtues of placing your call to action ‘above the fold’. Above the fold refers to traditional print journalism when important elements and messages would be strategically positioned above the fold on the paper. Nowadays the expression ‘above the fold’ refers to websites and anything on the site that is visible without scrolling. In the modern era of conversion optimisation, web marketers need to think harder about the positioning and use of a robust call to action.
The way people use the web has changed dramatically in the past decade. Sites like Facebook are ‘scroll intensive’ and encourage users to quickly roll down the page, thus diminishing the effectiveness of positioning your call to action above the fold. In addition, bombarding site visitors with a call to action too quickly and aggressively can actually damage conversion performance. It’s a bit like the annoying retail assistant who won’t get out of your face when all you want is to browse the store. Actually giving your site visitors time and space to browse demonstrates a considerate approach, perhaps more likely to increase conversion efficiency.
You should still consider placing a call to action above the fold. You should also consider how to optimise this through split testing and how you can utilise a call to action in other areas of the site. Do whatever works to effectively tell your story. Removing content from above the fold has actually been proven to encourage visitors to scroll down the page. So let’s check out the top 5 tips for positioning your killer call to action:
1. Place Your CTA Above The Fold
Yes you guessed correctly, the old ones are always the best. As the web has changed and user habits have altered, simply positioning your CTA above the fold can no longer be the only thing you do. However this is still a solid technique for increasing conversions and incredibly common with conversion savvy web developers and marketers. We spoke in our previous blog about what I affectionately term ‘the fantastic five’. The fantastic five refers to the five elements that you need to utilise in order to create a strong and compelling call to action. Think about a powerful leading statement, a compelling supporting statement, conveying your product benefits. You also want to consider using a call to action button that clearly stipulates what the customer will get having converted and an urgency statement that provides a sense of scarcity to the site visitor.
2. Place Your CTA Below The Fold
Do you remember anything from your marketing classes at school? You may recall ‘AIDA’ which refers to the linear process site visitors take when making the journey towards a purchase or transaction. AIDA stand for attention, interest, desire and action. There is a recent trend in responsive web design for mobile towards expressing your marketing story in a single page that scrolls from top to bottom. By following this logic, you can position a call to action at the foot of the page and effectively create attention, interest and desire as they scroll down the page.
3. Use Directional Cues Towards Your Below The Fold CTA
If you position your call to action below the fold, you have to consider how to draw the users eyes down the page towards your enquiry form. In order to draw the user’s attention to your call to action, you can use directional cues to influence browsing behaviour. As you’re fostering attention, interest and desire, you can use these directional cues to manipulate your user’s journey down the page towards your call to action. Assuming your call to action is below the fold, it’s important to position directional cues above the fold, thus encouraging the site visitor to scroll down and convert.
4. Avoid Clutter On Your Landing Page
There’s an example of this in every high street and shopping mall throughout the world. Everyone knows that one retail outlet that has such confusing signage that nobody can actually work out what it does. Mixed branding and messages with inconsistent call to actions littered all over the place, tend to be a turnoff when trying to convert your site visitors. Keep things clean and simple and follow the rules we discussed using ‘the fantastic five’. When it comes to slick landing pages that convert visitors, less is more. Develop a clear brand, message and call to action and be sparing when it comes to adding additional and unnecessary elements.
5. Split Test Your CTA Positioning
You need to work out what works for your website and your visitors. It could be a call to action above the fold, or maybe a more subtle approach works with a call to action below the fold. In either case, the only way you can validate your test hypothesis is to split test and use real data to determine what works best. Anything else is purely subjective and this approach is not conducive with effective strategic decision making. Data is God and split tests provide invaluable feedback and a means to make an informed and intelligent decision over where you position your call to action.
Waracle develop high performance apps and games for iPhone, Android, Smart TV, Facebook and web. Having worked on 100+ development projects with customers all over Scotland and the UK, the Waracle team are perfectly positioned to help your business optimise conversion performance. If you’re interested in learning more contact Waracle today for a free consultation. Our development schedule is rapidly filling up for 2013 and one of our representatives will be delighted to discuss your requirements.