15 Tips to Optimize Your CTA Buttons for Conversion

by Neil Patel

Last updated on April 16th, 2018

If you had to pack all your conversion wisdom and power into one tiny space, it would be the call to action button.

It’s amazing how a single button can make or break an online business.

I believe there’s no such thing as a successful marketing effort unless there’s a successful CTA.

That’s why I’ve spent a lot of time and money making sure that my call-to-action buttons are as optimized as possible.

I’ve co-founded two businesses and helped thousands of entrepreneurs, so I know how important conversions are.

And more importantly, I know how the call-to-action button plays into that success.

Along the way, I’ve learned a few things that can usher in floods of conversions, plus some things that can destroy conversions.

In the paragraphs that follow, you’re going to discover exactly what I learned about creating call-to-action buttons that work.

But first, I want to cement in your mind why you need to care about these buttons in the first place.

Why improve your call to action button?

Your call-to-action button is the bridge between the content your visitor is already interested in and an offer of higher value.

It’s typically the button, link, or image that you place strategically on your website to encourage visitors to become leads or customers.

It can take the traditional or non-traditional approach in terms of looks, copy, or any other facet you can think of.

That’s what makes it so incredibly testable and important to an entrepreneur.

There are literally hundreds of options for just about every occasion.

Just remember that your call-to-action button can be used in any situation where you want your user to do something.

Which makes it the moment of truth that differentiates a conversion from a bounce.

Here’s a basic example of how you can accomplish this from Optimizely.

optimizely

As you can see, the highlighted button is just a typical example of a call-to-action button you’d see on a normal landing page.

It has copy surrounding it, and a place for the visitor to input some information.

You can’t get more basic than that.

So I want to give you advice that makes it extraordinary.

To do that, we want to evoke emotion in our audience.

According to Marketing Experiments, consumers go through a six-step process when clicking a CTA on an email or landing page:

  1. Arrest attention
  2. Build connection
  3. Build problem
  4. Build interest
  5. Build suspense
  6. Transfer momentum

Your CTA is the last phase of this process, which means your job is to make it a seamless transition from your copy to your CTA.

These tips will help you do that.

So let’s get started by looking at how a simple change like button color can make a huge impact.

1. Use a color that stands out your CTA button

First, your call-to-action button should be a color, preferably not white, gray, or black. Beyond that, however, it should be a color that stands out.

The number of color combinations, gradients, shadows, fonts, kernings, borders, and other options is infinite. Make it easy on yourself with this quick color-choice checklist:

  • It needs to be a color.
  • It needs to stand out from the background.
  • It needs to not clash with the background.
  • It needs to grab your attention.

To find out if a color grabs your attention, simply create a variety of buttons and do the glance test.

You can use http://buttonoptimizer.com/ to create the buttons.

Lay them all out, and take a one-second look. Which one is most noticeable? Which one stands out the most? Which one do you look at first?

buttons 1

A lot of this decision-making will depend on your site’s color scheme, the existing design elements, and the background color.

And before you dismiss this section as being all hype, this type of optimization is based on tested fact.

One recent example of this comes from marketer Matthew Woodward, who decided to see how different colors of CTA affected their click-through rate.

He took his original CTA, which was green:

color test 1

And then put it up against four other colors:

color test 2

Every other element of his landing page stayed the same.

And here are his results:

color test 3

As you can see, every single color variation outperformed his original. While the orange was less than a percent better, all of the other colors performed significantly better.

Simply by changing the color of a single button, his click-through rate grew by more than 10%.

And experimenting with the color of your CTA can have similar results. The only way to know is to test for yourself.

2. Keep your CTA design simple

I’ve seen people do some really dumb things with buttons. They think, “Oh, so the button is supposed to stand out! Okay, I’ll put images, arrows, and CSS effects on it!”

This could be a mistake. Testing has proved that the best-performing buttons are those that have a simple statement and few design frills.

For example, Midas Media recently conducted a test of 90 different high conversion CTA buttons to see what they could uncover. What they found was that simpler designs seemed to have better results than buttons with a relatively more elaborate design.

A simple element like “boring” font colors like white was noted on almost all of the designs:

font color

While that might not seem like much, the surprising element is how much white, black, and grey colors were used in the design surrounding the button:

surrounding bg

The majority of these high performing CTAs weren’t using bright colors or flashy design to point you toward them. They used basic design elements and kept things simple.

