The Importance Of Calls-To-Action – Some Do’s And Don’ts For 2017

image of call to action


Calls-To-Action ( CTA’s ) are among the most important inbound marketing tools. Whether they are in the form of text links, images, or buttons, CTA’s are what motivate and direct your website visitors to take a desired action. This could be anything from registering for an event, downloading content of some kind and converting into leads, or encouraging prospects to move further on down the line towards a possible sale.

However, not all calls-to-action are effective at converting, and more often than not many marketers take the importance of calls-to-action far too lightly.

So, Here Is A List Of Some Of The Do’s and Don’ts When Considering Your Calls-To-Action”.


1) DON’T use the word “Submit” on your buttons.

DO however use actionable copy such as Get Your Free Trial Now”, “Download Now”, “Buy Now”, or “Speak To An Expert”

So why you ask? Simple really, no one likes to “submit” to anything. By letting visitors know the value of what they will be getting by clicking the button you will be reducing anxiety, and therefore you will be increasing clickthrough rates.

2) DON’T place your CTA’s where no one will see them. image of above and below the fold

DO place your CTA’s above and below the fold and within the visitor’s eye path. ( Above the fold refers to the portions of a web page that are visible without scrolling , Below the fold is the part of a web page that can’t be seen without scrolling down )

Why? Calls-To-Action are pointless if no one can see them. Don’t neglect the importance of positioning your CTA’s front and center so visitors don’t miss them all together.

3) DON’T use the same or similar colors in your CTA’s as the page’s background color.

DO use bold contrasting colors in your CTA’s so they don’t blend in with the page.

Why? If your CTA uses colors similar to those of the background, whether on a page, in an email, or within any other funnel, it will just blend into the page making it difficult for visitors to see.

4) DON’T use little bitty CTA’s, tiny CTA’s that no one will notice.

DO make them big and bold.

Why? So they simply stand out and get noticed. It is crucial to make your CTA’s one of the bigger, more prominent features on a page to increase the likelihood of clickthroughs.

5) DON’T make the design of your CTA’s  look flat.

DO make them look “clickable” and button like by adding bevels, shadows, and hover effects.

Why? Because online visitors are conditioned to recognize clickable elements like buttons and links. Use text or design to show that visitors should “click here”.

6) DON’T use CTA’s in the wrong place at the wrong time.

DO use CTA’s that relate to the content on the existing page, or align with the buyer’s interests or needs.

Why? Simple, too many marketers make the mistake of pushing a CTA too soon or with the wrong audience. Matching the CTA with the lifecycle stage or interests of the visitor will make for a much more effective call-to-action and likely increase clickthrough rates.

7) DON’T be too wordy.

DO make sure CTA’s are clear, simple, and uncluttered.

Why? In general, most people’s attention spans are short, so you need to get to the point quickly.

8) DON’T use vague, cliche, or passive language.

DO use compelling and actionable copy that explains the value being offered.

Why? Because the most effective calls-to-action tell visitors what to do ( such as, click here, download now, get your XYZ ). Use words that indicate action is required so there is no doubt about it.

9) DON’T oversell and under deliver.

DO set the right expectations about what visitors will receive.

Why? Many calls-to-action make false promises. Just consider decades worth of Wild West types of advertising. Your visitors will have high expectations that your CTA’s will deliver what’s promised.

10) DON’T link your CTA’s to your homepage.

DO direct each CTA to its own dedicated landing page that reiterates what the offer is about from the CTA.

Why? A homepage is a kind of dumping ground for all miscellaneous traffic. CTA’s give you the opportunity to increase conversions by driving visitors from a given channel or source to a landing page that is tied to the CTA. This will make it easier for visitors to know that they landed at the right place. Taking visitors to the homepage will make them feel lost and reduce the likelihood of a conversion.

11) DON’T use too many CTA’s on one page.

DO use only one primary and one secondary CTA only.

Why? Calls-to-action are meant to stand out and direct visitors to one desired course of action. If your visitors are overwhelmed with messages shouting out at them, then suddenly nothing seems to stand out.

12) DON’T forget to build trust through design and copy.

DO use data or testimonials to validate your offer.

Why? Almost all visitors have little trust in what the internet is trying to tell them. Some of the best ways to build trust are with professional design, social proof, or customer case studies and testimonials.

13) DON’T miss out on opportunities to promote your CTA’s.

DO place a CTA in everything you do.

Why? Look at it this way, every channel or platform you use in your marketing is an outlet to promote your CTA’s, whether in an email, blog post, social media or on thank you pages.

14) DON’T use the same CTA’s for too long.

DO experiment with and A/B test your CTA’s to know what design, copy, and placement works best.

Why? A call-to-action can actually get very stale very fast in the ever-changing internet environment, and you won’t be able to guarantee that the same CTA will work forever. Testing is a crucial component when it comes to creating effective CTA’s.

15) DON’T forget to search engine ( SEO ) optimize your CTA’s.image of seo

DO add keyword rich ALT tags so your CTA adds search value to the page.

Why? A CTA, when in the form of an image is a great opportunity to add more relevant keywords to your site so your website gets found by the search engines.

16) DON’T use Flash or complicated animations.

DO use CTA’s that are mobile-optimized so that any device can see them.

Why? Easy, more and more people are surfing the net using mobile devices, not just PC’s. If your CTA can’t be seen on phones or tablets, you will be missing out on a huge chunk of potential conversions.

17) DON’T use branding as the only objective of your CTA’s.

DO use CTA’s to offer something of value.

Why? Branding in CTA’s are simply a waste of time and money. Honestly, no one really cares about your logo or fancy taglines. Give them something they want, not what you want.

18) DON’T use the same CTA for everyone.

DO use personalization and powerful content.

Why? Everyone is different. Try to create different CTA’s for different personalities and audiences. Personalization is one of the best ways to improve the effectiveness of your CTA’s.

19) DON’T cram your CTA’s into small spaces. 

DO give them room to breathe by making use of white space.

Why? Ensuring there is plenty of white space surrounding a CTA is another great way to make sure it stands out and doesn’t get lost in all the clutter.

20) DON’T get fanatical over a pixel-perfect design.

DO master the copy of CTA’s, that is what really gets your visitors to take action.

Why? Since it is important for CTA’s to have a professional looking design, even the best looking designs can fail. The most effective CTA’s get content right first and foremost by creating compelling copy that acquires trust, urgency, and value.

Don’t underestimate the power of the CTA, without any CTA’s you can be guaranteed you will have zero conversions and make no money at all. With poorly designed and worded CTA’s your chances of conversions happening are limited, but with well thought out, well planned, and properly placed CTA’s, you can almost be guaranteed to see those conversions and see them over and over. And before long, you will start to see those conversions turning into money in the bank.



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