Optimize Add To Cart Rates With Dynamic Text on CTA


In a previous post – Call to Action: Add to Cart or Buy Now? – I talked about what text you should use on the buttons which start your website’s checkout process. Simply put, you need to display either Buy Now or Add to Cart, depending on your business objectives.

Lately, I came across one retailer that displays both call to actions, right next to each other. I have no idea how this is performing in terms of conversion, but for users like me, the tactic works just fine. If I want to buy just one product, I would click on the Buy button, otherwise I would click on Add.

One way you can improve your conversion rate (or the time on site, bounce rate, pages per visit, etc) is to better match your visitors’ expectations with the website content.

I’ll take the case of a keyword used in a PPC campaign and we’ll improve the landing page to match the user as closely as possible (in terms of the call to action used to find your site).

Let’s say you are selling perfumes online and you attract visitors using paid advertising. You created a highly targeted adgroup targeting visitors that are very close to buying a CHANEL perfume. Your keywords may look like “buy coco chanel perfume” and the synonyms for buy as it follows, “order coco chanel perfume”; “purchase coco chanel perfume”; “shop coco chanel perfume”.

Step 1: tag landing page URLs

You will need to associate each keyword with an unique URL, and tag (add a parameter to the existing URL) them accordingly. The URLs may look like:

  • “buy coco chanel perfume” – www.sitesample.com/coco-chanel.php?cta=”buy”
  • “order coco chanel perfume” – www.sitesample.com/coco-chanel.php?cta=”order”
  • “purchase coco chanel perfume”- www.sitesample.com/coco-chanel.php?cta=”purchase”
  • “shop coco chanel perfume”- www.sitesample.com/coco-chanel.php?cta=”shop”

Step 2: create a CSS/text button

For the landing pages tied with the keywords above you should dynamically change the text on the button which starts the checkout process.

For that you will need to use a CSS trick that displays text over a background image (your button). To see a good sample button, go to Google Analytics login page and look in the source code for the “Access Analytics” button. Here are some tutorials on CSS buttons.

A quick way to see if a button is made of text or image is to try selecting the text with your mouse.

Step 3: dynamically change the text content

Once you finish implementing the hybrid CSS text button, tell your programmers to read the cta parameter (can be in any other naming convention) when someone comes on your site and then build the landing page dynamically, by replacing the default text on the CSS button with the cta parameter.

Now, when someone comes from your PPC ads using the keyword “purchase coco chanel perfume” the button should display “Purchase Now” and not “Buy Now”, which is much closer to what the visitor had in mind when they typed the query.

Do you want to go a little bit further ? A/B tests, baby! A/B testing!

  • Display “Purchase Now” versus
  • Display “Purchase{Product Name Here}Now

If you decide to test the tactics above, let us know the results.

In my opinion, one of the most under appreciated tactics used for conversion optimization is URL tagging and landing page personalization (segmentation). Once properly implemented, these tactics can have a dramatic effect on your KPIs. Just think of what you can do if you combine cookie techniques with tagged urls: content segmentation, different prices for new and existing users, promotions to attract new customers, visitors frequency based prices…

Happy Optimization in 2009!

Pitstop Media offers ROI based internet marketing services. If you need help with your search engine optimization projects or with pay per click management and/or PPC optimization please contact us for a free, no obligation quote. We’ve helped companies rank on the first page of Google in a short period of time for highly competitive terms, and we’ve reduced paid advertising cost by as much as 48% while increased AdWords conversion rates by as much as 410% . Let us rank your website on the first page, too!

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Traian is Director of Search Marketing at Pitstop Media Inc. He has more than 11 years experience in helping small and medium businesses generate and convert organic traffic from search engines. Connect with Traian on Google+. He is also the author of the Ecommerce SEO book.


5 Responses to “Optimize Add To Cart Rates With Dynamic Text on CTA”

  1. Kurt Trew said:

    Jun 15, 09 at 2:24 pm

    Very useful article, TraiaN.

    I wrote an article about my favourite top ten call to action buttons on my blog. Not just my favourite from a visual, graphic design perspective, but ones that have actually caused an action by me, leading to an enquiry or purchase. Nice work :0)

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  2. TraiaN said:

    Jun 15, 09 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks, Kurt. I appreciate it.

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  3. Anna said:

    Sep 17, 09 at 6:01 pm

    Hey TraiaN,

    I completely agree with you and that’s the way I found the best conversions myself! :) I have not taken it to the level of button text matching, but it seems worth a try.
    It’s kind of following the scent (which The Grok likes talking about) but at a text level – which is a micro section of the overall scent / design integration.

    Thanks for the post.

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  4. TraiaN said:

    Sep 18, 09 at 9:35 am

    You’re welcome Anna. If you try the text matching let me know the outcome. Cheers!

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  5. Parkat said:

    Feb 08, 11 at 9:40 am

    Great tips, does the colour make a huge difference?

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