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Effective CTA (call to action) on the website - what a call to action should look like

Effective CTA (call to action) on a website - what a call to action should look like | Two Colours article
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A call to action, better known as a call to action (CTA), is a key element of any website, and its power can significantly affect the effectiveness of your sales strategy. While many sites use CTAs, not all can exploit their full potential. In this article, we'll delve into the ins and outs of creating an effective call to action, discovering how to design and implement calls to action that not only attract attention, but also convert effectively. If you want to fully understand the topic, you're in the right place.
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In this article you will learn that:

  • Call to Action is a key element of website design and an important marketing tool.
  • The effectiveness of a call to action can be measured by the clarity and precision of the message.
  • It is important that the CTA message provides clear benefits to the user and motivates them to take action.
  • The aesthetics, color scheme and design of the call to action button are important to its effectiveness.
  • Proper placement of CTAs on the page can increase the chances of conversion.
  • When creating a call to action button, it is worth remembering that there are common mistakes in its design that can reduce the effectiveness of the site.
  • Knowing your target audience and their needs is key to creating an effective CTA.
  • A/B testing can help optimize CTAs and increase conversions.
  • There are many tools and technologies that support the creation and optimization of CTAs.
  • Analyzing user behavior on the site is an important step in creating an effective CTA.

What is a CTA - definition of a call to action

In the world of digital marketing, the term "call to action" is very well known. It's nothing more than an invitation to users to take a specific action when they visit your site. Whether it's through purchasing a product, signing up for a newsletter or diving deeper into content, CTAs help shape the path of the user experience and direct them toward specific goals. What types of CTAs are there, and what relevance do they have for your site? Let's delve into the definition to better understand this essential component of your online marketing strategy.

Definition of CTA

Call to action is not only a key element of website design, but also a powerful marketing tool. In practice, a CTA is a link that, when clicked, directs the user to a designated location, such as a landing page, a product page in an online store, a newsletter sign-up form or an application login page.

There are two basic types of CTAs:

Main CTA: This is the focal point of your message. The main call to action can direct users to the actions that are most important to you, such as filling out a contact form, signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. The main CTA should be prominently featured to grab the attention and interest of visitors.

Side CTAs: They help navigate and support the main message. They can be buttons such as "see more," "read more" or "read more about us." While they serve a supportive function, their presence is critical to the overall usability and clarity of the site.

Examples of main and side CTAs on a websiteExamples of main and side CTAs on a website

The key is to make the two types of CTAs easily distinguishable to the user. The main CTA button, which is the priority, can be filled in with color, while side CTAs can be more subtle, for example, just framed in color. By keeping the main CTA in key places on the page, you effectively direct users' attention to where you most want it.

Why is CTA so important for websites?

Imagine a ship's captain who flawlessly guides his ship through complex sea lanes, avoiding all dangers, but forgets the basic issue: there is no map leading to the port. The entire voyage, despite its uniqueness, can be pointless if there is no specific destination. The same is true for a website without a well-designed CTA. You can provide users with fascinating content and experiences, but without a clear direction, they may leave your portal without achieving your intended goal. A call to action is nothing more than a compass for your users that leads them exactly where you want them to go. Simply put - a website without a well-designed CTA simply won't be effective. Do we have your attention? Good. Now let's get down to specifics and talk about the characteristics of an effective call to action. 

Features of an effective CTA on a website

For a call to action to be effective, we need to pay attention to several key elements. Understanding these aspects will allow us not only to attract the user's attention, but also to convert that attention into the action we want.

Clarity and precision of the message

Think of the CTA as a guide for your recipient. A simple and clear message is the key to success. In order to encourage the user to perform a certain action, it is a good idea to avoid complicated wording and focus on concise and unambiguous commands. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Keep it simple: There is no point in using complicated or poetic wording. Examples of such simple but effective CTAs are "Try it for free," "Sign up for a newsletter," or "Buy now."

A simple CTA message on a website

Use the first person: Studies show that under the right circumstances, CTA messages in the first person singular can be more effective because the user feels more engaged. Instead of "Sign up for our newsletter," you could write "I want to get information about promotions." However, it is worth remembering that there are no certainties in terms of the effectiveness of such an approach. It all depends on the context and the target audience. To make sure which wording works better, it's worth conducting A/B tests, which we're about to discuss.