Simplicity, of course, doesn’t mean boring. You can still fire it up with great colors, sizzling copy, and high octane design. Just don’t go crazy.

3. Size it sensibly

Here’s the rule on size: Make your button a size that makes sense. Bigger is not always better.

The whole point of a button is to make people click on it. So, make it easy for them to do so. If you make it too big, however, it looks odd or unnatural and may cause people not to click on it.

This point is especially true when it comes to mobile. If you create a CTA button that’s obtrusively big on a mobile device, no one will want to click it. They’ll likely just think you’re annoying.

The average consumer spends 69% of their time-consuming media on a mobile device. That means they’re more likely to find you when browsing on a mobile device than with a desktop.

Here’s an example of a sensibly sized CTA from Dollar Shave Club’s mobile site:

IMG 2873

Notice how the buttons are sized appropriately in relation to the copy and imagery used?

If the buttons were larger, they might get in the way of the clean design elements.

And if the buttons were smaller, they wouldn’t be easy to click with the smallest of thumbs.

So remember to optimize your CTA button size for both mobile and desktop. You’ll get more conversions and more customers.

4. Let them choose if you must, but only two choices

Humans love choices, right?

Sort of. The truth is that presenting your audience with too many choices can backfire quickly.

A study by Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper back in 2000 displayed this principle perfectly.

In the study, two groups of participants were asked to choose a single chocolate from a box.

One group’s box only had six options, while the other had 30.

They were then asked questions regarding their satisfaction with their chosen chocolate.

Interestingly, those who were asked to choose a single chocolate from a box with six options were happier than their counterparts who had 30 options.

When drawing their conclusions, Iyengar and Lepper shared these thoughts, which I thought summed up the idea perfectly:

“An extensive array of options can at first seem highly appealing to consumers, yet can reduce their subsequent motivation to purchase the product.”

When applied to your call-to-action button, it means that fewer options will improve conversions and push leads deeper into your sales funnel.

And that means your ultimate goal is to use only one call-to-action button per landing page.

Even on CrazyEgg, we only use one option on our homepage to help give you direction.

crazyegg

You simply input your website URL and click the call-to-action button.

It’s simple, straightforward, and keeps you focused on the task at hand.

In other words, they remember that less is more.

The less you play with extra elements, the harder your time will be.

Another psychological tidbit is the “say yes” principle. If you can get someone to cognitively “say yes,” then they are more likely to convert.

yes principle

And while that research isn’t exactly recent, it’s based on 15 years of extremely detailed marketing research.

If you can create an unbroken series of “micro yeses,” you’ll be more successful in generating a “macro yes” like a new customer.

Landing pages often do this by presenting images or messages that a user will agree with.

A great example of this comes from Codecademy, a service that helps you learn how to code and build skill sets that help you build real-world digital products.

Here’s what it looks like:

codeacademy 1

From the very beginning, you’re given two positive options that trigger a “yes.”

One offers extra support, while the other gives you an accelerated option. Depending on your needs, this could prompt you to click immediately.

After your first yes, you scroll down to learn more about the options you’ve been presented with. Here’s what you see next:

codeacademy 2

You’re reminded of your goal, and then given more desirable traits to say “yes” to.

Even if you’re not yet convinced, you haven’t been given any reasons to say no. Which means you keep scrolling.

codeacademy 3

Now you learn more about the extra resources that paying for these services will net you.

You’re not just learning how to build a website. You’re also building Apps and APIs. That means you’ll be well-rounded and versatile if you go through the program. The yeses continue to add up.

codeacademy 4

You’ve finally reached the bottom, where you’re prompted with an additional yes and asked to learn more.

What do you do? With a stream of unbroken yeses, you’re likely to click. The lack of choice and direction given by saying “yes” has pushed you deeper into the funnel.

When it comes to the conversion action, the user is more likely to convert because he or she has agreed with the messaging.

If you’re going to give users a choice, only give them two. — the smart choice and the dumb choice.

It’s intentionally a no-brainer.

You’re not insulting their intelligence. You’re just subtly influencing their decision-making by making the choice really, really easy for them.

So while it’s not recommended, there may be times when you need to include more than one button on a page.

For example, if you want to give your audience the option to buy a paid subscription or start a free trial, you can offer two calls to action.

But it’s always in your best interest to make sure one of your options is more optimized than others.

