Click here. Sign up now. Add to cart. Since the dawn of the internet, we’ve all noticed call-to-action buttons. And despite how many times we’ve clicked on, clicked through, and even clicked out of these ads/pop-ups/buttons, they keep popping up.

That’s because call-to-action buttons work. Period.

One of the main goals of any blog post, website, or online store is to get your customers (past, current, and future) to do something. Sometimes that means navigating to that next page of your website, other times, it’s signing up a future customer to your email list.

Call-to-action buttons are essential to every business’s online growth, so we put together this list of 5 incredible call-to-action best practices to increase engagement on your website.

What Is a Call-To-Action Button?

A Call-to-action (CTA) is a critical visual element on a website that entices users to take specific actions, like sign-up for a newsletter, sharing a blog post, or completing a purchase.

The ultimate goal for every call-to-action is to increase conversion optimization. Some websites overload you with multiple call-to-actions on a single webpage: sign up now, yes I want more information, book a call. Others keep it simple with just one to avoid too many choices.

Compelling call-to-action buttons can guide users into your marketing funnel, increase conversions, close sales and lead to engagements that advance your brand as an authority in your industry.

While some data-driven call to action best practices exist, ultimately, the best way to judge whether or not your CTA buttons are working is through testing and adapting.

Why Does My Website Need a CTA?

The answer is simple: every business needs to have a funnel for customers visiting their website, and call-to-action buttons drive customers towards the bottom of that funnel.

Maybe it’s getting them to sign up for your email newsletter or booking a call. Before setting up any call-to-action button on your website, have an idea of your ultimate goal for a customer visiting your website.

Without an attractive CTA on your website, customers aimlessly navigate the site and, more often than not, do not end up in your marketing funnel.

Utilizing our five best call-to-action best practices, your website will increase engagement, move customers through the marketing funnel, and build your email list with interested clients.

Types of CTAs

There are a variety of call-to-action buttons to place on your website. For the best results, experiment with a few different types of call-to-action buttons throughout the site. After a period of time , depending on your overall site traffic, you should begin to identify which particular ones are working, ones that are not, and ones that need redesigns.

Here are a couple of the most common types of CTA buttons.

Lead Magnet CTA

A lead magnet call-to-action convinces users to exchange their information, usually an email address, in exchange for access to high-value content. Of all types of CTA’s, lead magnets are the most time-consuming yet most effective for building your email list.

The first thing you need to know about any lead magnet CTA is that the lead magnet needs to be something worth value. 

How often have you clicked out of a pop-up or window because they just asked you to sign up for their email newsletter? Probably a lot.

Instead, create something worth a reader’s time. Maybe offer a nice discount when a customer signs up for your mailing list or possibly write an ebook. No matter what, provide as much free value as possible in exchange for their contact information.

Social Media CTA

This type of call-to-action encourages users to share a piece of content with their friends on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. 

Not only does this help generate more links to your online content, but it positions you as a thought leader so you can grow your following and generate leads for future business.

You’ll notice these CTAs on almost every blog page at the top, bottom, or side. One-click sharing on social media increases the visibility of a post and possibly introduces your content to a whole new audience.

Even if you’re not personally active on social media, your blog needs easy share-to-social buttons.

Buy Now CTA

This type of CTA entices the customers to make a purchase. It is very sales-focused and found on the product pages of a website.

A button that says “Buy Now” is more compelling than one that says “Add to Cart” because customers want the online experience to be as simple and easy as possible. One-click sounds a lot better than two.

Make sure your online store’s functionality works as advertised; otherwise, customers may not appreciate the extra work involved.

In addition to the “Buy Now” CTA, Amazon revolutionized the online shopping experience by including a section entitled “Frequently Bought Together.” You can add up to three items to your cart related to whichever product you purchase with one button.

Simple. Easy. Effective. A simple option is much more rewarding than the complex one.

Read/Learn More CTA

Located in the content feed section, the “Read More” CTA teases your readers by showing them a few lines of your content and invites them to click the button to read or learn more.

Most often featured in online newspapers or magazines, the read more button is a gateway for attaining subscribers. Depending on how interesting the opening paragraphs of the piece you’re teasing us, the more or less likely someone is willing to pay for your content.

