The Hog Blog

5 Elements of an Effective Call-to-Action

What is the main purpose of your medical website? This is not a trick question but if you really ask yourself, you may think of a number of things such as to provide important office information like hours, new patient forms or to provide patients with educational material. While these may be true, the main purpose of your website should be to bring new patients to your practice. That being said, your website should be designed with this in mind and the best way to accomplish this is with an effective call-to-action (CTA).

What is a Call-to-Action (CTA)?

A call-to-action is simply when you ask visitors to take some sort of action usually by clicking on a button to “Make an Appointment” or “Sign Up for a Free e-Book.” The main purpose of a CTA is to generate leads that will translate into new patients.

When thinking about what CTA’s to include on your website, it’s important to be strategic. You don’t want to clutter your website with too many CTA’s and you want to make sure the ones you include are actually effective.

Let’s take a look at 5 ways to make sure your CTA’s are effective at generating those leads.

    1. Use buttons. We’re gonna keep it simple here. Buttons are the most effective way to catch your reader’s eye and get them to take the desired action. Buttons are big and easy to see and are more effective than just using text alone or hyperlinks.
    2. Choose your words wisely. When it comes to the text explaining the CTA, be straightforward and to the point. There’s no benefit here for being vague or verbose. Minimal and concise is the way to go as more words will just distract the reader. You want to simply tell them your message and answer a need in hopes that they’ll be compelled to click if the situation calls for it such as, “Don’t live with foot pain anymore” or “Stay on top of your foot & ankle health.” As for the button text, be sure to refrain from plain text such as “Submit.” Instead, use action words that also bring urgency or value such as, “Schedule an Appointment Now” or “Receive Your Free Newsletter.”
    3. Be Minimalistic. We mentioned that too many CTA’s can quickly turn into clutter and thus make them less effective. In the same regard, having someone fill out too many fields on any one CTA, such as a newsletter sign up or contact form, can also quickly deter them. People don’t want to spend their time filling out several fields of information. Just stick to the bare minimum – usually name and email is sufficient or if you must, add 1 or 2 other fields but only if absolutely necessary.
    4. Placement. There’s no real science to this one, only logic. Some say CTA’s should be placed above the fold (the portion of the site you can see without having to scroll), some say below the fold where a visitor can act after reading information that urges them to act, and others say both. Regardless, you’ll want to think of the natural progression of your layout and place CTA’s where they are relevant and make the most sense. You don’t want to overdo it but if the situation calls for it, it doesn’t hurt to have more than one on a page and placed in different locations such as an Appointment Request at the top and a Newsletter Signup in the sidebar.
    5. Appearance matters. We recommend buttons vs. text because people see them and are much more inclined to click on them. However, buttons need to be big enough and bold enough to stand out while not overpowering and taking away from the rest of the page. Go easy on text and include enough white space around the button so that it’s distinct but still close in proximity to the text. Again, clutter will only overwhelm and distract the visitor. When choosing a color for your button, choose a contrasting, bold color that goes with the design of your site. Just be sure it stands out while not being too abrasive or harsh on the eyes.

Poorly placed, boring or cluttered CTA’s will not only be useless, but can also diminish the user’s experience. Incorporate these strategies to make sure your CTA’s encourage user interaction and are effective at helping you achieve the goals of your site. Or in other words, getting your visitors to take some action and be converted into new patients.

Want more? Click here to learn more about creating an effective call-to-action.