10 Essential Tips to Make Your Call to Action Buttons Effective

June 3, 2011 · 14 comments

by Sonny M. Day

Call to Action Buttons, Effective Call to Action Buttons, Tips to Effective Call to Action, Web Buttons, Website Buttons, Buttons

A call to action button plays a very important role in a website. As the description suggests, it tells the visitors of your website to perform an act that you want them to perform, in order to achieve the very purpose of your website. With it, you can tell them to buy, to read more, to download, to sign up or anything. Of course, you can do that by using nothing but texts with hyperlinks, but buttons especially ones with pleasant visual appearance are far more effective for the purpose. That is why,  they become a standard in web design.

Since the success or failure of the call to action buttons means life or death to a website, it is therefore important that you follow good practices in choosing, designing and placing your call to action buttons on your web page. You cannot afford to put them anywhere or they will not serve their purpose. Thus, to achieve maximum effect, it is gravely necessary that you follow the rules in designing call to action buttons. You can dispense with some design rules because they are not at all significant, but there are rules with far reaching effects that you have to follow. What we will cover are few examples of them.

Verily, we are giving some essential tips on what to consider to make your call to action buttons effective in this post. You will surely find this useful whether you are a designer, a developer or an internet marketer. These include some basic principles that you might have overlooked yet important to your website.



1. Make Your Button Stand out

Essential Tips to Make Your Call to Action Buttons Effective

A button that stands out from the rest has a greater chance to be noticed. You can do that by using white space around your button and placing it strategically on your page. The best places to put your action button is in the middle or on the left side below your content text. These places offer a greater conversion for your button than on the upper left of your web page because when you read, your eyes move from left to right and then from up, downwards.

2. Make it Big and Colorful


There is no way that your button cannot be seen especially if it is big and colorful. When choosing colors, it is important that they produce a good contrast against its background. That way, you are making your button distinct from other elements of your page and it is important for Call to Action. A rich and lively color can surely captivate your readers and encourage them to click the button and do what you want them to do. Every color evokes a certain emotional response, so knowing them will do a distinct advantage on your part. You also need to balance the size of your button and its color. If the button is big, use a color which is less prominent. For smaller buttons, use brighter colors to increase its ability to draw attention.

3. Watch your Language

Essential Tips to Make Your Call to Action Buttons Effective

For a button to be effective, it is very important perhaps more than anything else, that it conveys a clear and simple message as to what it wants the readers to do. Words like “buy now,” “try it for free,” and “”sign up now” are more emphatic than the words “add to cart,” “try it” and “sign up”. These words can encourage your readers to take an urgent action. You can make it more appealing by making the text inside your button large and pleasing to the eye with its color.

4. Make an Order of Priority

Essential Tips to Make Your Call to Action Buttons Effective

If there are two things that you want your readers to do, but there is one that you want them to choose, you can do that by making one of the two more prominent than the other. This is done by using different sizes and colors. Make a big colorful button for the one that you prefer so that it looks more attractive, and for the other, make a smaller button with less appealing color or just a text with a hyperlink. That way it becomes easier for the readers to make a right pick.

5. Add Hover Effect

Essential Tips to Make Your Call to Action Buttons Effective

Adding hover effect to your buttons make them more attractive and easily identifiable. You can make your buttons change in color, grow brighter, zoom in or out, or slide up or down to reveal the caption on hover as you see fit to encourage your readers to take action.

6. Make it Urgent

Essential Tips to Make Your Call to Action Buttons Effective

For your call of action button to be effective, it is also very important that it creates upon the minds of your readers the need to act immediately. You want your readers to not just act, but to act now. You don’t want them to think twice and prolong the length of time evaluating the product before them. The idea behind it is that, the longer the time it takes for them to decide, the greater the chance for them to hold back and click the back button. As long as you don’t trick them, this technique can increase the likelihood of your button being clicked especially if the product it is promoting is free or of low cost. This however, does not hold true at all times especially for products with high value.

7. Give Additional Information

Essential Tips to Make Your Call to Action Buttons Effective

Giving additional information or overview of what will happen if your readers will click the button, can greatly increase the possibility that they will actually click the button. So, if you can put additional information, why not write it just below or near the text that announces the action to be taken itself. Make sure that this information is relevant and that it forcefully supports the main action. You have to make it less prominent so as not to distract the attention of your readers. This is ideal for download buttons, trial buttons and sign up buttons.

8. Use Imagery

Essential Tips to Make Your Call to Action Buttons Effective

The use of icons or images is a powerful technique to draw attention to the message of your button. It is good to have them integrated in your button’s design. Buttons that employ text may fail to catch the audience but with beautiful icons attached on them,  it is hard for your readers to miss them.

9. Make a Guarantee

Essential Tips to Make Your Call to Action Buttons Effective

Making  a guarantee on the result of what your client will do, is a very effective way to make them click the button. With it, your call to action will have a greater conversion than the one without. Guarantees may take the form of “money back,” guarantee of confidentiality of information like emails, banks accounts, identity, and etc. This way, you are making your readers feel that they will surely be satisfied with the results should they take the call to action.

10. Less is Better

Essential Tips to Make Your Call to Action Buttons Effective

Do not clutter your page with lots of buttons. The lesser the better. Your goal is to make your call to action buttons stand out so, limit their number to what is necessary to avoid distracting your readers’ attention. That is why, you should not put more than two call to action buttons on each page. Your call to action buttons are very important. Without them, you will not gain anything. Having effective call to action buttons  is indeed one of the features of almost all high earning websites. If you think your blog is not doing good, try checking your buttons. Maybe there is something that needs to be done on them.

If I miss some tips that you know about or one which you have discovered to be effective, please share them by writing a comment. That will help others widen their knowledge on the subject for better work methods. Life after all is a constant search for discovery, knowledge and improvements. Hope you have enjoyed reading!


Author : Sonny Day

Sonny M. Day is a passionate SEO and web design enthusiast who loves photography, mountain climbing, snorkeling and dirt bike riding.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

MDO Studio March 22, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Excellent article. Good calls to action are the bread and butter of every successful website. Design, position, imagery, colors, language, etc. all of them play an important role on increasing conversions. In the end though, the most important part is to test to see what works best where. There isn’t a holy grail, what works on one site, may not work on another.

Thank you for your article.


Immigration Lawyers Westminister February 9, 2013 at 6:38 am

Generally I don’t read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great post.


Katie P. October 24, 2011 at 7:02 pm

This was very informative. We’re creating new cta’s on our website and this was a very helpful article! Thank you.


Brian July 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Awesome list, thanks for the share, makes me want to design now !


Jean July 24, 2011 at 7:48 am

Fantastic advice. I’ll be changing my own CTA buttons around as soon as possible. :) Thanks!


Laura Christianson June 10, 2011 at 8:23 pm

I like all your examples of buttons. Thanks for this post!


lvraa June 10, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Great You could use this post Laura. This is a pretty important area for any web master and web designer


Web Design Nottingham June 5, 2011 at 11:31 am

Great share! Correct on A/B


Alex Grechanowski June 4, 2011 at 4:05 am

Agree – large stuff works.

Don’t forget to A/B test things to find out that exactly performs in your scenario.


lvraa June 4, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Good point Alex, thanks


Joanna Ciolek June 3, 2011 at 10:40 pm

I think imagery in CTA buttons is definitely underused. More the reason to use it to stand out!


lvraa June 4, 2011 at 12:05 am

Thanks for sharing your view and experience Joanna!


Ketan June 3, 2011 at 3:00 pm


That was a very informative post. I have shared it with my designer and asked her to save it and go through it.


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