When you’re looking for a top website design company, you might be focused on issues such as sleek designs or easy-to-use content management systems. While these are both important — and you certainly shouldn’t settle for an inferior web design — one thing web designers often fail to prove prior to being hired is that they build effective websites. The truth is that effectiveness has very little to do with graphic design and everything to do with writing compelling copy and strong calls to action. While many web design companies claim to understand these concepts, they’re often sloppily implemented. If you’re actually wanting to work with a top website design company, here’s what you should know about copy and calls to action:
- Readers Anticipate Calls to Action
People often think of calls to action as advertising ploys that tell people what to do, with “Contact Us Today!” being the classic example. But that overly simplified view often leads to a divide between the overall content of a page and its call to action, as well as the wording of a call to action itself. It’s better to think of a call to action as the answer to a question readers will already be asking: “Now what?” You need to make sure your call to action builds on a natural sense of anticipation. If there’s a disconnect between your information and your call to action, or if you throw an overly promotional call to action on a page where you haven’t made a strong case, you won’t see the click-through rates you want.
- Calls to Action Should Be Clear
The idea in combining page copy with a call to action is that the former contains the bulk of the information, and the latter is simply a visually appealing reminder to take whatever action has been discussed. That’s why, so often, calls to action are formatted as separate buttons. Your call to action itself shouldn’t have to be persuasive, since the rest of the content should have already done that work. That means you should keep it brief, ideally between two and five words. “Sign Up,” “Download Your Copy” and “Become a Subscriber” are all clear, short examples to emulate.
- You Have to Follow Through
One of the biggest mistakes websites make is in mismatching their calls to action and their landing pages (the pages users are directed to after clicking on a call-to-action button). It’s best to think of a link or button as a kind of promise: Visitors are trusting that when they click, they’ll be taken to the page you’ve led them to expect. If your call to action is something like “Click to Watch,” but your landing page prompts users to fill in a slew of personal details, they’re likely to get annoyed — or nervous that they’ve come across a malicious site — and hit the back button.
What do you think makes a top website design company truly one of the best? Discuss in the comments.