What is a call to action?
A call to action, or CTA, is any point on your website where you ask your visitors to do something. For example, you might be asking them to buy something, to sign up to your mailing list or simply to read more about a service.
The most effective CTAs are:
✅ Large brightly coloured buttons
✅ In a contrasting colour that stands out
✅ Surrounded by white space
✅ Clear of distractions.
Getting your CTA right is vital
Your CTAs are the parts of your website that result in sign-ups, sales and enquiries.
If they’re not right, they might not be converting as many visitors into sales as they should be.
5 CTA conversion killers
Here are five ways your CTAs could be cutting your conversions.
1. Missing your chance
A few visitors might read your page from top to bottom. But some will be busy. They’ll want to split off from your home page quickly and look at what they’re really interested in.
You need to give them the opportunity to do this when they’re ready and you need to gauge at what point that will be.
Too soon and they won’t have had a chance to decide if they’re in the right place. Too late and they could get bored and move on.
2. Expecting too much, too soon
You wouldn’t propose marriage on a first date, so don’t assume your visitors are ready to engage with you before they’ve got to know you.
In other words, you should be very aware about what you’re asking your visitors to do and when you’re asking them to do it.
Your first CTA should always be a freebie: something that furthers their experience, but doesn’t require them to invest anything. For example, it could be one of these actions:
✅ Read more
✅ View services
✅ Get a free quotation
✅ Start a free online trial.
But with CTAs like these, you need to be much more careful:
❌ Contact us
❌ Create an account
❌ Book a strategy session.
These CTAs are the powerful ones, where you’re asking your visitors to give you something back — and you should use them with caution.
Using them prematurely is like taking your relationship to the next level way too soon. It can come across as desperate and be really off-putting.
By the time you ask them to do any of these things, you should have:
✅ Shown unmistakable value
✅ Made an irresistible offer
✅ Countered all their objections
✅ Gained their trust.
3. Being unclear or too complicated
Visitors are naturally wary of clicking on anything they don’t understand or don’t feel confident about. If your CTA isn’t clear, they may not click at all.
Make sure it’s simple, straightforward and adequately describes what’s about to happen and where they will be going.
If your CTA is a button, you won’t have a lot of room for text, so you’ll need to be concise, too.
4. Delivering something unexpected
If your visitors click on your CTA and arrive on a page they’re not expecting to see, they might think it’s a mistake and you could lose them.
To avoid this, you need to think about your visitors’ journey through your site and make sure you’re being consistent with your:
Your CTA should leave customers in no doubt about where it’s going to take them and what they’ll find when they get there.
5. Not working properly
Think of your website as an organic structure that’s always changing and evolving. Sometimes changes might result in links being broken and buttons that stop working. These things can also happen without any explanation.
Sometimes whole processes break down, leaving visitors stuck in a loop of entering information that doesn’t submit.
So it pays to go through the site routinely and check the functionality of your:
✅ Sign-up forms
✅ Contact forms
✅ Buying process.
Is your website working well?
If your website isn’t attracting enough visitors or converting your visitors into customers, there’s always a reason why.
I’m Jenny Lucas, a freelance SEO copywriter and website specialist who can help you find out where the problems are.
Starting at just £170, my comprehensive website audits are a fraction of the cost of a new site and will help you get your existing website working for you and bringing in those sales and enquiries.
If you’d like to find out more, visit my website auditing page or send me a message.