10 Crimes a Web Designer can Commit on Call to Action Pages

Posted in Tips, Usability, Web Design3 years ago • Written by 9 Comments

Call-to-action pages are dedicated to prompt visitors to take a desired action, whether an opt-in, a sale or any type of click that brings a user one step closer to a company’s goal. Basically, any website can be classified as a call to action page because virtually every person who creates a website has a specific action he/she wants a visitor to take.

Most websites commit at least one of the top crimes listed below. Do you agree with the choices?

1. Graphic Clutter


Graphic-Clutter-Worst-Call-to-Action-Pages

It’s obvious this website’s purpose was show as much information to visitors as possible above the fold. While this is a valiant effort, too many graphics can work against you.

A great call to action page will send your eye to a specific area. When you look at this page, your eyes are drawn everywhere and if you were looking for a car, you wouldn’t even know where to begin.

Though this page is not a landing page, it is a prime example of why less is more when trying to increase conversions with web page design. A call to action page should include benefits, features, logos, maybe one or two images and a prominent call to action button. Any more and the page will suffer.

A website home page should follow suit while including clear navigation and an easy experience for visitors. Avoid clutter at all costs. White space is your friend!

2. Blended Call to Action


Blended-Call-to-Action-Worst-Call-to-Action-Pages

Though the call to action button on this page is outlined in yellow, it does not stand out enough from the background. The yellow also matches the font above it so it blends into the background even more. The color scheme of the page is yellow, red and orange and the call to action button follows the same color scheme; therefore, it does not stand out enough. A solid color in contrast to the page would work best.

3. Distracting Background


Distracting-Background-Worst-Call-to-Action-Pages

Many businesses want to incorporate their brand colors into their website design. While this is a smart marketing strategy, if the color is overdone or distracting, it can have an adverse effect. The bright yellow background in this web page is very distracting and it draws the eye away from the purpose of the website. If you view this website in its normal size, you will see how truly distracting the bright yellow background is.

It’s good to implement your brand colors in your website design, but not at the expense of distracting visitors away from your purpose. Your background should support your web page and be somewhat neutral.

4. Lost call to action


Lost-Call-to-Action-Worst-Call-to-Action-Pages

On this page, the call to action button is not only lost, it is nonexistent. One of this website’s desired actions is to urge users to click and find out more information about the Thank You® Premier card. The current call to action is simply text that says “Get Moving”.

If you really want to lead users to an intended action, use buttons in contrasting colors. Text will never be strong enough to get users’ attention. The button should include a contrasted color that screams “click me” without slamming it in user’s faces.

Also consider the call to action button’s proximity to other elements. For example, with an ecommerce site, the “Add to cart” button would be most effective if it were placed right next to the product. You can also place call to action buttons near places of interest like testimonials, feature lists and benefits, etc. Make sure, though, not to clutter your page with too many buttons. Keep them close to your key points and at a  maximum of 2-3 per page for simple landing pages.

5. Too Much Information


Too-Much-Information-Worst-Call-to-Action-Pages

When people offer us more information than we want to hear we often say it is TMI or Too Much Information. Similar to how you would want that person to be quiet, a web page will suffer this same reproach if it is suffering from TMI.

On this example web page, the call to action is not front and center and your eye is drawn to the articles instead of the “Get a Quote” text. This page, while meant to attract visitors to get a quote, leads them towards reading an article which may be too much information for this page. Content is not necessarily bad; great content outlines the pages of some of the greatest websites. But when it blurs the message of the site or distracts users from a clear call to action, profits will suffer.

For this website, a more prominent call to action in a more effective location would draw the eye there first.

The goal with a call to action page is to lead your visitors to click on the call to action button without distracting or boring them with too much information. You should include enough information (features, benefits, guarantees, testimonies) to lead them to take action without overdoing it. If your visitors cannot figure out whether or not your site will be beneficial to them in the first few seconds, they will assume the worst and hightail out of there.

6. Too many Links


Too-Many-Links-Worst-Call-to-Action-Pages

This page is actually ranking quite well for competitive mortgage related keywords, but the design of the site unfortunately does not follow suit.

Unless your site is product specific (e-commerce) or purely informational, excessive text links can overwhelm users.