To do that, I recommend that you don’t make both a direct call to action, if possible.

Then, make sure the non call to action isn’t as attention-grabbing both visually and copy-wise.

The more it blends in, the more your CTA (and actual goal) will stand out.

Spotify plays this balancing act well, as you can see.

spotify cta

In the example above, you can see that the premium option is highlighted in green, while the free version is left to blend in with the white background.

This creates direction for the eyes, and thus the audience.

Spotify clearly wants to emphasize their premium services in this example.

What’s interesting is that in a more recent snapshot of their site, the direction is switched:

spotify

Now, the direction is toward the free option.

No doubt this is either part of further testing or the product of their own testing throughout the years.

Either way, Spotify’s intent is clear for you.

But as with most of these tips, there’s more than one way you can accomplish your goals.

Humboldt County’s website achieves a balance of options while still providing clear direction.

humboldt choose adventure cta

As a user, you aren’t necessarily directed to pick one selection over another. The choice is up to your preference.

The design complements this though and makes it easier for you to find what you want on their site.

It increases click-through and builds trust between the visitor and site.

Using this principle to guide your audience can have them saying “yes” to your suggestions before they even know what’s happening.

Building trust through providing direction, even with multiple options, will always help your conversion rates.

5. Make it look clickable

If the user is going to click on something, they need to know it’s clickable.

Since we’re talking about “buttons,” I think this is pretty obvious, but let me just drive the point home with a few specific instructions.

Things that look like buttons are…

  • Rectangle shape.
  • Have clear boundaries or borders.
  • Have whitespace surrounding them.
  • Use a contrasting color.

Your button should look like a button to get more clicks.

To give you an idea of what this looks like in practice, here’s an example of how Suntrust makes their button look clickable:

button example 2

It’s a contrasting color, has a logical flow with the rest of the page, and has a rectangular shape.

All of these elements add up to make it look clickable and draw your eye.

And they’re not the only ones using these tricks. Here’s a look at the popular website hosting company HostGator:

hostgator

It’s the exact same method. The button is rectangular, contrasting, and strategically positioned.

Which means the more you can make your button clickable, the more conversions you’ll win.

6. Make the CTA button the next obvious action

Buttons are part of the larger flow of a landing page or conversion funnel.

As a user moves mentally through the process, the button should be the final, and culminating, climax of the process.

He or she should know — “Ah, now I’m supposed to click on the button!”

Over the years, I’ve refined my approach with CrazyEgg to help improve our calls to action using this very principle.

My original call to action back in 2014 simple said, “See plans and pricing.” It was pretty generic but got okay results.

That wasn’t good enough though, so we revamped our testing and came up with a call-to-action button that looked like this:

buttons 3

“Show me my heat map” had a 20% higher CTR. My takeaway was that calls to action that were the next obvious action of the conversion funnel were more likely to convert.

And after years of continual testing, “Show me my heat map” is still the number one call to action on that site:

crazyegg 1

The next obvious action of Crazy Egg is that people want to see what I just described to them in glowing terms. They don’t want to look at “plans.” They want to see a heat map!

So should you implement a call to action that prompts the next logical action?  Yes.

7. Keep your button copy short

Button copy is like the KO punch.

It has to be a straight, hard, packed-with-power jab in just the right place. You’re not spilling words all over.

Instead, you’re choosing just a few words very carefully.

Here’s a look at what I mean:

lengths

See how easy it is to quickly read and click the one on the right?

Think about road signage.

You know, in a split second that a stop sign says “Stop,” that a yield sign says “Yield,” and that an exit sign says “Exit.”

Each sign has clues of color, size, shape, and placement that indicate its purpose and message.

call-to-action button copy is the same way.

You’ve prepped the user with messages, colors, codes, placement, and a suggested intent based on the flow of the page.

Now, they need to simply glance at the button to just be pushed over the edge.

When they get to a button, people should no longer be in reading mode. They’re in clicking mode.

Glance. Click. Done.

Remember the study we looked at when addressing the need to keep design simple?

Well, that same study  found that those high performing CTA buttons tended to use very few words:

count vs num words

In fact, none of them used less than 12 words. And some marketers even go so far as to limit themselves to only 60 characters.

Here’s a comparison to show you what I mean.

