Make a More Effective CTA Button in 5 Minutes
A well-designed CTA button is one of the most important elements you can use in your blog post or landing page. A strong button will draw attention and lead to more conversions than a weak one.
In the following article, we'll discuss what to expect from CTA buttons, so you can see how to create and use them effectively in a variety of different contexts. I'll also tell you my secret for making your call to action buttons more effective in 5 minutes.
You're going to learn how and where to add call to action buttons to your landing page and blog posts.
We'll take a look at why CTA (call to action) buttons are so important and how they can make a real difference for your conversion rates.
Are you ready to learn more about making the best clickable call to actions?
Let's get started!
What is a call to action?
CTA stands for call to action, the part of a webpage or an advertisement that encourages, guides, or compels a viewer to do something. CTAs can be used on all types of marketing materials and on every platform you're marketing on. They increase conversions on inbound marketing sites, eCommerce stores, blogs, and landing pages. Call to actions are used in marketing to draw attention and drive a viewer or reader to become a new lead or customer. A CTA can drive a variety of different actions depending on the content's goal.
CTAs can be used on social media posts, ads, reviews, in ebooks…anywhere you can think of!
You can create simple call to actions for your social media posts with templates from Canva - like the one below
What is a CTA button?
CTA buttons are the links that direct your visitors to any "call to action". Usually, a CTA button or banner is used in case you would like someone to sign up for an email list, download an eBook or purchase a product. However there are limitless ways how you can use CTA buttons on your website.
Let's take a look at the psychology behind call to action buttons and why you need to be using them in your web design.
CTA buttons: Why they matter & how to use them effectively.
You may be asking yourself if you need to use a call to action at all. After all, it's not like you can't get people to click on things without using an actual button that says "click here" right? You can of course use text links to make people take action too.
But this is not what a truly optimized webpage would look like - and you're not trying to optimize for just anyone; you're optimizing for those who are most likely to take action.
Who uses CTA buttons?
A call to action button is simply any visual indicator that encourages the reader or viewer to take any action that they would not otherwise have done had the button been absent. It's a simple concept that drives home the point that a CTA button can be anything from an actual button to a simple phrase.
Call to action buttons are used all over the internet, but they're often not effective due to factors such as design and content quality. People are hesitant to use them. This is because if you fail to design a good CTA button, it can really turn people off - and that's the last thing you want!
Why can a call to action button so effective for your landing page?
CTA buttons are effective because they offer the user an opportunity to act, and it makes that action clear. A simple fact is: people who understand what you want them to do are more likely to do it.
The CTA buttons above make it very clear what action you want the visitor to take and also provide a reason why they should take that action. Don't make people think too hard to understand what you want them to do!
Clickable CTAs have been proven many times over to create a sense of urgency. CTAs can be used on all types of marketing materials and on every platform you're marketing on.
Why should you care about CTA buttons?
You may be wondering how a simple button on your page or advertisement can make such a huge difference.
One study found adding a simple call to action button to their article templates increased conversions by 83%, and it boosted e-commerce conversions by 22%. That's a huge improvement!
How you use your call to action is equally as important.
A bad call to action button won't increase your click-through rate. You need to know how to make great call to action buttons in order for it to succeed.
It's important that you know what elements are needed when creating a call to action if you want your marketing material to reach its full potential and convert as effectively as possible.
We'll discuss all of this, as well as how and when to add a call to action button to your page, in this guide.
Making an effective call to action button requires two things: a good design and good content.
You need both areas of your marketing material optimized for maximum effectiveness.
If you're going to be using clickable call to action buttons on your website or any other type of advertisement, here are a few tips to help you make the most effective and conversion-driven call to action possible.
What is an effective CTA?
Before we move on, let's take a look at what makes a good (or bad) call to action button.
What should it look like?
How large does it need to be?
Are there any colors that work much better than others?
Should you include text in your call to action buttons or leave it blank?
We'll discuss all of this and more below, but for now, the most important thing to remember is that even a call to action requires visual cues.
It should be clearly obvious what the reader needs to do when they see your page. If your viewer is left scratching their head, they'll leave without taking any action at all.
It's also important that your design for the call to action button matches the rest of your marketing page or advertisement.
This ties into what I mentioned above about creating visual consistency and keeping people engaged in your content while they're on your site or looking at one of your ads.
Types of call to action.
There are many different types of call to action that you can include in your copy. Let's take a look a few of them now:
Timing words to create urgency.
Your goal is to make people take action.
One use case saw an increase of 332% using scarcity and urgency to create urgency.
