Can Your Web Buttons Affect Your Conversion Rate?

March 27, 2006

We’ve all heard comments about web buttons: “Test the color of your buttons. Test the size of your buttons.” The point that the writer is always making (a good point, BTW), is that small changes can affect your conversion rate, and you should test, test, test.

But we don’t always know what to test, so let me make some suggestions for best practices in buttons.

The best buttons are the ones that give your visitors assurances that they are doing the right thing and going to the right place. So look at this great button from MarketingSherpa‘s email marketing contest:

They tell you exactly what to do “Click here to nominate” and then add a sense of urgency “…today!” They add a picture of a golden cup, so the button stands out, makes it a thousand percent clear that this is about a contest , and perhaps makes you feel like a winner already.

Compare that to “Submit.” Submit can’t convert as well. Not only is it boring, but it really doesn’t tell me what happens after I click it.

Here’s another good one.

“Place my secure order” makes it clear not only that this is the final step, but adds the assurance that the order is secure. That one I worked on, and we saw a significant increase in conversion rate when we brought it out.

How about “Get Adobe Reader”?

None of this “Download” business for Adobe (usually – I still found “download” buttons and buttons that download the old verions)- they make it clear what you are doing and add their branding to the button as well.

Where you put the buttons can be almost as important as what they say. Perhaps more so. Don’t put the action button just below the fold, or you will lose customers who just can’t find it. Don’t bury it in a block of color or some people’s eyes will just ignore it. “Ad blindness,” it’s called. And this may sound incredibly basic, but for most of the world, the left side of the page is back, the way our internet browsers have taught most of us, and the right hand side of the page is forward. So when you are presenting the visitor with a choice, such as continue shopping vs. check out now, the “continue shopping” button goes on the left and the “check out now” button goes on the right.


ps Apologies to anyone who reads the Internet in Hebrew or another language that goes from right to left. It was too late at night when I wrote this to find out if the browser is different, too.