The purpose of this website is to guide consumers to get a mortgage quote. While classifying the links by states is a good idea, the clutter and small font does nothing for visitors’ eyeballs. As stated before, text links are ineffective as calls to action on pages like these and the close proximity of these links jumbles everything together to look like one cohesive blue link.

There is no clear call to action here. This webmaster would benefit from making this page a second page and redesigning the home page to include one or two buttons only, leading people to “Get a Quote”.

Here is a trick: Squint your eyes slightly to blur your vision and look at the page. If your call to action doesn’t stand out, adjustments may need to be made.

7. Button Placement & Location


Button-Placement-Location-Worst-Call-to-Action-Pages

Though this website is committing many faux pas, I chose it due to improper placement of the call to action button.

If you look on the far right (it probably took you a few seconds to find it, which is a few seconds too long), you will find a small box with a dropdown menu. This is where the webmaster would like a user to click. The only element standing out is the small red arrow and that is even questionable.

The placement and location of your call to action button is equally as important as its size and color. A great call to action will not be effective if it is surrounded by too much text or not enough whitespace, or if it is located out of sight.

Generally, it’s important to keep call to action buttons above the fold (visitors can see it without scrolling), clearly visible and prominent in relation to all other elements. If you have content that is only visible by scrolling, include a call to action button towards the end so users do not have to scroll back up to click on it.

8. Button Size


Button-Size-Worst-Call-to-Action-Pages

Your website visitors should know exactly where they need to go the second they land on your website. In this example, though well-designed, this “Buy Now” call to action button seems a bit small for the animation of the site. If you click on the entire website, you will notice a busy background which can distract from the small button as well.

Please note, though, that a bigger button is not always associated with higher conversions. The button should stand out from the other design elements without overwhelming the entire design, which can turn people away as well.

9. Button Text


Button-Text-Worst-Call-to-Action-Pages

This website used the word “Go” to urge users to click for a quote. While the design does draw your eye to the quote box, I am not sure the word “Go” is the best choice.

Though there are some basic rules for button text to maximize conversions, it is more of a function of the type of website rather than a general consensus. For example, a business offering a free trial may use “Click Here to Get Your Free Trial” while a service-oriented website may use “Get Started Today”.

General rules of thumb for call to action button text:

  • Avoid being too wordy
  • Keep it simple
  • Add urgency
  • Limited availability if applicable
  • Use action words like “now” or “today”
  • Always split test

When it comes to elements such as button text, the only way to determine what works best is to split test. Sometimes, minor changes can increase conversion rates dramatically.

10. No Clear Message


No-Clear-Message-Worst-Call-to-Action-Pages

Many businesses are not clear on their sales funnel; therefore, their visitors are not led to take a desired action. This dealership is trying to push users to perform too many actions at once along with reading text which can be boring for people looking to buy or lease a car.

TIP: The purpose of your call to action is to get users to the next step only. In the case of the dealership, the final goal would be to sell a car, but that should not be the main goal of the website. That is the car salesperson’s job. The website should only urge visitors to take the next step which is to visit the dealership.

Don’t try to sell a car with your website. Just sell the next step!

Have you seen any call to action crimes? What call-to-action crimes have you committed?

15 Written ArticlesWebsite

Jenna Scaglione is a writer, internet marketer, and a lover of family, friends and life. Jenna enjoys learning, growing and discovering the newest and latest trends on the internet. Known as "Lady Content", she lives in sunny Socal where she helps her clients around the world increase brand awareness on the internet through content writing and social media.

9 Comments Best Comments First
  • Imran Hunzai

    Monday, December 26th, 2011 12:25

    1

    So, I was committing four of them too. Helpful. Thanks.

    0
  • Josh Ledgard

    Tuesday, December 27th, 2011 09:22

    4

    Here are some more tips that we published:

    Especially considering the copy. Be sure to include:

    Problem-solved statement. Articulate what your business can do for customers.

    Why now statement. Inspire your visitors to act now because even warm leads likely won’t return.

    Do statement. Describe what you want them to do – this is often the text with the link or on the button. Try to be brief!

    Proof + benefit statement. We’re all over-exposed to advertising, naturally leaving us pretty skeptical. Provide some proof or testimonials, and reiterate the benefit of the product or service.

