March 2, 2015 / Melissa Faudree

What is a Call to Action Button? (CTA)

A call to action button is a button that is located on your website or landing page to drive leads with the goal of converting visitors into customers. Users must click on the button in order to take action. CTAs aren’t just specific for leads. They can serve many purposes. CTAs can also be a banner, text or a graphic. The ultimate goal of call to action buttons is to prompt a visitor with a response to do something.

Careful planning is essential when creating call to action buttons because it impacts conversion. We will explain some of the best practices for creating an effective call to action button.

Action Words

You want to motivate your visitors to act on your website immediately. Action words stress urgency. However, you don’t want to mislead your visitors about what you want them to do. You simply want to encourage them to act right away. You could use incentives (such as offering things for free or discounts) to help encourage visitors to take the next step. It is important to know that CTAs vary on their purpose. Not every CTA will tell visitors to perform the same action. Here are some common actions of CTAs:

  • Download
  • Call
  • Subscribe
  • Register
  • Join
  • Buy/Donate
  • Learn more
  • Try

You can add words such as NOW, TODAY, LIMITED TIME for urgency. This will help increase visitors to act fast because they don’t know how long this offer could last. If you want more ideas on words and phrases for higher conversion, read Buffer’s article that includes over 189 words for conversion.

Clear and Specific

Tell your visitors what you want them to do. Don’t make them guess about what the button does. If there is any confusion, your visitors won’t convert. Always give them clear instructions on their next course of action. Call to action buttons should contain only 2-5 words. This allows you to get your message across directly by carefully choosing your words. You should also avoid using “Click here” because it is not only unclear, it doesn’t specify a purpose. Users should expect what their next step will be.

Focused Number

You don’t want to overwhelm your visitors with CTAs on your website. However, if you have more than one, your call to action buttons should be placed on your website based on priority. What is the most important thing you want visitors to do? If you want visitors to sign up for your email list, make that button prominent. The crucial part is that you don’t want to dilute your message by including too many CTAs. The size, color and placement will help decipher which is more important.


Position: Your CTA should be placed at the fold of the page in order to be more effective. This means that users should not have to scroll to see your button. It has been tested and proven that most visitors do not scroll.

Size: The size of your CTA should be large enough to be seen from a distance but it also shouldn’t take up too much space on your page. If the button is too small it won’t get noticed on your page. There has to be a happy medium size for your button. You also need to consider the typeface of your button. It should be large and easy to read. Does the it match the rest of your design?

Color: You want to use vibrant colors that will grab the attention of visitors. If you don’t use vibrant colors, be sure there is contrast between the button color, text, and background. You should keep in mind the overall design of your website along with your brand when you create CTAs.

White space: Your button should have an appropriate amount of white space around it. This helps guide visitors to your button, making it stand out. White space gives dominance to your buttons on your page. If you want to avoid distraction you can create a minimalist page design that focuses on the call to action.

Direction: Your button can direct visitors where to look. For example, the design can include arrows to help show where visitors need to go next.

Shape: The shape of your button does not have to be a square or rectangle. You can use a variety of shapes for your call to action button. Depending on your layout and brand, you could include hand drawn objects, pictures, or other shapes. If you aren’t constricted, you can add creative types of call to action buttons to your website.

Examples of Good Call to Actions










Things to Remember

Call to action buttons are key for driving conversion. It is essential to utilize actions words to provoke visitors to click on your call to action button. You also need to consider the design, language, and the number of buttons. One of the most important things about call to action button is that they should offer value for your visitors.

Posted In: Blog, Design