Call-to-actions (CTAs) are an important part of any website, and the goal of a CTA should be to help users achieve their intended goal.
Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter or downloading an ebook, you’ll want your CTAs to be as effective as possible at driving conversions.
But how do we figure out which CTAs will convert? A/B testing can help us understand what works best with our audience.
We can run different variations on different parts of the page (such as title tags and body copy), then measure the results to see which performs better.
When done correctly, this type of optimization can help increase conversion rates across all devices (desktop/laptop computers and mobile phones).
In this post, I will cover some examples of how A/B testing can be used to improve a website’s call-to-action buttons for an eCommerce brand that sells fitness equipment.
Understanding Conversion Optimization
Conversion optimization involves improving the number of visitors who take desired actions on your website.
It can range from simple tweaks like changing button colors to more complex strategies focused on altering user perceptions of your product or service.
Optimizing your CTAs entails testing different message variations, button colors, and more until you identify what works best for your audience.
By experimenting with different CTAs and measuring their impact, you gain valuable insights that inform informed decisions regarding website design, landing pages, and other marketing materials.
Optimizing Your Call-to-Action (CTA)
What is a call to action?
A call-to-action (CTA) refers to any action you want your website visitors to take, such as subscribing to an email list or making a purchase.
Optimizing your CTA is crucial because it is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal for conversion optimization.
This practice revolves around improving the percentage of visitors who take specific actions after landing on your website.
CTAs can be employed in social media posts, emails, landing pages, and various other contexts.
When crafting CTAs, there are several important rules to follow:
- Ensure that your call-to-action communicates the benefits users will receive by clicking on it.
- Keep the button text concise, ideally limited to three words.
- Incorporate an action verb within the button text.
Additionally, consider the following recommendations to optimize your CTAs:
- Use actionable language that conveys the value users will gain by clicking, avoiding generic terms like “submit” or “buy now.” Instead, opt for phrases like “get access now” or “start my free trial.”
- Make your CTA stand out from the rest of the page.
- Create a sense of urgency by emphasizing time-limited opportunities.
- Leverage color psychology to make your CTA visually distinct from other elements on the page.
- Test different CTAs to determine the most effective option for your target audience.
Practical Ways to Test Your CTA
Utilize tools like Optimizely:
This widely popular tool simplifies the process of running A/B tests and allows for easy setup.
If you desire more control over the creation of landing pages, this tool might be a better fit.
Leverage Google Analytics or other internal analytics systems:
These platforms can track conversions, such as clicks, and enable you to create custom events for specific actions like email list sign-ups or purchases.
Keep in mind that these metrics require users to have visited the relevant page before taking action.
Employ Qualaroo to gather user feedback:
By asking visitors questions about their expectations and preferences, you can gain insights into their needs and motivations, helping optimize their experience on your site.
Testing CTAs Based on Page Context
The context of your page is a critical consideration when testing different CTAs.
Choices like “Learn More” or “Contact Us” depend on factors such as your site’s content, target audience, desired user actions, and anticipated user behavior.
When conducting CTA tests, it’s essential to address these questions comprehensively to optimize user behavior and engagement rates.
Select CTAs based on their impact on conversion rates while also considering how users will interact with them.
For instance, if you have a page focused on investment but visitors may not be ready or lack knowledge about the topic, requiring them to fill out an email form before accessing more content could be counterproductive, resulting in a high bounce rate.
Consider the following example:
Suppose you operate a clothing e-commerce website and aim to boost sales. To optimize the homepage, you might test CTAs such as “Shop Now” and “Learn More.” Clicking “Shop Now” would lead users directly to product pages for making purchases, while clicking “Learn More” would direct them to additional information about each item, including reviews and pricing details.
Running A/B Testing with a Control Group
To obtain accurate results from your testing, it’s advisable to employ A/B tests.
This statistical method allows you to compare different versions of a page and determine which performs better.
A/B testing applies to various elements, including CTAs, landing pages, and marketing campaigns.
Numerous free tools facilitate the execution of these tests, such as Google Optimize and Optimizely (which offers a free tier).
For instance, if maximizing time spent on the page is your primary goal, you can create two versions of your page—one with an image carousel and another without—and distribute equal traffic to each until you achieve statistical significance at a 95% confidence level.
In some cases, using a baseline metric as part of your A/B test can be beneficial.
This involves measuring the performance of your current page to compare against the new version once it’s life.
Running this test for a couple of weeks helps ensure there are no major issues with either version before making permanent changes.
We highly recommend incorporating A/B testing of different call-to-actions into your marketing campaigns.
By creating variations with distinct CTAs and using conversion rate optimization (CRO) to measure their effectiveness against each other, you gain valuable insights that inform your optimization strategy.
Remember to consider page context when choosing CTAs and utilize A/B testing with a control group for accurate results.
Optimizing your call-to-action can significantly increase your conversion rate, leading to improved business outcomes.