    0
  • Kalen

    Monday, December 26th, 2011 18:10

    3

    Thanks for the info Jenna. As for point 6 about links, I would also add that you can get in a lot of trouble with Google if you have too many links. It can start to look like you are running a link farm or something. Not the way to get on Google’s good side as either a web designer or Internet marketer.

    I think one of the reasons why there is no effective strategy for doing a call to action is because web developers often haven’t even decided on a call to action in the first place. That should be the very first thing they try to do.

    0
  • Kris

    Monday, December 26th, 2011 14:42

    2

    Great article, although i think a few of those sites have a bit more than some dodgy call to action’s to worry about lol

    0
  • Sarasota

    Tuesday, December 27th, 2011 16:55

    5

    Brilliant article! Such flaws cannot be ignored. Reading this post has made me realize how I didn’t learn these flaws from my web designer. Those trying to create websites should read this article and plan carefully. When the site is distracting and flashy it’ll only chase away visitors.

    0
  • Sanjay

    Thursday, December 29th, 2011 20:44

    6

    Good article! I think without some basic marketing & UI knowledge its really difficult to design any website.

    0
  • Sandy Rowley

    Friday, February 3rd, 2012 20:28

    9

    The first one was a real slap in the face. Way too much information.
    Currently have similiar challenges with our site. Needing to have enough content for SEO, but still engaging call to action for our potential clients.
    I am welcome to any feedback/suggestions.
    be honest.. ;)

    0
  • Alejandro

    Monday, January 23rd, 2012 00:15

    8

    Completely agree with your article. The funny part is that most major corporation websites always have bad web design. Really funny and sad.

    0
  • Jan Jensen

    Friday, December 30th, 2011 09:37

    7

    Nice Article!!
    One should be careful about these crashes while designing the website and a legal contract will be signed before.

    0
  • Sandy Rowley

    Friday, February 3rd, 2012 20:28

    9

    The first one was a real slap in the face. Way too much information.
    Currently have similiar challenges with our site. Needing to have enough content for SEO, but still engaging call to action for our potential clients.
    I am welcome to any feedback/suggestions.
    be honest.. ;)

    0
  • Alejandro

    Monday, January 23rd, 2012 00:15

    8

    Completely agree with your article. The funny part is that most major corporation websites always have bad web design. Really funny and sad.

    0
  • Jan Jensen

    Friday, December 30th, 2011 09:37

    7

    Nice Article!!
    One should be careful about these crashes while designing the website and a legal contract will be signed before.

    0
  • Sanjay

    Thursday, December 29th, 2011 20:44

    6

    Good article! I think without some basic marketing & UI knowledge its really difficult to design any website.

    0
  • Sarasota

    Tuesday, December 27th, 2011 16:55

    5

    Brilliant article! Such flaws cannot be ignored. Reading this post has made me realize how I didn’t learn these flaws from my web designer. Those trying to create websites should read this article and plan carefully. When the site is distracting and flashy it’ll only chase away visitors.

    0
  • Josh Ledgard

    Tuesday, December 27th, 2011 09:22

    4

    Here are some more tips that we published:

    Especially considering the copy. Be sure to include:

    Problem-solved statement. Articulate what your business can do for customers.

    Why now statement. Inspire your visitors to act now because even warm leads likely won’t return.

    Do statement. Describe what you want them to do – this is often the text with the link or on the button. Try to be brief!

    Proof + benefit statement. We’re all over-exposed to advertising, naturally leaving us pretty skeptical. Provide some proof or testimonials, and reiterate the benefit of the product or service.

    0
  • Kalen

    Monday, December 26th, 2011 18:10

    3

    Thanks for the info Jenna. As for point 6 about links, I would also add that you can get in a lot of trouble with Google if you have too many links. It can start to look like you are running a link farm or something. Not the way to get on Google’s good side as either a web designer or Internet marketer.

    I think one of the reasons why there is no effective strategy for doing a call to action is because web developers often haven’t even decided on a call to action in the first place. That should be the very first thing they try to do.

    0
  • Kris

    Monday, December 26th, 2011 14:42

    2

    Great article, although i think a few of those sites have a bit more than some dodgy call to action’s to worry about lol

    0
  • Imran Hunzai

    Monday, December 26th, 2011 12:25

    1

    So, I was committing four of them too. Helpful. Thanks.

    0

Comments are closed.

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