Today Sandro goes on a mini-rant about Call to Action (CTA) buttons. He discusses how important they can be and how a simple change to your website could lead to a big increase in conversions

Episode 0353


The Importance of a Call-to-Action Button


Liz Hey there, welcome back to Liz and Sandro’s Marketing Podcast. We help companies and marketing departments control their business, control their brand and get the word out. Today Sandro is going to be doing a mini rant on calls to action buttons.

Sandro Thanks Liz. Yeah, so we were coming up with topics for our podcast and in the past two weeks and even going back last month when I helped with GiveCamp, I realized not enough people are focusing on call-to-action buttons.

Liz On their website.

Sandro On their website. I really dislike when I go to your website to buy or to sign up or to do something and have to dig around to do that thing. What do you want me to do on your website? Why would you make it hard for me to do that?

Liz What action, where am I going, what’s the next step?

Sandro Correct. For GiveCamp, which is an annual charity event where we had 200 coders and developers come in and help 20 nonprofits this year and past years. They built brand new websites for most of these nonprofits and my job was to go around to all 20 nonprofits and review and help them with their search engine optimization.


Nonprofits Need a Donate Button


Sandro Well, the developers came to hate me because I would say, “Oh hey, nonprofit, CEO of nonprofit or Executive Director of nonprofit, let me see your new website.” I’d pull it up and I’d say. “Okay, what do you want people to do when they get to your website?” And they said “Learn about us.” I’m like, “But what else?” And they said, “Get some money. Donate.” Well, why is your donate button on page three or all the way at the bottom? Let’s bring a donate button to the very top. I want to know, I want to donate to you guys, Fairmount Center for the Arts. Where’s that donate button? And they’d go, oh my god, we need that. And then the developers would be like, ugh, we have to fix…

Liz We have to rethink the layout or whatever.

Sandro Yes, correct. And it’s a 50-hour marathon of coding so they’ve only got twenty-five hours to do it. But you know what guys, let’s put a call-to-action the very top. Why not? Developers, darn it. But it’s not just nonprofits, it’s…

Liz Can I just interject for a minute? That’s why you don’t work directly like with just a developer. I come across clients who are like, “Well, you know, I’ve got so-and-so who’s a developer you know, and he or she you know, they’ll do this and I’ll write the content and you know, I think we’ll be good.” And I’m like, “Let’s think about that for a minute.” You’re having someone who is probably super technical who can do all of the things you want them to do in terms of building a website, but they’re not going to think about it from the marketing perspective.


Think User Experience (UX)


Liz They’re not gonna help you, yeah, create good marketing messages that lead you through the funnel or to a donation page. Like they’re not going to think about, they’re just thinking about the technical pieces of building a site and not a call to action. And it sounds like you’ve got some of those at GiveCamp, which again they’re an important part of the process.

Sandro They’re great. They’re donating their time.

Liz We need them. Yeah.

Sandro Yeah and you’re right. It’s called, it’s user experience. And my friend used to be User Experience Vice President at a big agency here in town.

Liz Yeah.

Sandro And I never knew what it was, I thought that was dumb. Like what do you need user experience for? But…


You Need More Than a Developer


Liz But when you are building a website, you have these disciplines that kind of all need to work together. So yeah, you need someone who’s doing some coding. You need someone who’s creating content. You need someone who’s thinking about the user experience from the customer’s perspective. And all of that together creates, holistically creates a great website.

Sandro And I’ll be the first to admit I’m more a function over form guy. I really don’t care what a website looks like for the most part as long as it works and it does what I want it to do. But as I help more and more clients I realize you need some form. In addition to function.

Liz Sure. Although you could argue, like we’ve taken a look at some websites recently that are getting really, really simple. And I feel like this is truthfully probably for an entirely separate episode, but just like where web design is going and I think it’s getting a lot simpler. And that’s not to say you still can’t have a great looking website but I am seeing websites getting drastically simplified. Which I guess ties into what you’re speaking about right now because when you pull away all the clutter and all of the just junk that you don’t need, what do you need at the end of the day? Donate. Schedule a consultation. Click here.


Just 4 Things A Restaurant Website Needs


Sandro Yeah. Maybe two years ago one of our episodes I remember this, designing a restaurant website. So many restaurant websites have the history of our, my grandmother came over on the boat from Italy and she made the best meatballs and we still use her recipe and blah blah blah. Four things you need on a restaurant website: address, phone number, menu, hours of operation. That’s it. That’s all you need. You can put in the grandmas recipe and grandmother coming over and pictures of her in Ellis Island. That’s great, put it on like page two or three or inside. But right above the fold, I want to know your hours of operation, your phone number and your address. That’s all I want to know. And then your menu, I’ll click over there. That’s fine. So yeah you’re right, slim it down.