Another created urgency by using the timing word "now" in its call-to-action button.
A sense of urgency is a strong catalyst. It captures the user's attention and rushes people into action, which is exactly what you need on your landing pages and web pages. As long as people feel compelled to act on your offer, your goal has been accomplished.
In this case, urgent words such as 'today', 'now', and 'get started', will help you get more clicks on your call to action buttons.
Examples of CTA's that create urgency are:
Sign up now
Get started now
Call us now
Check it out now!
Get in touch today before it's too late
Act fast while this offer lasts
Limited period only
Offer expires soon
Order immediately for the lowest price available
Use frequency words to trigger consumer action.
When Tim Sanders was head of marketing at Yahoo, he used a psychological tactic to boost conversions for the company. He knew that people would respond more favorably when he used 'frequent' words in his CTA buttons.
You can use frequency words to trigger consumer action using a few simple methods:
Use the word "daily" in your CTA button to indicate daily actions. The goal is to make people think of this action as something easy and simple, so they will take action every day.
You can even create a sentence around the word 'daily' on your landing page or ad copy.
For instance, if you were selling coaching services, something like this would work:
"Get the daily action steps to effective copywriting!"
If you want people to take a weekly or monthly action, just use the words "weekly" or "monthly."
Examples of CTA's that create frequency are:
Get weekly updates in your inbox
Sign up for our monthly newsletter! Order your monthly subscription box
Invoke positive emotions with your buttons.
A CTA button that contains "get started" evokes positive emotions. Emotionality (e.g. laughter, humor, awe) will help increase the chance of your button being clicked.
Invoking positive emotions makes it easy to connect, increase trust and make money.
Examples of CTA's that invoke positive emotions are:
Try it today, for free!
Try it for Free
Opt-in to find out more
Become a member now!
Join us on Facebook!
The right emotional trigger can make all the difference in conversion rates, and this is an effective way of doing it.
These types of CTA button are used all the time. Try adding some emotional value to the CTA and see if it increases conversions for you.
Use power words to increase engagement.
Acquire users' attention with buttons that use power words.
Power words are going to help you get more conversions, especially for placement on landing pages. If you already have high converting landing page copy, you need an action button to compel users to take the desired action.
Examples of CTA's that use power words are:
Apply now to receive a free trial
Contact us for a risk-free demo
Contact us to get started today
Ask how you can improve your conversion rate by 30% or more!
Sign up here
This is such an effective way to grab attention with CTA buttons and should be used if you are struggling to convert visitors from your landing pages.
Persuasive words for your call to action button
If you're not sure what action to take, consider changing the button text on the page by adding a persuasive title to the button and seeing what converts best for your landing page. Persuasive words are the best way to increase clicks, so try changing the CTA on your landing page and see what works best.
Examples of CTA's that use persuasive action words are:
Order now and get free shipping
Enter your email to receive a free trial available to new customers only.
Now is the perfect time to try our service
See what's new! Call us today for a better price on this great product.
Limited Offer - Try it Free Today!
Have you seen what we are up to?
These are just some of the examples of CTA's that you can use on your landing pages. All you need to do is create a short, descriptive, and persuasive button text for each conversion goal.
With a little practice, you can make an excellent CTA copy that drives conversions in no time at all!
Now we understand the language that helps guide users to take action, let's look at the design elements such as fonts, button shape, and button color.
Test and use the right button and font color.
You need a clear font in a color that stands out with a solid color to attract visitors to your landing page. Colors appeal to human emotions. People can make decisions based solely on the color scheme used.
This is a good example from PicMonkey. They are using that orange CTA button with just enough space between the button and text.
Orange invokes a sense of urgency.
White space around the button creates a sense of calmness.
HubSpot ran a test with green and red buttons to determine which color converts better on their client's web page.
The result showed that red was a more effective call-to-action color, especially when combined with white space surrounding the button.
Why? Because it is the color that attracts attention and makes people take action far more than blue and black, which are conservative colors. When you use one of these conservative colors, the rate of the desired action will be lower.
If you place your CTA button on a green background, it may be hard to read. Green seems like it should be an action color, as we know from traffic lights that green means 'go'.
However, in web design, green is not a great choice for CTA buttons because it is not a color that conveys action.
Make sure your CTA buttons look clickable.
When designing calls to action, make sure your button looks clickable. Users don't want to wonder whether or not they should click it. They need to feel confident that clicking on the CTA will lead them somewhere. You can achieve this by using the right font type, text color, and button shape.
If your button is not clickable by a user, they will leave the page immediately.
