A call-to-action, or CTA, is a button, banner, or link intended to persuade the user to click or take the desired action. Whether they’re on pricing, product, or landing pages, well-designed CTAs clarify what people will get when they click and can increase your conversions.
Many people may not even realize how many CTAs they click per day, from pressing “order now” on a food delivery app to clicking “shop the collection” on a retail site. However, as one of the many elements of a page, it shouldn’t be an afterthought and can make a bigger impact than you might think.
Examples of CTAs
CTAs can be as short as one word or as long as a brief phrase. It’s important to remember that what’s optimal for a retailer might not work for a blog and vice versa. Here are some common CTA examples.
- Request trial
- Register here
- Read more
- Add to cart
- Request a quote
- Sign up for free
- Book your appointment
- Compare plans
- Explore platform
- Access now
What are the different types of CTAs?
Form: If your brand relies on lead generation, then you likely have some type of form submission, whether it’s downloading a resource, signing up for a newsletter, or getting a quote. CTA forms typically contain a space for one’s first and last name, an email address or contact information, and a CTA button. These forms can be pop-ups or already exist on a page.
Button: A CTA button is likely the most common form of a CTA. These are frequently placed under blog posts or subscription plan pages or as part of sign-up forms. A button is a great way to influence a user to take an explicit action—or direct them to somewhere else on your app or site so they won’t be overwhelmed with too much information.
Banner: A CTA banner is typically something you don’t want a user to miss, so it’s usually found on a landing page above the fold. This banner is likely the first thing you want your customer to see, and the general composition is a few lines of copy, an image, and space for a CTA.
Text: For a secondary CTA that’s more subtle, consider using a simple text with an inline link. A text CTA should be more conversational and less transactional—and could be as straightforward as “click here to improve your skills.”
Best practices for a better CTA
Use active voice: Write CTAs in the active voice to increase specificity and guide the user to take action. When designing a CTA, avoid using the passive voice as it may create ambiguity or vagueness.
Be intentional about the CTA type you choose: Just because a CTA pop-up works for your competitor doesn’t mean it’ll also work in your favor. Depending on your copy and context, a banner might work better—or something else. Or, you might even want to mix multiple types of CTAs on one page if it makes sense. To eliminate the guesswork, consider conducting A/B tests and collecting user feedback to get answers.
CTA forms should have titles and specific buttons: A great CTA will make it obvious what people will get. While this can be circumstantial, if your landing page has a form for booking an appointment, the button could read “Book appointment” rather than something more generic like “Submit.” Unless there’s already a crystal clear explanation on the page due to graphics or extra copy, generic CTAs don’t tell your users anything about what will happen next. Clarity leads to conversions.
Keep it above the fold: If users can’t determine what action to take just by quickly looking at the page, they may get confused and leave. Keeping your CTA above the fold, or visible on the page without needing to scroll down, is a great way to ensure users will immediately know what to do. Being intentional about placement goes for mobile, too. Make sure your CTA appears above the fold on mobile devices as well.
Use contrast to make your CTA buttons stand out: An easy way to make your CTA button pop on the screen is to give it a unique color that contrasts with (and complements) the background of the page. This visual will immediately draw attention to it, so there's no mistaking its presence.
How to improve your CTAs with UserTesting
CTAs are the bridge between a pageview and a conversion. This makes it all the more important for you to get the combination of the language and the visuals just right. Using the human insight platform, you can conduct A/B or usability tests to evaluate whether your new CTA has higher conversions than your previous one. Or, you can test to see if changing the colors or rephrasing the copy will resonate with your audience.