If you are using your blog to promote your products or services or those of others, then a good way to increase the percentage of your readers that take action on your advice is to employ the use of powerful ‘call to action’ buttons, images and text.
In terms of online marketing, a call to action, or CTA, is a webpage element with the purpose of enticing a reader to click on it. These CTAs can take many forms, including a simple text link, a banner advert or a graphical button. Once clicked, the user will be taken to the next step in a ‘conversion funnel’ with the desired outcome usually involving a sale or registration of some kind.
While all that might sound too ‘salesy’ for most casual bloggers or even those promoting themselves and their services using their blog, the conversion funnel can simply involve encouraging the reader to leave a comment on a post or sign up to a newsletter. However you want your readers to engage with you or your content, the number of those who do can most likely be increased by enhancing your calls to action.
This article will provide some useful tips on working with this type of page element, and also some plugins and services that can help you easily add attractive buttons to your site.
Engagement Increasing Calls to Action
While a simple text link such as the classic click here is a quick and easy way to insert a link into your WordPress posts, there are often more effective ways to illicit a response from your readers. These tools, plugins and tips can help you improve your CTR (click through rate) by upgrading your CTA (call to action).
Free Call to Action Button Generator
This free online tool allows you to quickly and easily build professional looking call to action buttons for your site. The buttons can be downloaded as an image file (PNG) or you can copy the CSS code and add it to your site.
The simplest way to use these buttons on your WordPress site is to download the images and then upload them into the Media Library, and then insert them into posts as required. Another approach would be to create your own WordPress shortcode using the CSS for even easier insertion into your posts and pages.
- Check out Button Optimizer
This tool is ideal for anyone who needs attractive buttons for their project. If you want to make buttons that are more in keeping with current design trends, then this flat button generator might be more up your street.
Call to Action Button Plugins
While the above options allow you to create your own buttons, there are plugins out there for WordPress that make it even easier to insert attractive call to action buttons into your posts. These call to action button plugins simply require you to insert a shortcode into your posts, either but typing it manually or clicking on a newly added menu icon and you can have a fully formed button in place in no time at all. Here is our pick of the best CTA plugins for WordPress:
Authentic Themes Standard Shortcodes
This free option is actually the plugin in use here at WP Squared. Our posts that include an external link regularly make use of the buttons that this plugin provides.
As well as allowing you to easily insert buttons into your posts you can also add many elements to your posts such as:
- Social Icons
- Colourful Text Boxes
- Toggle Text Areas
- Accordion Displays
- Tabbed Text Areas
- Pricing Tables
- Page Columns
Once installed the plugin makes it easy to insert the shortcodes as it adds a new button the WordPress post editor with a dropdown menu containing all the items.
This popular free plugin also allows you to insert many page elements into your posts at the touch of a button. The call to action button selection is pretty impressive with many styles to choose from and the ability to include icons on them.
The page elements can be deployed by using the button that this plugin adds to the post editor meaning you don’t have to remember any of the codes in order to use them. If you like the appearance of the buttons that come with this option then you can install the plugin directly from your WordPress admin dashboard.
Styles with Shortcodes
With close to 4,000 downloads from Code Canyon, this premium plugin is a popular choice amongst those looking to add attractive page elements to their site. You can choose from a multitude of colours for your buttons, or opt for a subtle grey button which features a rollover glow effect when activated by the user.
As this is a premium plugin, you would expect some other features beyond those offered by the free options above. With Styles with Shortcodes you can create your own WordPress shortcodes using the included editor. Shortcodes can then be exported and shared with other users of this plugin allowing you to quickly increase the library of options available to you beyond the 100 built-in shortcodes.
If you want great value for money then this plugin for WordPress allows you to add not just attractive call to action buttons to your site, but pretty much any page element you can think of. The list of things this plugin brings to the table is very impressive and it’s easy to see why it has been purchased over 25,000 times.
However, the CTA buttons shouldn’t be overlooked, and as well as being able to create regular buttons, you can also build full width banners that contain CTA buttons for CTR-boosting attention grabbing abilities.
If you are unsure of whether a plugin of this type is for you then this five minute video demo should help you decide.
Call to Action Tips
Now you know how to insert an attractive button into your WordPress site, it’s time to take a look at some tips for writing the button text that will lead to the most clicks:
Match your CTA with your Post Content
One important point to remember is that the link or button text should be matched to the content on the page. On this page for example, using the ‘Download Plugin’ button text is fine as the page content explains the purpose of the plugin and the reader is informed enough to be ready to take the next step of downloading the plugin.
However, if the page hadn’t fully explained the purpose and advantages of using these button plugins, it wouldn’t be effective to ask the reader to undertake a download. If enough relevant information hadn’t been given it would be better to use the ‘more information’ call to action for the button text and link to another blog post covering that particular plugin in sufficient detail, before then prompting the download.
The same is true for sites promoting a service. Jumping in at the deep end with a ‘sign up’ or ‘buy now’ button on the home page is not the best use of a call to action as the user hasn’t been sufficiently pre-sold on your service and it would likely result in a low click through rate (CTR). For better results a button linking to a dedicated sales page with the CTA ‘find out more’ would result in a higher CTR and more eventual registrations.
Unfortunately there is no one size fits all CTA. This means it’s important to match your button text with the stage your readers are at in the ‘funnel’.
Have Multiple Actions
While you might have one ultimate goal for reader engagement, such as signing up to your premium service, or buying your product, there are other levels of engagement which can still lead to a significant outcome.
While you can go all out to close the deal with a strong call to action for a purchase such as ‘buy now’. You can also offer secondary and tertiary actions, such as signing up to your newsletter or leaving a comment on the blog post. While these won’t result in the closing of the sale today, they might lead to sales later down the line through on-going communication and engagement.
Some might argue offering multiple levels of action weakens the attractiveness of your ultimate goal, as they give the user another option. However it is a bold move to only offer the option of ‘buy now’ or ‘go home’ versus ‘buy now’ or ‘sign up for more information’. With that being said, don’t overdo it and promote multiple products and services on the same page or even the same site. Try and ensure there is a good amount of continuity and progression amongst the actions you are marketing on the same page.
Make Button Text Specific
Once you’ve installed the plugins above or started building your own call to action buttons, it’s important that your button text or regular link text is specific and makes it clear what action you are asking the user to carry out. A vague button text such as ‘click me’ won’t be as effective as one that lets the user know exactly what will happen when they do engage such as ‘download the plugin’ or ‘sign up now’.
Whether you are selling a product or service, or are aiming for more engagement from your readers in the form of blog comments, social shares or newsletter opt ins, optimising your call to actions can go a long way towards helping you achieve your goals.
With these free and premium plugins you can almost instantly begin adding attractive and highly clickable buttons to your site. Hopefully the call to action tips will also help you plan your marketing efforts better and direct users more effectively towards the action most important to you.