This button below is borderline too long. There are 63 characters, including spaces. Plus, there are too many words. One of those words has five syllables! I find myself working too hard to read it, much less click it.

buttons 4

The next button from my personal site is way shorter. You’ve got twelve characters, three syllables, two words, and one overpowering message.

NP CAT

8. Make your copy sizzle

Button copy is not throwaway copy.

It’s one of the most important few words on your page.

I can’t tell you exactly what your copy should say, but I can tell you some of the techniques that improve conversions.

Use action words

Verbs are the most important elements of a button copy. “Get” “Reserve,” “Own,” “Dominate,” “See,” “Give,” “Use,” “Try” — these are all words that suggest action and momentum.

Instead of using words like “Subscribe” or “download,” try shaking things up with unique and action-oriented words.

Like when Sumo decided to change their call to action from “Get it Now” to “Gimme.”

While this might seem gimmicky, it had an amazing effect on their conversions.

They saw a drastic rise of 182%.

gimme

And while this might not be the best action word for your site, it shows that the right word can make all the difference.

The only way to know for your site is to test new words and variations until you find what works.

Use timing words

It’s helpful to create a sense of urgency. The word “now” often helps to push people into action.

Another word is “today.”

As long as people feel a bit urgent, you’ve accomplished your goal.

Here is one button that uses the word “Now.” Sadly, it doesn’t adhere to some of the other elements we’ve been discussing, but it’s still a good example of how you can use timing words.

now

Keep it positive

Occasionally, some have used the negative technique — telling people not to click.

This technique should be used with care. Generally, people feel more optimistic when they see words like “Yes!”

Ugmonk did a great job of this with one of their popup overlay CTAs:

ugmonk

By creating a positive response that contrasts heavily with the negative option, they prompt you to take your 10%-off gift.

It’s a classic example of how positivity in a call to action can be a much better option than a negatively charged option.

Use a few obvious nouns

Whoever your users are, there are a few words that they really like to hear. “Guide,” “Ebook,” “Course,” etc.

Your button copy should explain what it is that they will see or get once they click.

Amazon’s buy button uses both a compelling action word — “proceed,” suggesting movement — and an obvious noun, “Checkout.”

With its use of a contrasting color, this button possesses a powerful sense of progress and value.

amazon

Suggest value

The word “free” is often used in button copy, and with good reason. It suggests to the user the value they will get when they click on the button.

Your value proposition was communicated earlier in the funnel. Now,  with your button copy, you remind people of that value proposition through a few strategic words.

MailChimp does a great job of this on their site with a centrally placed call-to-action button:

mailchimp

This helps remind their website visitor that there’s no risk involved with trying out their service.

Which makes it a great way to keep pushing you further into their sales funnel.

Keep your message consistent

The final thing to remember is that you need to keep your messaging consistent throughout all of your copy.

Consistency in your copy will help reduce confusion and improve your click-through rate.

Overall, keeping consistent messaging creates a better UX and makes conversions more likely.

To do this, you need to make sure that your call to action directly reflects the content that came before it.

Don’t say “Download our free guide” when you’re offering a way to help improve your lead’s content marketing.

Instead, say something like “Revolutionize your content strategy.”

It’s topically relevant, interesting, and stays consistent with your message.

This helps your visitor stay on their journey without any potential hiccups or unnecessary confusion.

Here’s an example of how you can accomplish this with your marketing.

epic cta

As you can see, Epic uses their homepage as a landing page that shows off success stories.

To keep the call to action topically relevant, they use the phrase “let’s start a new project together” when showing off a client website.

It’s a powerful way to turn your success stories into topical calls to action that your audience can’t ignore.

You can apply this principle through a practice called message match.

Using this technique, one of Moz’s clients saw a 212.74% increase in their conversion rate.

It’s when you take an ad that looks like this:

5966b6628d2977.16814332

(Image Source)

And turn it into a landing page like this:

5966b6634f2f68.41791338

(Image Source)

Notice how the ad matches the copy of the landing page.

The consistency matches up with our desire for nuance and context in communication, which goes a long way in boosting trust.

When you take the effort to match your messaging across paid ads, landing pages, and everywhere else your audience clicks, you’ll be better positioned to push your call to action.

9. Use first person

Your audience loves when you speak to their needs.

In fact, it’s what they want most of all in your copy, landing pages, and calls to action.

Generally speaking, when you see advice for call-to-action buttons, you hear to use the second person “you” or “your.”

