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Most websites have a purpose – an ‘objective’ for the user to complete, such as registering an account or downloading a piece of software. The phrase ‘call to action’ is used to describe how a website prompts the user to perform such actions – the main examples being buttons and links.

A call to action’s effectiveness at enticing users is determined by many factors. The following simple tips will help to make any call to action as successful as possible.

Give the user a reason

It doesn’t matter how strong, large or obvious you make a call to action on a website; if the user isn’t shown how it will benefit them by performing the action, they will ignore it.

Take a look at the popular VoIP service Skype. Their call to action (a button to download the software) has a small paragraph of text directly above it, reminding users exactly what they’ll be able to do if they download the product. Small things like this can make all the difference in persuading a user to perform the call to action.

Limit the number of actions

Though this might seem an obvious point to make, a website shouldn’t overload its users with too many options at once.

Having too many buttons and links on screen is confusing to users, and will lead to important calls to action being missed or ignored. A better approach is to only show one or two at a time, as this allows the user to be guided through the site step by step and ensures they don’t miss anything.

Use appropriate language

Calls to action should be made as obvious to the user as possible. Including eye-catching, powerful words such as “Buy”, “Register”, and “Login” will help the call to action stand out to the user, as well as immediately describing to the user what it will do.

Positioning

A call to action should be placed somewhere where it immediately catches the user’s attention. Well-situated examples tend to be central within the page, and ideally towards the top.

White space is also an effective tool at highlighting calls to action. The more space around an object, the more it will stand out to the user.

This is but a brief summary of some of the important points to consider when using calls to action. By following the points raised, as well as others described on the internet, you can help to ensure your calls to action are as effective as possible.

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