CTA in the first person on the website

The use of motivational words - the language of benefits

When a user sees your CTA, the first thing they think is: "What will I get out of this?". Your job is to provide him with the answer in a clear and compelling way.

Clear benefits: To answer this essential user question, you need to emphasize the benefits that the action will bring to the user. Think through what is the added value of your offer and try to include it in the CTA. Examples of such slogans include: "Sign up and receive a free e-book" or "Sign up and discover exclusive content."

Benefit language in CTAs - try it out for free

Stimulating a sense of urgency: Using the FOMO (fear of missing out) mechanism, you can effectively increase the recipient's desire to act. The feeling of having to make a decision "here and now" so as not to miss an opportunity can be a powerful motivator. Although phrases such as "Last pieces," "Only 5 seats left," or "Promotion until the end of the day" are often not directly placed on CTA buttons, they are an excellent complement that reinforces the effect of the main message when they appear right below the button.

Positive language: People respond to positive affirmations. Phrases such as "Join satisfied customers" or "Join our success community" carry the promise of a positive experience and reinforce the vision of benefits.

Avoiding negative language: Even unconsciously, negative words can influence the recipient's decision. Instead of writing "Don't miss out," it is better to focus on a positive message and write "Take advantage now."

Concretization: The more specific the benefit, the more attractive it is. Instead of a general "Get more", it is better to write "Get 20% more points with each purchase".

CTA benefit language on the website

Authenticity: Internet users are increasingly sensitive to empty promises. That's why it's important that the promises in your CTAs are real. Authentic messages that truly reflect what you are offering build trust and brand credibility.

Aesthetics, colors and design

The visual aspect of a CTA is just as important as its content. Keep in mind elements such as:

Contrast: For a CTA to attract attention, it must stand out. Choose colors that contrast with the background, but at the same time harmonize with the overall color scheme of the site. For example, if your site has mostly cool colors, a CTA button in a warm color, such as red or orange, will stand out, but at the same time will not "scream" at the user.

Prominent CTA button on the website

Adaptation to mobile devices: In the age of smartphones and tablets, optimizing CTAs for mobile devices is a must. Buttons must be large enough to be easily clickable with a finger, while not dominating the screen. In addition, the content of the CTA must be legible - a font that is too small will be difficult to read on smaller screens.

Shape and dimensions: Studies have shown that round edges can be more user-friendly than sharp ones. Therefore, consider using buttons with rounded corners. However, the brand's key visual should be kept in mind. If the branding does not allow the use of rounded corners, they should not be used, in order to maintain consistency with the visual identity.The button should also be neither too large nor too small - it must be properly proportioned to the rest of the content on the page. 

Icons and graphics: The right icons or images can reinforce the message. For example, an arrow pointing to a CTA button can further encourage a click, as can a shopping cart icon next to an "Add to Cart" button.

Icons accompanying the CTA - arrow

Consistency: All your CTAs on the site should be consistent in design. Unifying colors, shapes and fonts will make your site look professional and easier for users to navigate.

CTA placement on the page

Proper placement of CTAs on your site is key to success. Even the best-designed call to action will not yield the expected results if it is poorly placed. When placing a CTA on your website, keep in mind features such as:

Visibility: A user can't respond to a call to action if he or she doesn't notice it - so the first priority is to place the CTA in a place where it is sure to attract attention. A central place on the page, surrounded by enough empty space, can help it stand out.

Featured CTA on the website

Avoiding Oversaturation: When you try to focus on everything, you're not really focusing on anything - too many buttons and CTA messages can confuse the user, making none of them effective. It's better to focus on one main call to action that reflects the main purpose of the site.

"Above the fold" and other strategic locations: Now more and more people are browsing the web on mobile devices, but the idea of "above the fold line," which refers to what the user sees without scrolling, remains relevant. Statistics show that CTAs placed in this zone achieve higher conversions, but this is not the only strategy - placing CTAs in the context of relevant content, such as after a valuable article or after a review section, can be just as effective.

CTA buttons under the content on the website

Site dynamics: Consider how the user navigates through your site. If you have a long home page with different sections, consider placing an additional CTA at the bottom of the page to remind users of an action they could take.

Mistakes to avoid when creating a CTA

Message overload: When you try to focus on everything, you don't really focus on anything - too many buttons and CTA messages can confuse the user, making none of them effective. It's better to focus on one main call to action that reflects the main purpose of the site.

