Every visitor to your business's website is one stage or another of what's known as the ‘buying cycle.' In general, the buying cycle is broken into three different stages: awareness, consideration, and purchase.
But no matter what stage of the buying cycle they are in, if you want to keep them moving forward toward making that purchase… you need to put a strong call-to-action (CTA) in their path. That's because the best user experiences online result in higher profits… so having right call to action at the right time and in the right place is imperative if you want to have a good return on investment, keep building your list, and influence your audience with your products and/or services.
But just where should you put your strong call to action for maximum effect? Here are a few places to consider:
Above the Fold
When you see advice to place your CTA “above the fold,” this involves knowing what your audience sees when they click on your email, website, or other form of content. It's important when determining where “above the fold” (which is what they'll see before having to scroll or swipe) to place your CTA.
This is not always right as your audience clicks through to the page because they may not know anything about you yet. You should find a way to tell them how you’ll solve their problems prior to placing the CTA. One way to deal with this is to use multiple CTAs.
Let's have a look at the example of Zoho Support:
In this image, we see the first thing their site visitors encounter when visiting their website. You'll notice there's a giant red button front and center with the clear call-to-action “Get Started Now.” While the placement of the button can be highly effective, there's no real context for what the visitor will receive when they click the button.
At the Bottom
Most people are used to scrolling today. Therefore, always putting a CTA at the bottom of your copy is a great way to ensure that your audience, who reads everything easily, locates the “what to do next” button, (i.e. your CTA button). You don’t want to make it hard for people who read and engage with your content to figure out what they should do next.
In fact, you'll notice my call-to-action is clearly positioned at the end of this post for you to continue on to another step after you've finished reading.
Below the Fold
Whenever you choose to place a CTA below the fold, it’s important that you use directional cues to point to your call-to-action. You can do this with content, images, and even actual arrows. This works great when you’re using a storyboard or infographic to explain to your audience the information they need to know in order to make a choice to buy from you.
In the case of Zoho Support, they've placed a second call-to-action button further down the page from the one we looked at earlier. Notice how it's integrated into the visual design of the page to draw your eye directly to it. In addition, there's an arrow pointing from the button, as if to suggest that once you've clicked it, you then move forward.
Unlike the first button we looked at, this button shows up at a point when the visitor has had the opportunity to learn more about what's being offered, and will likely have more incentive to click.
You can put calls-to-action just about anyplace on your site – and, more importantly, you should be sure to put them in multiple places. For example, you can put a sign-up form under your blog posts so that if people want more information about that topic or your blog in general, they can get it just because they signed up. You can also put them on the sidebar of your site, within a blog post, and so forth. Putting them in multiple places allows your audience time to get to know you through your content so that they won’t miss out.
And in the case of Zoho Support, they've put three additional calls-to-action here, in their pricing table.
The biggest keys to “where to place your CTA” is to understand how your audience reads your content, where they are in their decision-making process, and what type of product, service, or information you want them to act upon. You learn all of this by testing different types of CTAs to find out what works best with your audience. You start with an educated guess and move from there to make sure your CTAs work as well as they should.
Taking CTAs To The Next Level
Your calls-to-action don't need to be stationary on your pages either. They can appear in the form of pop-ups, welcome mats, slide-ins, etc. But be sure that you position them in the right places (like we've been discussing here) and use them effectively – i.e. ‘don't be annoying.'
Want to see these kinds of animated CTAs in action? Then check out my lesson on engaging and converting the 98% of website visitors who don't buy on their first visit.