CTAs Ain’t What They Used to Be: How Mobile Has Changed Everything

Previously, we discussed calls to action (CTAs) and how they can be used to improve conversion rates on your site. But more and more, people are making searches with their mobile devices. So how do mobile CTAs compare to non-mobile CTAs?

Mobile or not, the goal of CTAs remains the same. However, mobile devices will change the rules for how CTAs are applied. Taking the mobile user experience into account will not only make your mobile site look better, but reduce user frustration. They’ll just tap their way through your site.

The Mobile Experience is Just as Important as the Desktop Experience

As the mobile experience has improved, the rate of shopping and browsing via mobile devices has also risen. In 2014, mobile e-commerce grew by 47%. With such a large number of users using mobile sites for searches and shopping, it’s important to make sure that your site is mobile friendly.

If users have a poor experience on a mobile site, they won’t want to come back to it. Poor user experience can include:

  • Slow loading time: Mobile users want instant results. Often, they don’t have time or aren’t willing to wait for a page to load and will navigate away if it’s taking too long (even if they are at home)
  • Unintuitive layout: If it takes too long for users to find what they are looking for, you guessed it, they’ll look elsewhere for a better site.
  • Filling out unnecessarily long forms: Though mobile screens are getting bigger, especially on smartphones, filling out a form can still be difficult. Keep your fields to the bare minimum number—3 or 4 at most.

Mobile CTAs Are Simpler

It goes without saying that there is very limited room on a mobile screen. To accommodate this size difference, mobile CTAs should have short, simple language like:

  • Call Us Today
  • Add to Cart
  • Get Started

Mobile CTAs Are Larger & Brighter

CTAs should be visible and intuitive in order to grab the user’s attention and encourage them to act. However, don’t make the CTA so large that it’s overwhelming. Generally, mobile CTAs will look like a button whose color contrasts with the site’s background. Buttons catch people’s attention and people are already conditioned to know that buttons are for pushing. This intuition makes them the perfect catalyst for conversion.

Placement Strategies for Mobile CTAs

The one rule that doesn’t change from desktop to mobile is CTA placement: they should always be placed where readers can easily see them. Let’s review the successful (and far less successful) placements:

Margin CTAs Are Outdated

Today, people are less inclined to look in the margins because it is not in the normal reading field of view. Mobile sites have streamlined the way we scroll through sites, therefore margin CTAs don’t fit into that streamlined aesthetic or work well on mobile sites.

Top-of-Page CTAs for People Who Know What They Want

At the top of the page, readers don’t know what the CTA is about and may not be interested in the product or service yet. But don’t disregard top-of-page CTAs just yet!

Top-of-page CTAs are good for readers who know what they want from your site. These particular readers may have been to your site before or know of your company through other means (social media, brick-and-mortar stores, reviews, etc.)

For instance, one out of three mobile users primarily comes to a site to get contact information, such as:

  • Phone numbers
  • Addresses
  • Driving directions

Make sure your mobile CTA will address these needs for a good mobile experience.

Bottom-of-Page CTAs for Newer Readers

By placing your CTA at the end of your content, readers will have been educated about the product or service and be interested in it. The CTA will then immediately catch their eye and provide them with a way to purchase or inquire about the product or service.

Mid-Page CTAs for Secondary Actions

Secondary CTAs allow visitors to engage with your brand without committing to the final goal you’d like them to take.  Usually, secondary CTAs are used in between sections and invite readers to take an action other than the primary one.

Pop-Up CTAs to Gain Attention

Pop-up CTAs literally pop up when a user navigates to your site. Pop-up CTAs are a good way to ensure that readers see them, but can get annoying if used too excessively.

If you do choose to use a pop-up CTA, make sure it doesn’t pop up too soon. Pop-ups that trigger too soon are off-putting as the reader hasn’t had time to see what your site is about.

There are two kinds of pop-up CTAs:

  • Action-based: Appear when the reader scrolls down to a certain part of the page. This tactic tends to be more effective than timed pop ups.
  • Timed: Appear after the user has been on the page for a certain amount of time. These CTAs are riskier. If it comes up too soon, it will look annoying, and if too late, no one will see it.

Mobile sites are a great way to engage customers who want quick information about your product or service. With an effective CTA combined with a user-friendly site, mobile users can be reached and converted the same as non-mobile users.

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