Optimize Your Website’s CTAs in 3 Steps

Optimize Your Website’s CTAs in 3 Steps

A website’s success hinges on its ability to engage and convert visitors to take action. One of the critical components driving this engagement is the call to action (CTA). 

With three simple and effective improvements to your CTAs (that you can do yourself), you can increase your engagement and conversion rate, see more leads and sales, and grow your business.

CTAs – What They Are & Why They Matter

A CTA is an invitation extended to your audience prompting them to take a specific action. This could be:

  • Making a purchase
  • Subscribing to a newsletter
  • Filling out a lead capture form
  • Downloading valuable content

CTAs can take the form of a button, a link, a popup, images, or even simple text.

The importance of a well-crafted CTA cannot be overstated. It serves as the virtual handshake between your brand and potential customers, guiding them toward your desired outcome. 

However, creating an effective CTA involves more than just choosing compelling words. It requires a strategic approach, which is where A/B testing comes into play.

A/B testing involves experimenting with variations of your CTAs to determine which elements resonate best with your audience. 

In this blog, we’ll delve into three crucial aspects of CTAs that you can test to optimize your website’s conversion rates: color, size, and button text. Let’s explore each of these elements and discover how they can collectively enhance the performance of your calls to action.

Color – Brighter Buttons and the Psychology Behind Conversions

In web design, the color palette you choose for your CTA buttons can significantly impact user engagement and conversion rates. Research suggests that brighter buttons tend to convert better, capturing the attention of visitors and guiding them toward the desired action.

1. Stop in Your Tracks: The Power of Red
Regarding color psychology, red is often associated with urgency and importance. It serves as a stop sign for the eyes, demanding attention and prompting immediate action. Implementing red in your CTA buttons can create a sense of urgency, encouraging visitors to act swiftly. It also demands center stage, capturing the attention of your audience immediately.

A screenshot of the Netflix homepage, showing a bright red CTA Button labeled "Get Started"

2. Green for Go: Encouraging Click-Throughs
Conversely, green is often associated with positivity and “go” signals. Utilizing green in your CTA buttons can evoke a sense of approval and encourage users to proceed, making it an effective choice for buttons that lead to positive actions such as “Buy Now” or “Sign Up.” It’s important when utilizing green to make sure it has enough contrast with the rest of your website colors to stand out.

A screenshot of the hero of "Dick Moby". A green "New Sunglasses" button is in the center.

3. Memorable Distinction: Setting Yourself Apart
Human beings are wired to remember colors before anything else. In a sea of websites, having a color that stands out can make your site more memorable. Consider the color palette of your competitors and choose a shade that differentiates your brand, creating a visual identity that sticks in the minds of your audience.

Here Crop Trust has used one of its brand colors, blue, for its CTA button.
Here Crop Trust has used one of its brand colors, blue, for its CTA button.

A/B testing different color variations of your CTA buttons allows you to discern which hues resonate most effectively with your target audience. Remember, the goal is not just to choose a color that looks aesthetically pleasing, but one that aligns with your brand personality and prompts the desired user response.

Next, let’s move on to the second element: Size. How can the size of a CTA button impact user engagement and conversions?

Size – Bigger Buttons on Your Site are Better, But Beware of Overkill

In the realm of CTA optimization, the size of your buttons can play a pivotal role in capturing user attention and driving conversions. While the mantra “bigger is better” holds true to a certain extent, it’s essential to strike a balance between prominence and subtlety to avoid overwhelming your audience.

1. Bigger Commands Attention
Research consistently indicates that larger buttons tend to capture more attention and generate higher conversion rates. A well-sized button stands out on the page, making it more likely for users to notice and interact with it. Users are more likely to follow through when they can easily spot the action you want them to take.

An large but appropriate "Let's Chat" button on the homepage of the Web Design Agency Three29
Here you see an appropriately large CTA button.
An overly large "Let's Chat" button on the homepage of Web Designer Three29's site
Making it larger, while demanding more attention, doesn’t actually give a better user experience in this case. Balance is key.

2. Buttons vs. Text Links
In the world of CTA optimization, buttons generally outperform text links. The tactile nature of a button creates a more clickable and interactive experience for users. It provides a clear visual cue, making it easier for visitors to understand where to click and what action to take.

A image of the clay website. On the right, there's black text, with chevrons on the side.
Here is a great example of CTAs that aren’t buttons. Each option on the right is clickable indicated by the chevron.