The primary goal of a button is to get a visitor to take action by clicking on it. If users cannot figure out what to do on the page as soon as they land there, they will leave. A CTA button should be large enough to stand out amongst the words and other page elements.
Make sure your CTA button is readable.
The text on your CTA buttons needs to reflect the action you want users to take, such as 'Select' or 'Sign up'.
Make sure that whatever text you use describes what is being offered and is also clear and readable on all devices.
A study by HubSpot showed that increasing the font size of a button by 20% increased conversion rates by 21%. It seems simple, but making your CTA buttons stand out from the rest of the page is easily accomplished and will show results.
White space around your CTAs
Good use of white space in web design, between paragraphs and margins in text, increases comprehension by 20%. Therefore it makes sense that whitespace around your call to action button creates clarity of purpose.
Use a button shape that stands out.
There are three main types of call-to-action shapes: horizontal, vertical, or square.
There is no formula for which one works best; it's more about the shape aligning with the overall look and feel of your site.
When choosing a call-to-action button, the most important consideration is its size relative to other page elements.
When choosing a button shape for your CTA, you need to pick the one that is most likely to get clicked.
The horizontal button works well for websites where there are limited assets on the page, and it's easier to fill that empty space on the side of the page with a horizontal button.
Vertical buttons are best on websites where there is a lot of content, as they provide users with more room to find the CTA.
Square buttons are also very popular because they give you more space on small screens.
Stay consistent with your button design across all devices.
If you're using a horizontal button on desktops, then use a horizontal button on mobile phones and tablets. This will help users navigate around your site easily without being confused.
Placement of call to action buttons
Now you understand exactly what language and design elements to pay attention to for the best call to action buttons, where should you put them? Where you place the CTA is just as important as how many you have! Here are the best places to add a CTA button:
On your homepage.
The homepage is one of the most visited pages on your website, and it's usually where you should include a call to action. The homepage doesn't necessarily have to be an actual page with text, it can also be used as a landing page, which will be a page containing all features of your website.
At the end of a blog post.
The next ideal place for CTA buttons is at the end of each blog post you publish. Research shows that displaying CTAs on your blog posts can boost conversions by over 40%. That's because CTAs are designed to focus attention and compel your readers to take action.
Before each blog post.
If you have a lot of blog posts on your website, it's not very effective to put the CTAs at the end, because some people will just skip those parts and go straight to the content they were looking for. That's why I suggest you add a CTA to your blog's sidebar that will direct visitors straight to the most popular posts.
Just below the title of an article.
In order to make sure your visitors don't miss these important links, you can also include CTAs directly below the title on all of your blog posts or landing pages. That way, users always know what actions you're suggesting for them to take.
With Author Information.
CTA buttons can also be placed just above or below your blog post's author information section. This will increase conversions because people read the authors' name and then click on the button to see more of their articles, which is a great opportunity to keep readers engaged with your brand.
Just below your post's featured image.
Placing a call to action button directly below the featured image on blog posts has proven very effective at increasing click rates (and by extension, conversions). This placement can be particularly useful if the CTA is for a lead magnet or contest that you'd like readers to complete and submit their names for.
Below a video.
Another effective placement for your call to action buttons is below a video. Video is one of the most popular types of content, and it's an easy way to show off your company or product in a real-life environment. That way, users will be able to visualize what they should expect when dealing with you .
Anywhere else on your website.
CTA buttons are a great way to direct users to any other page on your website, including email collections, case studies, special offers or sales at the store…virtually anywhere!
CTAs have been proven to increase conversion rates by over 20% so you should definitely consider adding them everywhere .
It's important that your call to action buttons stand out from the rest of your website in order to grab user attention. The most common way of accomplishing this effect is by using bright colors and clear contrast so that CTAs attract attention even when you have a lot of other visuals on a page, such as images or text.
Should a call to action button be above the fold or below?
Remember, you want to use CTAs that work for your business and that are aligned with your marketing goals.
If I had to choose, I'd say it's better to have a CTA above the fold. However, if you're using a full-width banner or a full-width hero image, you don't really have a choice.
If your CTAs are part of an email sign-up form or blog sidebar, they're likely to be below the fold; so make sure that you're using CTAs in other areas too!
CTAs are vital to your marketing campaign because they tell the visitor everything they need to know about what you want them to do.
Get creative with your CTAs and put thought into how many you have, where they go, and what actions you want people to take!
Adhere to the "three-click rule."
If you want a user to take action after they land on your website, try sticking within three clicks of their initial landing page.
