“Your call-to-action should always be above the fold!” You’ve probably come across that golden rule of optimization more than a few times. Chances are, you’ve used the rule yourself. Years ago, I followed it religiously! But then I started testing, and guess what I found out? It doesn’t hold up in practice. Here’s a case study where a landing page treatment, with the CTA placed way under the fold, outperformed the control version (CTA above the fold) by 304%.
The client has asked to be anonymous, but I can tell you that it’s a Danish company I worked with last year. They offer a subscription service where busy families can get dinner recipes and ingredients delivered to their doorstep 3-5 times a week.
They hired me to do a landing page for their PPC-campaigns with the goal of getting potential customers to fill out a contact form so sales could approach them.
The offer itself is pretty complex, and you need quite a bit of information in order to make an informed decision. So it ended up being a long-form landing page with the CTA/form positioned at the top of the page.
Here’s what the control version looked like:
I ran a number of tests on the page and achieved some minor lifts, but I couldn’t really get conversions up as far as I had hoped. However, at some point it dawned on me that having the CTA at the very top of the page might be too aggressive.
Taking the complexity of the offer into consideration, the potential customers might have felt pressured by the fact that the CTA was right in their faces the second they landed on the page.
I decided to really swing for the fences on this one and ended up moving the CTA all the way to the bottom of the page. I set up an A/B split test and let it run until it had a sample size of around 100 conversions and a 98% level of statistical confidence.
Here’s what the treatment looked like:
The results were pretty staggering: Treatment A outperformed the control version by 304%. That was quite a bit more than I had expected, to say the least!
If you look closely, you’ll see that there are a couple of variables apart from the position of the form. The main one being that Treatment A features a picture of different dishes in the space where the CTA was on the control version.
It’s hard to say to which extent these variables influenced conversions. Nevertheless, the fact is that Treatment A, with the CTA positioned below the fold all the way at the bottom of the page, performed significantly better than the one with the CTA above the fold. Something that simply shouldn’t be possible if one were to go strictly by the rule of best practice.
All landing pages, products, offers, and companies are different, just like the motivation of potential customers is going to be different. The point is to find out what works in your specific case, on your particular target audience.
I’ve seen many cases where the CTA has performed well above the fold, just like I’ve seen cases similar to this one, where having the CTA below the fold has gotten the best results. My general observation, from a wide range of landing page tests, is that there is a correlation between the complexity of the product/offer and the optimal placement of the CTA.
If the product/offer is complex, and the prospect has to digest a lot of information in order to make an informed decision, positioning the CTA lower on the page generally works best.
Vice versa, if the product/offer is very simple, and the prospect hardly has to do any thinking in order to make an informed decision, positioning the CTA above the fold generally works best.
You can use this as a guideline for your next landing page – but remember: “Always be testing!” It’s the only way to gain certainty that you’ve found the optimal CTA placement for your particular landing page.
Back to you!
What’s your experience with CTA placement? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop a line in the comments section, and let’s start sharing knowledge. Also, if you have any statistically significant case studies that you’re willing to share, it would be very interesting to see your results.