But Flint McLaughlin from Marketing Experiments disagrees and instead recommends performing a “four-letter test” on your page to see how effectively you actually speak to your audience.

4 letter test

In short, this test it to determine whether you’re talking to or at your customer.

If you’re talking to your customer, you’ll connect and use elements like first-person calls to action.

But if you’re talking at them, they’ll likely leave and never come back.

The result will take your calls to action and cause a transformation like this:

17 08 18 cta 15

The result is much more enticing because it’s already personalizing ownership with your user.

Another conversion killer you can look out for is “we” according to WordStream.

When you use the word “we” you take the focus of your message off the solution you’re presenting.

It puts it on you instead, which immediately conveys a lack of trustworthiness to the party being sold to.

You might think it conveys a team building attitude, but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

By sticking to only first person, you can provide a path to build trust and create excitement through ownership.

When it’s already “my trial” or “my guide,” I immediately want to see it.

Your audience will want to see it too.

10. Create a sense of urgency

It’s a well-known fact that creating a sense of urgency in your marketing can improve your conversions

The same applies to your call-to-action button as well.

You’ve probably seen this type of approach on websites with links that say “Buy today and get 50% off!” or something similar.

That type of approach is exactly what I mean.

Here’s how I used a site overlay popup to push conversions on my own site:

site overlay offer with progress bar

As you can see, I employ a page overlay, so it’s guaranteed to be the sole focus of my audience’s attention.

I then extend an enticing offer that has a countdown, which creates the sense of urgency.

You can also take the approach Amazon does and show progressive amounts of scarcity on your products:

scarcity

By coupling a good deal with direct scarcity and a hard time cap, they’re able to drive their visitors to decide on the product that they’re selling.

Many times, that decision is made solely by creating urgency in the buyer.

But it doesn’t always have to be negative incentives that create urgency.

Positive actions like promoting a product as “new” is also a great way to drive conversions too.

Take this example from Fitbit’s homepage:

fitbit

By promoting their new product, they encourage loyalists to their brand to update to their newest technology.

It also instills a fear of missing out or FOMO.

That fear is what drives this entire trip home.

When your audience is afraid they’ll miss out on a special offer or product, they’ll feel the heat and act.

Driving urgency with your call to action can help you improve conversions quickly and consistently, so long as you don’t overuse it.

11. Consider “lazy” call to actions

I realize that not all sites are going for a soft sell.

Sometimes, conversions aren’t just getting clicks or email addresses.

Often, your goal is to get a purchase immediately.

Sites that focus on e-commerce are especially prone to poorly optimized CTA buttons, and iZooto linked this to an emphasis on crafting neat bells and whistles instead of focusing on CTAs.

At any rate, the temptation is real to make your product pages look cool but neglect CTAs, which makes this advice incredibly important.

In these cases, there are tricks you can use to help make the decision process easier, shorter, and ultimately more enticing.

I call these types of call-to-action buttons “lazy” call to actions because it taps into the commonly touted marketing principle that “people are lazy.”

If you’re going to ask for information, a credit card, or money, it’s in your best interest to make the process simple.

Utilizing cart buttons, or even a prominent “pay with PayPal” button can be the push your visitor needs.

Spotify again shows us how we can strategically place the pay with PayPal button to increase conversions.

paypal

Instead of having to input a credit card, which might be a hassle, you can simply click once and be on your way with their service.

It’s the ultimate form of convenience that mimics the real-life equivalent of paying at a cash register.

Another way you can accomplish this is displayed by how Pinterest uses a “Continue with Facebook” button.

pinterest cta

This type of approach is getting much more common as Facebook continues to grow.

And this is backed up by research compiled by the site Gigya:

social login

An impressive 66% of users prefer to use social login when given the option, and 77% of those same respondents have already used social login before,

So by creating a shortcut for your new visitor to create a profile, you make the conversion process much simpler overall.

Instead of inputting the information that’s already on every other digital profile you own, you can click one button that will automatically fill everything in for you.

Inputting lazy call to actions like this will help you tap into the sector of your audience that will drop out if they experience any friction.

12. Use whitespace effectively

According to the International Design Foundation, whitespace is one of the foundational elements of good web design.

They claim that “Macro whitespace” acts as a container for your design, and can be incredibly calming to your user.

I believe them too because I’ve seen this work when helping clients optimize their call-to-action buttons.

