Push It! Making Your CTA Buttons More Clickable

Originally published at: http://www.sitepoint.com/push-making-cta-buttons-clickable/

Design bias. We are all perpetrators of looking at something and automatically coming up with an opinion simply based on colors, layouts, word choice and so on. I know I am.

Shiny, glossy buttons are a turn off for me, distracting color choices make me hit the back button and, while I’m not a button aficionado, I am a user. So, if your design is a turn off for one user, chances are, they aren’t an isolated hater.

Sure, bad designs might make us cringe, but poorly constructed call to action (CTA) buttons can really hurt your conversions.

According to an article (http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/personalized-calls-to-action-convert-better-data) by Anum Hussain, when a colleague ran a test on user-targeted CTAs, those specific CTAs had a whopping 42% higher view-to-submission rate than CTAs that were not target specific.

So, what do you do?

Just copy your competitors and hope for the same results? It’s tempting, I know, but no, that’s not the answer. Instead, we need to look at case studies and understand what makes those buttons oh-so clickable.

So, if you want to increase your conversions, or just see if you’ve got it right? Then continue reading for some tips to improve your CTAs.

The Proof is In the Pudding

There is no better way to understand how much damage a poorly constructed CTA button can do to your site, than seeing where the damage has already been done.

Luckily there have been many a site that has stumbled into the traps of bad CTAs. What’s more, there are people who’ve studied these issues and find solutions to help others avoid future CTA failures.

Michael Aagaard has served up 10 great case studies. There are a lot of great examples and takeaways in his article but one of the most crucial and extreme conversion rates goes to a conversion lift of 304%.

Here Michael analyzed the good old “above the fold” theory. You know, the one that says that an effective CTA needs to be above the fold. It turns out that this isn’t necessarily true.

When he created a test and placed his CTA at the bottom of a very long landing page as opposed to the top there was a 304% increase in performance. Aagaard does note however that not all the credit can be attributed to the simple adjustment.

The small layout adjustment that increased conversions by 304%

Regardless, the fact is that the variant outperformed that of a CTA that followed the “golden rule”. If you are interested in this study, the takeaway or similar studies I encourage you to check out his article. (http://contentverve.com/10-call-to-action-case-studies-examples-from-button-tests/)

Aagaard isn’t the only one to see good results with going below the fold. You can see similar results with various conversion rates from the guys at Certified Knowledge (http://certifiedknowledge.org/blog/when-best-practices-fail/) and the MarketingExperiments Blog. (http://www.marketingexperiments.com/blog/marketing-insights/call-to-action-errors.html)

First Isn’t Always Best

Before we get into our tips, let’s first talk about one of the reasons why CTAs below the fold seem to have a better conversion rate.

Firstly, it really has nothing to do with its position in relation to the fold. Remember that a lot of internet readers are scanners. Not only that but they tend to not actually “read” anything.

Jakob Neilsen notes that 80% of user attention is directed to above the fold (Source: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/scrolling-and-attention/). While that is fine and dandy we can’t forget that we humans are motivated creatures and we like things of interest.

That said, conversion rates aren’t increased because of their position but by the amount and type of copy that precedes it. Good copy means better conversions and when you think about it the concept makes sense. You wouldn’t automatically buy the first smartphone that is shoved in your face would you?

Small Changes Big Results

Now that you have seen how simple changes can create better conversion rates, let’s talk about some ways you can edit your CTAs.



The shape of your CTAs can be a deciding factor on whether or not someone clicks on them. Shapes can be psychological motivators depending on which geometric you decided to choose.

Not only this but if you decide to use a shape that isn’t commonly used you can very well prompt people to click just because of your out-of-the-box aesthetic.

Continue reading this article on SitePoint

I think the Over/Under the fold thing is relevant in the desktop /keyboard model. I remember at the beginning of the web, UX gurus used to say most people didn’t scroll at all! (some of them may not have had mouse-wheels in those days). As soon as users have swipe they just swipe until they find something that looks like what they are looking for. Check out Luke Wroblewski on the subject:

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