Liz So I would challenge businesses and marketing departments who are listening to this episode because that’s a great example that you just gave. You only need four things. So what does your business, what are the four absolute things you need on your home page? And just get rid of everything else. I have that all the time, clients are like “Oh, let’s add this, let’s throw this on the home page, let’s add another slider.” And I’m like, we’re just cluttering it up and we’re confusing people.


Consider Keeping Your Website Simple


Sandro Right. And a good way to start with that is, what do we do, what do we want someone to do on our website? We have a client, a newer client. They’re selling things on their website and they’ve spent thousands of dollars in Google ads and I can’t believe how little people were buying on their website through these Google ads. So I went to their website on my phone. Well first, we looked on Google Analytics. We saw 87 percent of their visitors are mobile, are on phone. So boom. Let’s go look at your website on a phone. And sure enough, they are a family business. They had a history of their family business. They had a video. And they had all this information. And I’m like, well where do I buy? I want to buy. You want me to buy.

Liz Because, to be clear, they’re an e-commerce website. Their goal is to drive e-commerce sales but they were cluttering up their site with the history about their family. And all of this stuff that sure, yeah, great to have there but it’s not going to…


A Simple “BUY” Button Above-the-Fold Increases Conversions


Sandro I want a “shop” button. That’s it. A picture of the product and right below that, a “shop” button. And that’s what we changed it to and they actually really love me. It’s crazy they texted me out of the blue Friday or Thursday, they were like, “Oh my gosh, we love this! We’re getting sales!”

Liz Well, and this is why I love our “back to basics” episodes. Not that this is a “back to basics” episode but sometimes it is the simplest to us. Sometimes it is the simplest concepts that clients miss and can make the biggest difference. Because Sandro and I are looking at this e-commerce website right now. I think you showed it to me before you made these changes. I mean it’s so simple now. It’s; here’s our product. Shop. That’s it.

Sandro Or learn more. Yeah. If you want to learn more, if you wanna learn about our history about Grandma making this, yeah, click that. But if you just want to shop just click the “shop” button. Yeah, so get out of my way. Let me do what I came here to do, what you want me to do, is shop. And there’s a big button for that. So, call-to-action. Tell me what you want me to do.


Potbelly’s Clear Call-To-Action 


Sandro Yesterday I wanted some Potbelly and I loved it. I went to the Potbelly website both on my computer. And at the very top it says, “Order Now,” big letters, just a big button there. I know where to go. “Order Now.” And another tip if you’re selling things on your e-commerce, go through the experience yourself as a customer or hand somebody your phone and say, “Here, buy something on my website.”

Liz I want to watch you. Yeah.

Sandro Yes. Or what questions do you have? Because what happened with that client, we put the big “Shop” button and they were getting people coming and shopping and their bounce rate dropped but they weren’t actually buying. So I was like, well, let me take a look. And sure enough, their shopping page was horrible.


Watch Others Go Through Your Site; See Where They Stumble


Sandro There was no “Add to Cart” button there was no “Buy Now” button. It was just pictures of the products. I’m like well, what am I supposed to do? There’s pictures of the products. Well, you’re supposed to click on the products. What…? I didn’t know… just tell me “Add to Cart.” How many? Add to cart. Boom. And so they added an “Add to Cart” button and that’s helping a lot. So go through the experience, have somebody new go through the experience, watch them, see where they stumble. All user experience.


A Great Website & CTA


Sandro So to wrap up: Give me a call to action above the fold on my phone. A perfect example of this and I’m going to give these people a shout out,, B O R L A N D I A dot com. They’re the ones that taught me at WordCamp 2018 that once, go to their website and you’ll see it on your phone, once they just put two big buttons on their homepage, their call to action…

Liz I think you showed me this site before.

Sandro They started getting so many, yeah so many phone calls, or so many people contacting them. If you go there it just says, “View Our Work” or “Hire Us.” And people are clicking that “Hire Us” button and it flipped a switch in my mind saying, oh my gosh, this is it. This is all you really need.

Liz Yeah, this is another example of an agency site that is simplified drastically. Their home page is not cluttered with a bunch of probably useless information.

Sandro Here’s our clients. Here’s our history.

Liz Download this white paper. It’s, view our work. Hire us. And I love that, what is that an ADA compliant view as well? That’s fantastic.

Sandro I don’t know what that is.

Liz Yeah that’s pretty cool.


Wrap Up


Sandro So that’s my mini rant. Quick episode just to say, hey whatever your goal is for your website, for your business, go in there and make sure you’re not getting in my way, that you’re letting me do what you want me to do. Preferably with a big button above the fold on a phone.

Liz I love it. This is a really great reminder to keep things simple. I think that wraps up today’s episode. We would love to hear from you. We’d love to hear your stories perhaps about an example of when you drastically simplified things or changed the placement of a call-to-action. What kind of results did you see? Send us an email and we’ll definitely give you a shout out in the show. Don’t forget to find us on Google Podcast, Spotify and iTunes. We are also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Thanks so much. We’ll see you next time.