Fire Up Your Calls to Action
Location, location, location. What is inbound marketing other than being in the right place at the right time to be found by your future customers, anyway? Your blog can't get far without a content calendar or keyword strategy, and your bottom line can't grow without irresistible, free TOFU (top-of-the-funnel) offers and eye-catching call-to-action (CTA buttons) While there are a number of factors that can affect just how many leads are converted by each of your CTAs, we'll be focusing on one major component of CTA best practices: placement. While continual A/B testing is going to be the best way to identify exactly what works for your market, being a little audacious about where you're advertising your special offers might just be what your website needs.
We can probably all think of at least a few examples when we felt too pushed towards subscribing or sharing our email. Remember the primary purpose of your CTA is to convince your visitors of the value of your free offer. While being a little bold might be just the right move, the key to success will be finding a balance between audacious and obnoxious:
1. Up Top
One of the most audacious examples of CTA placement we've come across recently is on the Hubspot blog. At the top of the page, right below navigation options, visitors are invited to take advantage of one of their eBooks:
This CTA placement works really well because it's prominent but not obnoxious - while the eye is drawn towards the invitation to download their free guide, the bar doesn't seem out of place because the color scheme and aesthetics are consistent with the rest of the page design. If you're going to be working with similar bold CTA placement, it's important to consider just how much it stands out against the rest of the page to avoid coming on too strong.
2. To the Side
Call-to-actions located to the right or left side of a webpage above the fold are usually more common than you might think. In fact, an invitation to subscribe to a blog is almost always located to the side of content, like the following example from our friends at Impact Branding and Design that is located to the right of their blog content:
Placing CTA buttons to the right or left of your webpages is a sharp move, especially if you're going to be promoting multiple special offers on a single webpage.
3. In Pairs
Why stop at just one? Another example of bold use of CTA comes from the Hubspot blog. It's a blogging best practice to put a CTA button at the bottom of every piece of blog content you publish. Why not stop at just one, as long as you can keep the design of at least one simple enough so it doesn't appear cluttered?
In the example shown above, Hubspot can get away with multiple CTA buttons because their invitation to subscribe to the blog is pretty subtle - it's much smaller than the CTA for their special offer, the color isn't quite as bright and the shape contrasts. If two large buttons were stacked, it could come across as just too busy.
4. Right in the Middle
Do you really want to draw attention towards your TOFU or free software trial? You can put the button in the absolute center of the webpage:
In this Pics Engine example, the eye is inarguably drawn straight towards the CTA button. The overall affect isn't too aggressive or obnoxious, because one again the color scheme doesn't contrast against the overall page design. While using contrasting colors is generally a best practice for CTAs, it doesn't work in every instance.
In the realm of call-to-action design, location can make or break your special offer. If you haven't ventured outside of putting a single CTA at the bottom of each piece of business blog content, it may be time to try something else out. Continual A/B testing is key, because only time and data can tell exactly what appeals and what comes across as obnoxious to your website visitors. Remember landing pages and CTA placement aren't permanent, and using center, paired or top placement might be exactly what you need.