These tend to be some of the least compelling CTA’s as, more often than not, you’re not asking for anything in return.

Related Posts CTA

Like the “Read More” CTA, a “Related Posts” call-to-action connects users to other relevant or related content. This works well for online magazines or newspapers as the content is curated based on the articles currently read.

This is a low-level CTA, or top of the funnel, as you’re just trying to get readers to continue navigating your website content. Don’t expect a ton of conversions through this type of CTA.

How Do I Know If My CTA Buttons Are Working?

Let me say this very clearly: if you aren’t checking to see how your call-to-action buttons are working, you need to right away.

Test and measure.

I’ll say it once more, test and measure. Every CTA button should be measured quantitatively to make sure it is working, and if it’s not, it’s time to make adjustments.

There are a couple of ways to identify whether or not CTA buttons are working.

Most email services like MailChimp, MailerLite, etc., allow users to create pop-ups and buttons to build email subscribers. If you are using such a service, check the analytics to ensure potential users/customers are clicking the links, signing up, and using the service.

In addition, any pop-up creator or quiz-maker includes similar data points. Check on them frequently as the information changes over time due to different viewing patterns, web traffic, and SEO rankings.

Another beneficial way to check the effectiveness of your CTA buttons is through a service like Hotjar or MSN Clarity. This software tracks user data on your website to show you exactly where they are clicking and how they interact with your website. If you watch users visit your website and they aren’t tapping any of your buttons, you now know it’s time for some edits.

Hotjar is just another form of analytics that ties back to the original idea: test and measure.

5 Call-to-Action Best Practices to Boost Conversions

While testing and measuring which call-to-action buttons work best, some data-driven best practices help boost conversions.

1. Make it actionable.

Instead of using vague phrases like ‘click here, or ‘submit,’ be more specific. Use short, striking phrases with strong, actionable verbs.

A couple of great examples include “Yes, I want XX” and “Activate Your Offer Now,” which directly encourage customers to click or sign up for services. 

2. Make it stand out.

A high-converting CTA is visually gripping without being obnoxious. Do note that the color of your CTA button should not blend into the background. 

Contrasting colors work the best, and bright greens work well as our mind automatically associates green with forwarding progress.

This is an easy thing to test with A/B testing. Google has a free testing tool called Google Optimize that will allow you to easily A/B test with live website traffic.

3. Make it first-person.

Replace “you” with “I” and “your” with “mine.” 

When writing content, we are often told to use ‘you’ because it’s a way to make the reader feel like we are talking directly to them. 

But when it comes to call-to-action buttons, using words like ‘I,’ ‘my,’ and ‘mine’ allows the user to visualize the action they are going to take.

4. Create urgency.

Compelling CTA buttons create a sense of urgency among the users. 

It snaps them out of the passive browsing mode and inspires them to take action immediately. 

Adding words or phrases like ‘Now’ or ‘within X days/hours/minutes’ will quickly make your CTA more magnetizing and time-sensitive.

5. Don’t let the fold intimidate you.

The obsession with keeping everything vital ‘above the fold’ has produced some very paranoid marketers who jam-pack the top half of web pages with many different elements.  

The idea that users don’t like to scroll is a myth. 

If your content is gripping, users will have no problems scrolling down to the page where CTAs are usually found. And most mobile devices do away with that concept of “the fold” altogether.

Instead of putting it in a spot that obstructs the visitor’s browsing experience, focus on placing the call-to-action where it naturally fits.

Want Help Developing Your CTAs?

Mastering the art and science of getting users to push the right buttons comes down to constantly testing the performance of your CTAs and optimizing them based on the results. Because what works on one website may not do well on yours, and what worked last year may fail to produce results now.

If you want help developing effective, optimized website CTAs, call The Loop Marketing for a free consultation today.

author avatar
Elijah Litscher
Elijah Litscher is an author, educator, entrepreneur, and marketing innovator with over 18 years of experience in digital marketing. He has traveled extensively as a professional speaker while educating thousands of business owners across the country in online marketing best practices. Elijah is committed to empowering small and medium-sized businesses to reach their full potential online as founder and Chief Digital Strategist at The Loop Marketing Inc. in Chicago, Illinois.