When customers are using your websites and digital services, it’s important that they know exactly what they’re doing, how to do it and why.

The what, how and why is all down to the content which is there specifically to do this. It can come in the form of headers, bullet lists, or even error messages or notifications – any of those extra bits of content that help the user understand what’s going on. This includes CTAs.

CTA stands for ‘call to action’. They are usually buttons, but can be any interactive element the customer uses, including confirming or declining an action, opening hidden content, or even closing a window.

Obviously, this type of interaction is incredibly important. But it’s not always as simple as a big, green button saying ‘OK’ – and it can often be much more useful.

Be more human

The language used in written communications helps build a more human brand image. However, CTAs are an area where this can make a big difference. If your service sounds human, it’s more likely that your customers will trust you.

The button labels not only tell the user what they’re doing, but where they’re going. If it’s written in the right way, it adds clarity and trust.

For example, you might have a button that says:

Proceed

This is clunky and quite difficult to understand at first glance, particularly for those with lower English comprehension skills (the average reading age in the UK is between 9 and 11-years-old).

Let’s change it to something simpler and clearer:

Continue

We’ve now got a call to action that tells the customer what they’re doing in language they are likely to be much more comfortable with.

Language gets results

Of course, there are many different words and phrases you could use. It’s through trial and testing that we can discover those that work, and those that don’t.

Try A/B testing different CTAs against each other to see which is more effective. If you get your CTAs right, you could see a significant uplift that will count towards your sales or sign ups (for example) each month. And it’s not just the language you can test either – try changing the positioning of your content and CTAs as this can often have a positive effect, too.

Completing a task

Ultimately, customers come to your service to perform a particular task. That could be buying insurance, checking their documents, or just updating some details. Whatever they’re doing we need to be clear where, and how, they can do it.

CTA buttons are perfect for this as the customer interacts with them directly, letting them know exactly what’s coming next.

It also gives the customer confirmation that they’ve succeeded in the task they were trying to complete. By actively doing something such as clicking a button that says ‘Save your changes’, the user is in no doubt that they’ve achieved their goal. The content is focused on them, and the action they’re doing, leaving little room for confusion or uncertainty.

CTAs are important as they are the main element on a page that the user is interacting with. As we’ve seen, they can also be used to your advantage but more importantly, they can be used to make things easier and clearer for the user, giving them a much better experience of using your services. This may also bring with it increased cost savings for your business as users are more capable of self-serving and less reliant on ringing the call centre for support. It also means the user has increased trust in your brand, which could make them more likely to renew with you year after year, rather than with your competitors.