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You might think you’ve done everything in your power to optimize your website. But for some reason, your conversion rates still aren’t going up. Your visitors just aren’t doing what you want them to do.

How do you entice your readers to become subscribers to your newsletter, contact a sales agent, or make a purchase?

Creating great content is only half the battle. You might have an exquisite landing page and a brilliant advertising strategy in place. But, if you never tell your visitors what you want them to do next, how are they supposed to know? 

You need a call-to-action (CTA) to motivate your readers to move on to the next step of the buying process.

Here’s the good news:

We’re about to tell you what you need to know about CTAs. 

By the end of this guide, you’ll know: 

  • What a CTA is 
  • Which CTAs are most effective
  • What types of CTAs there are 
  • How you can use CTAs to your advantage 

What Is a CTA?

A call-to-action (CTA) is an image, line of text, pop-up, or button that invites the reader to take a specific step. A CTA involves an action word or words that instruct a visitor to do something. This can include becoming subscribers, buying a product or service, or following the business on social media. 

Most people have seen a CTA that prompts them to click the “Shop Now” button or “Sign Up” for a newsletter.

You need to include CTAs on your webpages for two reasons:

  1. CTAs guide visitors toward the next page they (or you) want them to go.
  2. CTAs can increase your click-through rate (CTR).

Click-through rate is the number of pages an average visitor views every time they visit your page. A high CTR gives your page a reputable look to search engines and can improve search engine optimization (SEO).

Create a CTA any time a reader has a moment to think about what they might do next:

  • After they’ve read an article, tell them how to become a subscriber to get more articles.
  • After they’ve read a product page, tell them how to get more information or buy the product.
  • After they’ve read your pricing page, tell them how to request a quote.

You want to make sure you are leading prospective customers to do something actionable on your website. 

Once you know what a CTA is, you can make sure they appear on nearly every page of your website. That includes your homepage, at the end of each blog post, or at the top of a landing page.

How to Create Effective CTAs for Your Website 

We’ve answered the question, “What is a CTA?” The next thing you should consider is, “What is a good CTA?” 

Specific CTAs can vary depending on the type of business and the situation. However, copywriters will tell you that effective CTAs should turn your visitors into top of funnel leads and convert leads to customers.

There is usually a mix of different CTAs on any given website, but the most eye-catching and effective calls-to-action are buttons. Whether you’re a small business owner just starting out or you already have an established ecommerce company, you need to know what a CTA is and how to create CTA buttons

Using CTAs the right way, can make your website conversions improve drastically. Here are some best practices for creating effective CTAs for your website’s content.

Build a Sense of Urgency With Your CTAs 

Adding an element of urgency to your CTAs is one of the ways to keep your visitors focused on the desired action. 

Use action verbs to let them know if it’s a limited offer, if the promotion is expiring soon, or if the stock is limited with compelling call-to-action phrases.

Call-to-action buttons or clickable links with urgency include words such as:

  • Hurry
  • Limited Time
  • Buy Now 
  • Today Only

These words will prompt your visitor to stay focused and act right away, rather than procrastinate.

Make Your CTAs Valuable

It may only take a few seconds, but clicking on a good CTA button should add value to your website visitor’s experience. 

Explicitly tell the reader what the value of clicking on a CTA button is. You can use text like “free subscription,” “free download,” or “click to save 20%” — but the claim must be true. 

Be clear. Make sure your readers are never confused about what a CTA is, or where it will lead them next. 

Ensure Your CTAs Are Eye-Catching

If you want to get more clicks on your CTAs, make sure they are large, prominent, and visually appealing. CTA buttons or images should have a highly contrasting design — but make sure the button color still fits with the overall scheme of your website.

It’s also a good idea to set your CTAs apart from the rest of the text with white space.

Map Out Your CTAs Logically

Think about the sales path to conversion for your particular product or service. Map it out. Consider what CTA will logically and smoothly guide your target audience along that path at each step in the process. 

If you have a high-end product or service, you might scare away visitors by asking them to buy before they understand your value proposition.

Examples of CTAs You Can Add to Your Website Right Now

The CTAs you can add to a website are virtually endless. If you can think of action words, you can think of CTAs. But, before you get bogged down in all of the possibilities, take a look at the most common types of CTAs. 

Evaluate these call-to-action examples and consider how they can help your business.

1. Lead Generation CTAs

What is a CTA if it’s not a lead-generating magnet? 

A lead is a potential customer — a person expressing interest in the product or service you’re selling. Lead generation is the process of using online strategies and tactics to identify and attract these prospects. 

