What is CTA?

Cases Digital marketing Blog User Experience (UX)

Talking about CTAs (calls to action), we usually mean buttons for ordering a product or service on websites or newsletters. Yet banners, selling articles, subscription forms, and other website elements also can work as CTAs. The main point is that they must call customers to complete a target action (subscribe to a newsletter, view a product card, or purchase in the online store).

A properly formulated CTA is a must-have element of an online store. This is the finishing stage of conversion.

Every day, browsing the Internet, we come across dozens or even hundreds of calls to action. However, we notice only a few of them. The reason for such an effect is how our brain works. First of all, we concentrate on visually attractive elements.

Keep reading to learn how to create CTAs that would bring the maximum benefit to a business.

Where to place a CTA?

A CTA button consists of a title on a colorful background. You can change the text, size, and color of the button or add shadows to make it more noticeable. This is the most popular form of a CTA since buttons can be placed anywhere on a website and customized to look matching and relevant.

An average click-through rate for CTA equals to 3,29%. If you make CTAs credible and interesting to users, the clickability will be even higher.

But first of all, let’s clarify what types of CTAs exist and where to place them.

Category page

This page should succinctly show the key benefits of every product – discounts, special offers, an interest-free loan, etc.

Product card

On this page, it’s important to add product descriptions, technical specifications, reviews, and information on availability. Make sure the information is really useful for potential buyers. If the product is discounted, add a countdown timer to indicate when the special offer ends.

Lead generation forms

Lead generation forms

It’s a vital element to attract new customers. Offer website visitors a discount on their first purchase, asking them to provide certain data instead.

You need to convey to visitors that they will benefit from completing the form and using the offer. Otherwise, the conversion rate will be extremely low.

Blog articles

The average bounce rate for blogs and information websites is 50%. This means that half of the visitors that have landed on the article will close the website without going to the rest of the pages.

Surveys and other forms

The majority of forms end with calls to action. Whether users provide information about the delivery and payment methods, subscribe to the website, or leave feedback, they click a CTA button to confirm the provided information at the end of each form.

It’s important to place the button right under the fields to be filled in. Otherwise, the user may miss it and leave the site at the important stage of the sales funnel.

6 rules to create effective CTAs

Remember to improve CTAs constantly. The understanding of the key rules will help you to make CTAs on a website more effective. Here are the main of them:

1. Brevity and clearness

To produce good results, a CTA must be short and understandable to customers. Creating the text for CTAs, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Trigger words like a gift, free, and get increase the conversion of a CTA.
  • Explain to customers what will happen when they react to the CTA. Instead of the trite “Send,” use a more clear button title. For example, Get a trial version, Subscribe to a newsletter, or check the price.
  • Be original. Almost every online store uses the “Order,” “Buy,” and “Learn more” buttons. If this is appropriate for sphere, create more unusual calls to action, like I want, Add to my cart, Reserve.

2. Urgency

Compare these two calls to action:

  • Get a free checklist on how to create email newsletters.
  • Only two days left! Hurry to get a free checklist on how to create email newsletters.

There are high chances that the second CTA will be more effective since the visitors will understand that in 2 days, they won’t be able to use it. In the first case, they realize that they can get the checklist anytime they need it.

Never deceive users when you create a time-limited offer. If you use a CTA of the second type or place a countdown timer, terminate the offer when the specified period ends.

3. A limited number of words

A limited number of words

The excessive use of text often leads to conversion decrease. Users don’t want to waste time reading and leaving the website even though the offer might be interesting.

Writing the text for CTA buttons, don’t use more than five words. At the same time, consider that it must include only 1-2 words if the button is small.

It is worth noting that there are exceptions. For example, sometimes CTA buttons have 6-7 words. Nevertheless, this is only relevant to large buttons that are usually used on landings.

4. Buttons against links

In most cases, buttons are much more effective than links. At least because they are visually more appealing. But sometimes links generate better results (first of all, in blog articles and email newsletters).

Don’t rush and test different design options of CTA to choose the most effective one.

5. Optimum location

We all read the information on web pages based on the same pattern: from the top left corner to the bottom right. We first want to check the general information by opening a new website page, so the top left corner is a bad place to add a CTA.

If the page doesn’t contain much content, the center is a good place to add the call to action.

6. Contrast colors

Контрастные цвета

Contrast colors make CTA more appealing and easy to notice. To pick the right combinations, select the opposite colors from the color wheel like this one.

How to analyze the effectiveness of a CTA?

Every website is unique in its way, so it’s impossible to guarantee that adhering to all rules of CTA creation, you will get a high conversion rate. You should continuously monitor the effectiveness of a CTA.

There are two main tools for this:

  • Google Analytics. This is the most popular service for web analytics. Set clicks on CTA buttons as goals to learn how effective CTAs are.
  • Plerdy. A dedicated service for click analysis. It lets you see all user clicks on the website elements (including pop-ups) made during the reporting period. Also, the Plerdy service compiles click reports which can help you to see problematic elements are correct them.


Calls to action are vital to improving website efficiency. They turn visitors into subscribers and subscribers – into customers.

Adhere to the principles above to make the CTAs on your website more effective. But, at the same time, don’t forget that CTAs aren’t the only element that influences the conversion rate despite being important.

Article by:
CEO Andrew Chornyy

CEO Plerdy — expert in SEO&CRO with over 11 years of experience.

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