If you’re tired of using “Click here” as your primary CTA, here’s how to optimize your links for people and search engines. Nothing is more boring and unmotivating to a user than seeing a big “Click Here” or “Learn More” link. As a user, they’re already researching a product or a service they want to purchase. Of course, they’re going to click links to learn more.
Going Beyond “Click Here” Or “Learn More”
So, how do we motivate users to take the action we want them to?
It begins by:
- Understanding user goals and user behavior.
- Establishing trust.
- Creating accessible, clearly labeled directions that inspire interest.
It sounds so easy in theory, but why are our web pages only converting at an average of 2.8% in the US?
Something is missing from our web pages. If 97.2% of us don’t convert on a webpage, we’re likely confusing our users on what we want them to do to some degree.
Let’s dive into how we can accomplish this.
While You’re Here, Go There Now
The trick to optimizing calls to action is to present the action at the precise moment when your website visitor is most interested in taking the next step.
If a user is met with a call to action before any information, do you think they will click on it?
There must be compelling content preceding the link and an accurate landing page description.
If the landing page isn’t what a user expected, every time you present another opportunity to leave the page, your user may not trust that you can help them solve their problem.
The call to action is clearly labeled in the example below.
Even better, designers understand their customers’ fears over money, ease of use, customer confidence, and the use of color.
Screenshot from TurboTax.Intuit.com, June 2022
First Date Links
When your webpage visitor is ready to take action, they must feel confident that the link invitation is worthwhile, credible, and constructive.
When you present a new product offering, nothing should prevent your visitor from immediately seeing what it is.
We may begin by being sly, especially if we want something. I call these “First Date Links.”
Screenshot by author, June 2022
The screenshot above is taken from an eCommerce website. What you see here is the entire top half of the homepage.
There is no text. There are no product images.
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First-time visitors would need to know in advance what the company is selling.
With this website, first-time visitors must scroll down, wait for the gigantic images to load, and scan minimal text to understand the brand and its products better.
The fun part of this “First Date Links” example is knowing that this particular brand runs something special or similar daily.
There is no incentive to “shop now” for regular customers, and first-time visitors have no idea where that “shop now” button is taking them.
They’ve been presented with this link that will likely overwhelm them with choice and decision paralysis – and most likely leave the site.
Try adding specific promotions for your loyal customers, or even first-time customers, into your marketing strategy.
By creating specific promotions segmented by customer type, you’re showing that you understand what they’re searching for.
Trust, credibility, and being forthcoming with your story spice to calls to action on websites and in real life.
If you have watched the original film, “The Wizard of Oz,” you will understand why I refer to these calls to action as “Scarecrow Links.”
These calls to action provide many choices, usually with vague labels and often to the same destination.
In the film, when Dorothy travels the Yellow Brick Road to find Oz, she comes upon the Scarecrow and asks for directions.
Dorothy: Now which way do we go?
Scarecrow: Pardon me. That way is a very nice way… [pointing]
Dorothy: Who said that?
[Toto barks at the Scarecrow]
Dorothy: Don’t be silly, Toto. Scarecrows don’t talk!
Scarecrow: It’s pleasant down that way too! [pointing in another direction]
Dorothy: That’s funny. Wasn’t he pointing the other way?
Scarecrow: Of course, people do go both ways [pointing in both directions]. That’s the trouble. I can’t make up my mind. I haven’t got a brain. Only straw.
Sometimes, calls to action are placed within webpage content at a moment when we don’t want choices. We want to be directed to that cool thing you just showed us.
The top CTA is the best option in the example below because the destination is clearly defined and is the desired user task.
Screenshot by author, June 2022
If the company wants customers to learn more about curvy jeans, they can provide this information on the landing page that presents sorting options when they click to shop for all the curvy jeans.
The smaller link to details would make more sense if it explained them.
Is it a size chart? Pricing?
What does that link do for us that “Learn more” doesn’t offer?
What does the user want to do here after they have been shown images of curvy jeans?