After the first click, the visitor will expect that there be some kind of benefit (I'll get into this more later). If you make the reader click more than three times to get a benefit, they will be turned off.
Website users are constantly looking for ways to improve their lives, and you can play on that mentality with this strategy.
By using persuasive words and actionable phrases in CTA copy, you can motivate your visitors to take action at a faster pace.
The goal is to get the user to take action within three interactions, so use that as your benchmark for planning.
Positioning your CTA relative to other elements on the page
To help visitors find your call to action and take immediate action, position it next to the most important message on a page. It should also be in line with what you want users to do.
For example, on an online store page, the buy button might be positioned above the fold to encourage users to purchase a product without having to scroll down.
Place your buttons where people click.
Understanding how people navigate your website can help you to place your CTA buttons in the best place.
Apps like Hotjar can help you to place your call to action buttons where they will be the most effective.
Visitor recording shows users how people navigate your site and how they end the search. You can identify opportunities to improve sales, engagement, and email sign-ups. If you place your CTA button where visitors start navigating your site or where they stop, you'll increase your click rate.
Add the product image above your button.
Design plays a key role when it comes to getting your call-to-action button clicked. On e-commerce sites, positioning a product image above the button will likely increase the click rate because people can see what they'll get from clicking the button.
If you don't have a product image, then you can feature an image of the benefit of what they get by clicking the button. This can be as simple as an image of a happy person!
How many CTA buttons should you have?
There's no right or wrong answer here, but there are a few ways you can determine how many CTAs to use on your website. Here are some questions you can ask to help you determine this:
What is the goal of this page?
For example, should you be trying to start a conversation with them or get them to sign up for your newsletter? If you have multiple goals, should the CTAs reflect that? Should they all be different, or can you use some of the same CTA buttons in different areas of your page?
What information do I need to collect from them?
Do you need to ask someone their name, email address, phone number? Do they have any concerns or questions that can be addressed before they convert? This can determine the amount of CTA buttons you use.
What CTAs are important on this page?
If you're running a blog post and you want them to engage with the post, you'd want a CTA button that is specific to that action. You can also link them to a document where they'll find lots of helpful information on your topic and add some useful resources for them!
Some of your CTAs will focus more on getting someone to take action now, and others may be focused on long-term engagement, like signing up for a newsletter or trying a sample product.
Don't use too many CTA buttons on one page.
Overuse of CTAs will distract visitors from doing what they came to your website for in the first place.
The best number of calls to action on a page seems to be between 2 and 6. If you have too many, visitors will find it confusing. If you use too few, they won't know which one to choose.
If there are too many clickable links or buttons on a page, it can be confusing for visitors to determine which is the right one for them.
You can have two calls to action. Incorporate a secondary call to action with text links highlighted in contrasting colors. Blue text links have been proven to be the highest converting color.
Tell people not to click.
Negative emotions are stronger than positive ones, so people will dare to do what they don't want them to do. If your call to action button says "don't click here" or "don't click this button", your users will click on it. It's human nature!
This strategy isn't for everyone, and you will have to be careful when applying it… not everyone likes this kind of irony. But, if you can apply it in a creative way to your conversion funnel process and button copy, it might help you gain a good deal more conversions.
Use humor and personality.
I've talked about using emotion when writing copy before, mainly to encourage people to buy. Adding a touch of humor or your own personality can be a perfect example of a great call to action for certain use cases.
For example, if your brand is your business (think coaches, personalities, etc.), a button that says something the way you would say it in the first person can really resonate with your target audience.
People are immediately drawn to humor, and this is a great way to encourage people to click your button.
If it works with your brand and style, even an emoji can be a simple call to action.
Examples of CTA Buttons on landing pages
Jarvis: You can't beat free
This simple CTA button from Jarvis is a perfect example of how to use the "magic" word for free. By allowing users to sign up for a free trial account, Jarvis hopes the sign-ups lead users to upgrade to their subscription.
Your product or service must offer a free trial for you to add this wording to your CTA in order to get users to buy a subscription to your product or site. This type of CTA is one of the most effective strategies to use in your copy.
How can call to action buttons benefit your website's conversion rates?
CTAs can be a benefit in a number of different ways. CTAs give the user clear direction on what action you want them to take and why it's so important that they do it. This makes the process much easier for them and helps reduce any friction that may be present when trying to convert website visitors into leads or customers.
CTAs are visual and ensure that the important actions are clear, which is especially helpful for mobile users who may have limited screen space available to see your marketing material. The image of a button makes it very clear what action you want the visitor to take and also provides a reason why they should take that action. Don't make people think too hard to understand what you want them to do!