We're always testing Calls to Action on our own sites and our clients. This may be an elementary post, but there are several places to provide a path to engagement on the typical website. I'd encourage companies to program these locations into their content management themes to make it easier for businesses to add, update, and test different calls-to-action. CTA locations for your site:
- Site wide – having a consistent location from page to page where the user can expect to see a call to action is important. This can be a panel across a page, a slide down/up panel (much like our subscription panel), or a popover div. Check out Piano in a Flash and you'll see a panel above the footer across the site to Enroll Today.
- Adjacent – people scan pages in an F pattern from left to right. A sidebar CTA is a good way to capture people's vision as they read inline with the page content. Bonus points if you can keep the call to action relevant to the actual content itself. We put CTAs on our sidebar and they're dynamically published depending upon the category the post is published in.
- In Stream – it's a bit more interruptive, but putting a call to action within your content, either by a link, a button or a CTA, can ensure it's seen. Most content management systems will allow you to filter your content, so you can add a call to action a few paragraph tags in or before/after your page content.
Be sure to read up more on understanding the F-Layout at Webdesigntuts+:
We've seen amazing results on our slide-down subscription panel on Martech Zone. It performs over 400% better than our in-stream subscription call to action at the base of our posts. I'm sure there are some changes we can test to improve results, but the preliminary data provides data that the more interruptive we are, the better the results. We tend to lean in opposition to this practice since we don't want to actually lose our audience because we're slapping ads everywhere… but it's worth mentioning.