CTAs are one of many lead-generating tactics marketers use. Ultimately, most CTAs’ end goal is to attract prospects and increase conversions

One of the best ways to do this is by giving them something valuable in exchange for their email address, like a coupon or e-book. You’ll be able to nurture that connection with an email campaign, which we’ll cover later. 

Examples of CTAs for Lead Generation include:

  • Schedule Your Free Webinar Now
  • Get My Free Trial Today
  • Click Here to Receive a Coupon
  • Yes, I Want My Free Ebook
  • Register For Our Free Online Course

2. “Read More’’ CTAs

After a page visitor has read the summarized version of your content, you can present them with a “Read More” call-to-action button. This is your chance to guide your reader to the full article. 

There is nothing wrong with just saying “Read More.” But, words with a sense of urgency may create a more effective call-to-action. Use words that encourage your website visitors to engage with your content further and spend more time on your site.

Examples of CTAs for “Read More” include:

  • Find Out What Happens Next
  • Learn More Now
  • Find Out How They Did It
  • Discover My Full Article
  • Show Me More

3. Form Submission CTAs 

Any time you have a form on your website, you need a strong CTA to encourage your target audience to take the time to complete it — especially if you’re trying to make contact with new leads. 

Express what positive outcome will result from accepting your call to action (in this case, submitting a form). This is a crucial step if you want to increase conversions.

Your CTA button should always come across as professional. But, instead of a conventional, straightforward “submit”, opt for enticing, jargon-free messaging with a little personality. 

Examples of CTAs for Form Submission include: 

  • Join Millions Of Others
  • Click Here To Contact Us 
  • Get in Touch With Us
  • Get Started Now
  • Work WIth Us

4. Social Sharing CTAs

Social sharing call-to-action buttons are among the most non-intrusive ways to get leads, visitors, and customers to interact with your brand offsite.

The simplest types of CTAs direct a reader to share information on social media websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked-in, and Pinterest. 

You can place social sharing CTAs on relevant pages of your website so visitors can share your content on their social media profiles. You can also set up CTA buttons that link to your social media pages and ask visitors to follow you. 

Adding appropriate social sharing CTA buttons to your pages helps you reach new audiences and attract new visitors back to your website.

Examples of Social Sharing CTAs include:

  • Facebook: Like, Share, and Page plugin buttons 
  • Twitter: Follow, Message, Share, Hashtag and Mention buttons
  • Instagram: Follow and Share buttons
  • LinkedIn: Follow Company and Share buttons 
  • YouTube: Subscribe buttons

5. Lead Nurturing CTAs

Leads are not a guaranteed sale. What happens between a generated lead and a closed sale is crucial.

Lead nurturing is the process of reinforcing relationships with potential customers. You do this by focusing your marketing and communication efforts on increased brand awareness, typically through an email campaign.

Marketers often use messaging that incorporates action words in their marketing campaigns. The copywriter’s goal is to maintain a connection until leads are finally ready to pull out their credit card and make a purchase.

Lead nurturing CTA buttons can help. The more chances you give prospects to engage with your business, the more likely they are to become customers.

Examples of CTAs for Lead Nurturing include: 

  • Get Your Free Shopping Guide
  • Here Is Your Free Demo
  • Try For Free
  • Watch This Video

6. Close the Sale CTAs

Once you’ve generated leads and nurtured them, you can finally get down to the business of converting them.

To turn leads into customers, you need to prompt your leads to act on their decision to buy. Provide a sales-focused CTA that tells your clients what to do.

Examples of Close the Sale CTAs include:

  • Shop Now
  • Buy Now
  • Click To Save
  • Speak With a Sales Specialist Today
  • Check Out Our Pricing
  • Get My Quote Now

Now that you know what a CTA is, it’s time to create buttons for your website. Compelling call-to-action buttons will improve your page’s click-through rate and inspire your website visitors to interact with your business.

With well-crafted CTA buttons, you’ll be converting casual readers into customers in no time.

If you’re looking to create a website or rebuild an existing one, use the guidelines and call-to-action examples above to add CTAs effectively. But, be sure to customize your CTAs to fit your website’s goals and style. By giving your CTAs a little more thought, the possibilities of boosting website performance are endless.

Get more insight on powerful CTAs from the Bluehost Blog

  • Machielle Thomas

    Machielle is a content enthusiast who has a passion for bridging the gap between audiences and brands through impactful storytelling. Machielle has also spoken at dozens of WordCamps throughout the years.

    Texas State University
    Previous Experience
    Brand Content, Content Marketing, Brand Lead, Operations Lead, Course Instructor
    Other publications
    Shopify, Contently
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