3. Consistency Matters
While experimenting with button sizes, it’s crucial to maintain a level of consistency across your website. Consistent button sizes create a sense of harmony in your design, reinforcing the visual hierarchy and helping users navigate your site seamlessly. Users should be able to recognize and understand your CTAs easily, regardless of the page they’re on.

uMake's website has a Get Started CTA button in the header and in the center of the hero. Both visually look identical
Here you see matching CTAs, “Get Started” above the fold creating consistency.

4. Caution: Avoid CTA Overload
While larger buttons can be more effective, it’s important to exercise restraint. Placing buttons everywhere can lead to visual clutter and, paradoxically, make them less noticeable. Consider the context of each CTA and strategically choose where to place larger buttons to maximize impact without overwhelming your users.

BOP Design utilizes a large yellow CTA button, a header button of different color, and 3 links on the right side, all on the a single screen
There are five CTA’s above the fold on this page. This can be confusing for the user, especially on a page for a specific topic, which is what this appears to be (Services).

As you embark on A/B testing different button sizes, pay attention to user feedback and behavior. Strive for a balance that ensures your CTAs are prominent and easy to interact with, without compromising the overall user experience.

Now, let’s move on to the third element: Button Text. How can the words on your CTA buttons influence user behavior and drive conversions?

Button Text – Crafting Compelling Calls to Action

The text on your CTA buttons is more than just a string of words; it’s a powerful tool that can either entice or deter users from taking the desired action. The choice of words can influence user expectations and shape their experience on your website. Let’s explore how crafting compelling button text can enhance user engagement and drive conversions.

1. Clarity Through Verbs
When it comes to button text, clarity is paramount. Avoid vague phrases like “Learn More” that don’t provide a clear indication of what the user can expect. Instead, opt for action-oriented verbs that explicitly communicate the intended outcome. For instance, using phrases like “Shop Now,” “Download Ebook,” or “Subscribe Today” gives users a clear idea of the action they’re about to take.

A screenshot of Hubspot's homepage hero. "Get a Demo" and "Get started free" are CTA buttons next to each other.
“Get a Demo” clearly describes what the user gets by clicking the CTA.

2. Removing Barriers to Entry
Consider using button text to address potential concerns or hesitations users may have. For example, if you’re encouraging users to register for a service, saying “Register Now, it’s Free” removes the barrier of cost and reassures users that there’s no financial commitment involved. This transparency can significantly increase the likelihood of users clicking on the button.

Shopify's CTA is a text field for email addresses next to a  "Start Free Trial" button.

3. Urgency and FOMO
Incorporating a sense of urgency or fear of missing out (FOMO) in your button text can also spur action. Phrases like “Limited-Time Offer” or “Exclusive Access” create a sense of immediacy, encouraging users to act quickly to secure the perceived benefits.

A website has a banner across the. screen reading "Last Chance to Register!"

4. Personalization and Relevance
Tailor your button text to your target audience and make it relevant to their needs or desires. Personalized and empathetic language can create a connection, making users more inclined to engage. For example, instead of a generic “Sign Up,” consider “Join Our Community” for a social platform.

5. A/B Testing for Optimization
As with color and size, A/B testing different iterations of button text is essential. Test variations that play with wording, tone, and length to understand what resonates best with your specific audience. Analyzing user behavior and conversion rates will guide you toward the most effective button text for your CTAs.

A photo of an amazon item page, with a blue Set Up Now button. Contrast is poor.
Here you see the listing with a blue CTA button
A photo of an amazon item page, with a yellow Set Up Now button. Contrast is good.
And here you see it in yellow. Which one would you click?

By carefully choosing your button text, you can guide users through a seamless journey, ensuring they understand the value of the action and feel compelled to click.

Crafting the Perfect CTAs is a Mix of Strategy, Measurement & Refinement

It’s important to remember that this is a dynamic process that involves strategic adjustments in color, size, and button text. By delving into the psychology behind color choices, exploring the impact of button sizes on user engagement, and crafting compelling text that speaks directly to your audience, you have the tools to elevate your website’s performance.

The goal is not just to create visually appealing CTAs but to guide users seamlessly toward desired actions. Through A/B testing and continuous refinement, you can achieve a website that not only captures attention but also converts visitors into valuable leads and customers.

Implement these three DIY improvements, and watch your website become a powerful tool for business growth.

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