Call to Action (CTA) buttons may be some of the smallest elements on a travel website or app, but they’re actually one of the MOST IMPORTANT PERFORMANCE ELEMENTS in the sales funnel. Why? Because users cannot move through ANY booking or checkout funnel without clicking on a CTA. CTAs prompt your visitors to act, to make that crucial move from “visitor” to “customer.”
It’s always surprising, then, to consider that CTAs – despite the fundamental role they play on every single e-commerce site – are one of the most over-looked and ignored elements on websites and apps when it comes to testing and optimization. People take a good CTA for granted, often assuming it just “happens,” instead choosing to optimize the larger elements on a page.
And, for travel sites, who typically have lower conversion rates than other e-commerce or retail sites, the stakes are even higher when it comes to optimizing CTAs. The functionality and usability of a travel site, especially the booking and checkout funnels, have a direct impact on overall sales and revenue – if users find a site confusing or difficult to navigate in any way, they will abandon it, which means that getting even the smallest thing wrong, like a CTA, will have a negative impact on a site’s performance.
Our optimization team got together to discuss the best ways to optimize CTAs on travel websites. Here's what they came up with:
- Wording must clearly and accurately communicate the action you want your users to take and the value of clicking through to the next stage of the funnel.
- Copy should not be confusing in any way.
- Align the messaging in the CTA with the corresponding stage in the sales funnel (Are your users searching for more options? Booking? Checking out?).
- The CTA and the copy surrounding it should work together to guide the user through the funnel. If these are out of synch, the user will get mixed messaging and likely abandon the site.
- Feature your site's Unique Selling Proposition (USP) close to your CTAs so that your user knows exactly what the benefits are when they book with you. A good, clear USP will motivate them to click on your CTA.
- Color of CTA box should contrast with the rest of the page. It needs to stand out and draw the user’s eye to the box immediately – don’t make them look for it or have to think about where to go next. Bright colors, like oranges or green, typically work best.
- Use white space around CTA strategically. Adding white space around the CTA box helps it to stand out and prevents it from getting lost amid other texts/images/colors.
- Color, font, and size should stand out – these CTA elements should look different from everything else on the page.
- Make sure all CTAs are mobile-friendly and that they look good on cell phones and tablets.
- Keep CTAs above the fold.
- Position the CTA prominently on the page. A simple A/B test can tell you where your users’ eyes naturally rest or are drawn to on your page. This is where your CTA should be positioned.
- Moveable CTA boxes that follow users down the page as they scroll make it quick and easy for users to act.
- Eliminate unnecessary CTAs. Having too many CTAs on a page confuses the user, making it difficult for them to know where to click. (or, similarly, users may be confused if other non-clickable elements on your page sound like a CTA but are just regular text. E.g. if a block of text says "Book with us" but isn't clickable, it's masquerading as a CTA, potentially pulling the user's focus away from your sales funnel)
As always, don’t forget to test the performance of your CTAs for mobile. Numerous studies now show that travel-related browsing on mobile devices is on the rise and is predicted only to grow, so to stay competitive, you have to meet the users where they are – that means on their cell phone.
If you want to know more about how to test or optimize the CTAs on your site, let us hear from you! Email Kristin Ravesloot, our Head of Optimization, at firstname.lastname@example.org.