In this case, whitespace is the area around your call-to-action button.

It deals with how strategically you place the button to maximize clicks.

Crafting the right amount of whitespace has helped my clients direct their visitor’s attention and draw them towards the clickable call to action element.

If you want a good example of this, look no further than Google’s homepage.whitespace

There’s no question as to what you should be doing here because you’re limited to only a few options.

You can click the graphic, input a search term, and then search or click “I’m Feeling Lucky.”

While it’s arguable that Google doesn’t need any help from whitespace design, I believe otherwise.

I think it’s one of the reasons their design is so consistently successful and trusted.

And this thinking bears up when you start looking at other major brands who use whitespace effectively.

Like Netflix.

netflix cta

There’s so much whitespace on this landing page that you almost don’t even notice it.

They use the vast blank space to insert an image that draws the eye, tells a story, and creates direction toward their offer.

It also helps calm you, which builds trust and makes you want to click through.

All because of tactical whitespace design.

13. Optimize the location

To take whitespace a little deeper, you want to make sure that your call-to-action button is in a prime location.

Even with plenty of whites pace and proper design, it’s still possible to bury your CTA or create too much hype.

Think of it like you would an in-person sales pitch.

You don’t always go for the sale immediately.

You time your offer when your potential client sees the value and is open to your suggestions.

Location is the “timing” element of your call to action.

The idea is to take your visitor’s current position on your site and in their customer journey into account in your “pitch.”

Where should you put it then?

It depends.

Typically you’ll see a call to action at the end of a blog post with relevant copy.

But Hubspot found that only 6% of conversions come from CTAs at the end of a post.

So as you can see on my blog, I include a sidebar call to action that stays with you as you scroll through the post.

np cta

Which means at any point, a reader inputs their website URL and go further into my sales funnel.

This goes against the conventional end-of-post call-to-action button, but it works quite effectively.

And if you really want to optimize a post or page, that same Hubspot study found that between 83% and 93% of leads came from anchor text.

That means your internal linking is one of the most important CTA “buttons” on your blog post.

Plus, as you saw earlier when I told you about creating urgency, specialized landing pages or pop-up site overlays can also be an effective way to get your offer in front of your audience.

You’ll also see call-to-action buttons with a more “traditional” location, which I really like.

youtube red

This is a good example of classic placement from YouTube Red.

You’ve probably seen thousands of landing pages exactly like it, which is why it’s such a good tool.

It means you’re more likely to trust the brand, click through, and use the service.

The only way to really know what the best location is for your call to action is to test it yourself.

Like when I tested the common practice of putting a call to action “above the fold” of my website.

neilpatelcta

When I did, it decreased my conversions by 17%.

That was against everything I’d been led to believe about what would happen.

But just because it works for others doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.

I learned that lesson the hard way, so you don’t have to.

So test your call to action location as much as possible, and then keep on testing after that.

You’ll eventually find what works best, and then you can run with it.

14. Be super specific

Specifically telling your prospect what they’ll be getting is another method you can use to get your visitors to click on your call to action buttons.

This tip gets a bit tricky in application because you don’t want to have a call to action that’s too long.

An awesome way this was accomplished comes from The Next Web.

They were trying to get more traffic to their deal pages, so they tested two different calls to action.

Their first button simply said “deals.”

The second button stated a specific number of deals, such as this example that says “104 deals.”

testing cta variations for urgency

Guess which one performed better?

The second version gave them a drastic increase in clicks for their deals pages, all because they made it more interesting.

By generating curiosity with a specific offer, they increased conversions and discovered a new tactic for future use.

15. A/B test

At the end of the day, the only way to ever truly improve your call-to-action buttons and increase conversions is to test them.

In fact, I’ll bet you’ve noticed that most CTA advice you get is about testing.

That means you need to learn how to A/B test.

And it really isn’t hard.

The first part is actually the easiest.

You’ll discover easy to make changes can have drastic effects, and your call-to-action buttons are a perfect place to start.

Test your copy.

Test the design elements around your button.

Test every single tip I’ve given you in this post because not all of them will work for you.

Then test again when you’ve found an element that improves your conversions because it can always be better.

It’s all part of a cycle of decision, action, reaction, and then continued decision.

feedback loop decision action reaction

By singling out the best change instruments in your call to action, you will increase your conversions and revenue over time.