Unclear or confusing messages: Your CTA should tell the user exactly what will happen when they click it. Avoid generalities and be specific. Instead of "Click here," it's better to write "Download our guide." Confusing messages can lead to a loss of trust and discourage further interaction with the brand.

simple CTA on the website

Ignoring mobile: More and more people are browsing the Internet on smartphones and tablets. If your CTA is not optimized for mobile devices, you are missing out on a very large portion of potential conversions. The button needs to be large enough for the user to easily click their finger into it, and the content needs to be readable enough.

Lack of consistency with the content: The CTA should be a natural extension of the page content. If you are presenting a product or service, your CTA should be directly related to it, offering a purchase option, for example.

visible CTAs on the website

Negligent testing: What works on one site or for one audience may not work for others. Regular A/B testing, in which you compare different versions of CTAs, will help you understand which ones are most effective.

How to create effective CTAs that will increase conversions

Creating an effective call-to-action (CTA) button is not just a matter of aesthetics or appropriate word choice. It's about understanding the expectations and needs of the recipient and tailoring the CTA to them in such a way as to maximize the chances of conversion.

Target group when creating a CTA

Know your target audience

The key to an effective CTA is to understand who it is aimed at - what are that person's preferences, needs and even concerns?

Research and Surveys: Regular surveys of your customers can provide valuable insights into what they are looking for and what benefits are most compelling to them.

Data analysis: Using analytics tools, you can understand which CTAs convert best on your site and why.

Segmentation: You may have different target groups that respond to different messages. Understanding these differences and tailoring CTAs to each group can significantly increase effectiveness.

Test different versions of call to action - A/B testing

Even if you think your CTA is already perfect, there is always room for optimization. How do you find out which CTA is the best? Through A/B testing!

How does it work? In short, A/B testing involves presenting two different versions of a CTA (version A and version B) to different groups of users to see which one converts better.

What to test? You can test virtually any element of a CTA: button color, text, font, placement on the page, and more. Remember, however, to test one change at a time. Testing multiple elements at the same time will make it impossible to tell which change affected the result.

Analysis of results: After conducting the A/B test, analyze the results. Which version had a higher conversion rate? Why? Are there any other conclusions you can draw from the data?

Tools and technologies to support the creation of a call to action

To optimize CTAs for conversions, it's a good idea to use the right tools. Below are some of them.

A/B testing of CTAs on the website

A/B testing programs

Google Optimize: This free tool from Google is designed for simplicity and effectiveness of A/B testing. It allows users to create different versions of a page and compare their performance. Thanks to its tight integration with Google Analytics, test results are presented in a clear and easy-to-analyze way.

Optimizely: A popular A/B testing tool that gives you the ability to easily modify page elements and deeply analyze test results.

VWO (Visual Website Optimizer): Its advanced features allow not only the creation of different versions of pages, but also deep analysis of user behavior and results.

Unbounce: It offers flexible solutions for creating landing pages with built-in CTAs that can be easily A/B tested.

Convert: Another testing tool that offers traffic segmentation features and integration with many other platforms.

Tools for analyzing user behavior on the site

Hotjar: In addition to heatmaps, it offers recordings of user sessions to better understand site traffic.

Crazy Egg: Heatmaps, page scroll tracking and click analytics are just some of the features that will help you optimize your CTAs and other page elements.

Mouseflow: It allows recording user sessions and analyzing their behavior. In addition, it offers survey forms to collect visitor feedback.


Here are the essentials needed to create an effective call to action button:

  1. Definition of CTA: A call to action is a key element of a website that leads the user to a specific place or to take a specific action.
  2. Why CTA is important: A clearly defined CTA acts as a compass for users, guiding them to their destination.
  3. Features of an effective CTA:
    • Clarity and precision of the message
    • Use of motivational words and benefit language
    • Aesthetically pleasing and thoughtful design adapted to mobile devices
    • Good placement on the site 
  4. Mistakes to avoid:
    • Message overload
    • Ambiguity of the message
    • Neglecting the mobile version
  5. Which helps with conversion:
    • Understanding your target audience
    • Testing different versions through A/B testing
  6. Support tools: Using A/B testing tools (e.g. Google Optimize, VWO) and user behavior analysis tools (e.g. Hotjar, Crazy Egg) can increase the effectiveness of the CTA button.

If you need a beautiful, professional and results-oriented website with good CTAs, welcome to free consultation - Find out what we can do for you!

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