Conventional wisdom holds that you should place your calls-to-action at the top of the page, above the fold. And that makes sense, right? You want your audience to see your CTA immediately in case they never scroll down. Well, not so fast. That may make sense in some cases, but it’s not necessarily best practice. Where you place your CTA largely depends on your business, your target audience and your overall goal, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Here’s what you need to know:
What is a Call To Action?
We’ll start off with a brief refresher: a call-to-action (CTA) is a prompt or statement on your website that leads visitors to take a particular action. CTAs usually appear on a button or hyperlink, and the wording can vary from “Sign Up Now” to “Make an Appointment” and more.
When it comes to your call-to-action, placement matters. A lot. A recent study by Unbounce shows that traditional placement of marketing materials above the fold isn’t always the best choice. In fact, where you place your call-to-action can influence the customer experience and even play a crucial role in generating conversions.
Types of Calls to Action
Where you place your call-to-action depends a lot on what type of call-to-action it is. Usually, CTAs can be lumped into two main categories:
- Soft CTAs: A soft CTA is when you ask someone to take an action that isn’t your main desire but is a step towards it. For example, if your end goal is to make a sale, you might start by asking them to sign up for your email newsletter list. You might follow that up with another soft CTA within the newsletter, asking them to sign up for a free webinar. Each step serves as an opportunity to get them more interested in your product and should, ultimately, lead to a purchase.
- Hard CTAs: Hard CTAs take a different tactic and ask for the sale right off the bat – it might say something like “Purchase Now!” or “Enroll Now!” The problem is, the average person just interacting with your blog or website for the first time is not very likely to make an immediate purchase. They’re not familiar with your brand or the benefits your product offers, so by jumping straight the sale, you’re missing out on the opportunity to convert more people.
Where to Place CTAs
In general, soft CTAs make more sense below the fold, while hard CTAs should be placed above. Why? Soft CTAs give you the opportunity to spread your message throughout your content, depending on where it makes the most sense. For example, you might include internal backlinks to related content within your blog posts, or insert a button for a free consultation at the bottom of your newsletter. The goal is to keep visitors interested in your content and moving around your website so they can continue to learn more. Hard CTAs, however, assume that the visitor is already aware of the product and ready to buy. There is no need to keep them bouncing around your website, looking at additional content: they arrived knowing that they want to make a purchase and you just need to facilitate that.
A Note on Mobile Devices
63% of all website visits today happen on a mobile device. That means it’s an audience you can’t ignore. And mobile visitors want convenience and simplicity. They want to find what they’re looking for quickly, without scrolling or bouncing from page-to-page. When it comes to your mobile website, it makes sense to place CTAs in a clearly visible location, higher up on the page.
To truly determine the effectiveness of your CTAs and which location works best, you need to perform A/B testing. Running an A/B test simply means using two or more versions of the same ad in different ways and then analyzing the results. So, for example, you may place the same call to action in the sidebar and within the text of a blog post, and then use analytics to determine which one performed better.
In the end, CTA placement depends on your goals and what action you want your audience to take. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. Website Creator makes it easy to create a beautiful site within minutes – and the simple drag and drop functionality means you can customize your pages in any way you like. To learn more about how you can use Website Creator to create your site and easily add in CTAs, check out our page for all the details.