5 Call-to-Action Best Practices (Psst, Here are Tips on How to Write CTAs)

Emma Gasko
Reading Time: 5 minutes


Does your business have a website, a blog, and do you use email to generate leads? If so, Call-to-Action best practices can put them on steroids;  your CTA can help optimize the buyer’s journey and draw the right traffic that converts leads to customers spending coinage. The idea of a CTA seems simple enough, but in truth there are a set of best practice standards that most businesses neglect. These five points will help you optimize your current protocol.

best CTA practices

1. Lights, Camera, ACTION

Your CTA should be action orientated. After all, the purpose of a call-to-action is to get your consumer audience to complete an action whether it requires downloading an eBook, filling out a form, watching a video, or requesting a free audit. Use action-oriented verbs that clearly guide people into completing a defined action, such as “Download this FREE Tokyo travel guide.” Your CTA will be secondary to the content itself, so you will need to keep it brief, action-packed, and to the point.

When creating an action-packed CTA, think carefully about the words you can use by examining your buyer persona–a fictionalized persona you create modeled after real statistics that makeup who your authentic buyers are. Experiment with variations like “request”, “demand”, “sign up”, or “receive” and see which resonate best with your buyer audience.

learn how to write call-to-actions

2. Slap in Keywords Consistent with Your Landing Page and Offer


Keywords aren’t just for SEO gurus; they help your readers better understand what your brand and its offer is all about. Keeping your keywords consistent throughout the campaign and its CTAs will help your readers avoid confusion. In the CTA example above, they keyword is “Tokyo travel guide”. If you own a travel company, and you are running a special offer on destinations to Tokyo, run multiple campaigns dialed in to various consumer groups (students, couples, older travelers, etc) BUT keep the keywords rounded in consistency. Often, clicks can lead to multiple page views; someone who may have landed on a page with the CTA “Request Your Romantic Tokyo Travel Guide”, may first explore more of your site before returning to the free offer. In doing so, they may land on other pages with CTAs geared to other buyer types. For example, older travelers would likely be drawn to a CTA that says “Claim Your Free Seniors Group Tokyo Travel Guide”. Your landing pages can cater to different people, just make sure the keywords are consistent to ensure a clearly defined product and its services.

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3. It Needs to be King Kong (Grab People)

Remember that iconic scene when King Kong reaches through the window, grabs the woman, and climbs to the top of the Empire State Building waving her around while planes shoot at him? Your CTA should attempt the same attention-grabbing action. People have mixed ideas on how to achieve this, whether its larger font, bolder colors, or compelling imagery. Either way, it needs to have recognizable buttons and links so people know where to go. Again, think about your buyer persona and what resonates with them. Are they the type that want something flashy and bright? Or would they prefer the aesthetics of minimalism with a clean, simple button?  It’s wise to use contrasting colors that also align with your branding to amplify the attention-grabbing factor with your company colors and help your CTAs stand out visually.

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4. Use Strong On-Placement

Ultimately, you will want to determine where CTA placement best converts. On some pages this could be above the fold (visible before a visitor has to scroll down to read more). If placed here, it will be the first thing your buyers see  on the page. This may or may not be the best placement. If most of your visitor convert after first reading the page content, then placing the CTA to the side of the page may be better. In most cases, placing CTAs at the end of blog posts is preferred. This is because the type of people who generally click into blogs do so because they want to be educated or entertained, so the CTA must come after the content they desire. There really is no right or wrong place to put them. You just need to consider placement in a logical manner and ensure the CTA stands out and is generated towards the right buyers.

A/B testing


5. Test Changes and Analyze Results

Companies often face difficulties in measuring the effectiveness of changes made to CTAs. A solid goal to strive for is a one to two percent CTA. In other words, out of all the people who saw your CTA, one to two percent clicked on the link. So if one or two out of 100 people click on it, you aren’t too shabby. In terms of clicks transforming into submissions, HubSpot suggests an aim of 10%.

You can play around with a variety of changes to see how CTR and submission percentages change. By changing font color, button background color, button size, CTA placement, and any associated imagery, you can fine-tune your campaign. Start with small changes when testing. You can also use heat map technology to get a good idea of what works best. Not only will you be able to create CTAs with higher submission rates, but this will also help you better understand your buyer personas and know how to better market to them.

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