And please, don’t just copy your competitors.

It may work sometimes, but copying ideas won’t always work for you.

A day will come when you have to innovate, and the sooner you do that, the better.

But the only way to know anything is to test.

Use an A/B significance tester like the one from Kissmetrics to help you track conversion rates and stay on top of your data.

ab test

At the end of the day, this will help you find the small, powerful changes that work for your brand.

Without the dedication to testing, you’ll remain one step behind your competitors at every turn.

Are you ready to get to it?

Conclusion

There are no shortcuts to success when it comes to your call to action button.

There’s no right color, size, image, or text that will improve conversions.

And there’s no one trick that will guarantee your conversions increase immediately.

This is a process that takes time.

But if you follow the advice in this post, you’ll be one step closer to a better conversion rate and a stronger brand.

You’ll discover new ways that you can optimize elements like color, design, size, and copy.

Then you can go find the right place to put your button that creates urgency and pushes your audience to the next step on the path.

And you’ll be equipped to test every change you make to see if you really get the results you’re looking for.

There is no formula, but that’s not the end of the world.

When you choose the elements that fit your niche and audience, you’ll be glad you went through the effort it takes to successfully create a powerful call to action button.

How do you optimize your call-to-action buttons?

13 Comments

DON’T MISS OUT

Get updates on new articles, webinars and other opportunities:

Neil Patel

Neil Patel is the co-founder of Crazy Egg and Hello Bar. He helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue.

13 COMMENTS

Comment Policy

Please join the conversation! We like long and thoughtful communication.
Abrupt comments and gibberish will not be approved. Please, only use your real name, not your business name or keywords. We rarely allow links in your comment.
Finally, please use your favorite personal social media profile for the website field.

SPEAK YOUR MIND

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Steven says:
    October 1, 2015 at 5:56 am

    Too bad the convert verve split test is soiled. There’s no way to know if the change in message or the change in graphic made the difference. Switching “download” to “get your free converter” could theoretically have been the cause. (unless this was accounted for in other testing and already factored in, in which case disregard my comment!)

  2. Michael Hopps says:
    May 1, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Neil, this is a helpful guide as I continue growing my optimization skills. Thank you! I am growing the A/B testing program for theresumator.com – we’d love to have you stop by! Cheers, Michael

    • Kathryn Aragon says:
      May 1, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      I’m glad you found it helpful, Michael. Good luck with your A/B testing program. If you ever have a cool case study, let us know.

  3. Colin says:
    January 20, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Some great tips here guys! Thanks for the article.

    It’s interesting the difference a background colour makes!

    • Kathryn Aragon says:
      January 21, 2015 at 9:07 am

      So true, Colin! That’s why it’s so important to test your results.

  4. Kieren Trinder says:
    October 21, 2014 at 12:39 am

    I was going through the Way Back Machine last night and the one thing that stood out was the disinct lack of cohesive CTA’s in web design – even as late as the mid-late 2000’s. Not sure when the shift to a more scientifically eye-tracking method happened on a wide scale.

  5. Andrew says:
    October 17, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Awesome advice Neil! Thanks for sharing. I’m totally blowing it on #1 but soon to be fixed!

    • Neil Patel says:
      October 19, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      Andrew, glad I could help. I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  6. Aahna says:
    July 24, 2014 at 5:51 am

    Hi Neil,

    Really solid points, but again you need to test and see the results what’s working for your landing page. We can read suggestions but results can be improved only by testing various changes.

    • Neil Patel says:
      July 24, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Aahna, glad we could help 🙂

    • kapil heera says:
      August 4, 2014 at 1:52 am

      Hello Aahna,

      i would like to say that if you want to see the results then you have to implement all the changes and you should not depend on others experince if your target area is not same.

      Regards
      Kapil

  7. Martijn Engler says:
    July 23, 2014 at 6:58 am

    That A/B test in #2 seems a bit flawed to me. The copy on the button is totally different.

    And, as is stated in #8, some words convert better than others. “Download” is even explicitly listed as a boring one that can lower your conversion rate.

    • Neil Patel says:
      July 23, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      Martijn, let us look into it.

Show Me My Heatmap

Ah, @CrazyEgg I really do love you! So useful evaluating how users are interacting with all aspects of our zanerobe.com redesign

Mike Halligan

@MrMikeHalligan

What makes people leave your website?