The Complete Guide to Improving Clicks on Your CTA Buttons



Generating leads on auto-pilot isn’t as easy as it used to be.

The days of slapping a templated page and expecting hordes of people to sign up are gone.

In fact, an irrelevant offer can drive away most if not all visitors. 

At other times visitors may have been teetering on the verge of conversion but since the landing page lacked clarity on what the offer was the conversion never happens. In those instances, it could be that the Call to Action was either confusing or barely present.

The task becomes even more difficult if you’re your own enemy.

The copy, design, images everything you use on a landing page has to appeal to the lead.

I’d say of these elements the Call to Action is the step between where your visitor is and where you want them to be. As such it’s the most important conversion element.

What am I talking about?

A landing page that works hard against itself can guarantee you don’t get any leads.

In this post, we’re going to cover everything you need to know on how to make CTA buttons get more clicks and convert better.

But why are Call-to-Actions so important?

They are the bridge between targeted visitors and conversions.

As such the  can break or make conversions.

Despite tons of tutorials on CTA optimization, there’s still a lot of confusion and marketers struggle in making conversions happen.

Let’s analyze those mistakes so that you’re able to fix them and get clicks to your CTA.

But what’s the most critical element in Call to Action copy.

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The call to action copy should be as relevant as possible

Let’s analyze with the help of an example.

Fitness World a group of chain gyms got a 213.16% increase in conversion when they changed their CTA copy from “Get Membership” to “Find Your Gym & Get Membership.”


The teeny bit of explanation that visitors are given their choice of gyms made all the difference in the world to gym goers. It was the most relevant piece of information they read on the page resulting in a gigantic lift in conversions.

To cite another example, when FreeMake an mp3 download site changed the button copy from “Download” to “Get your free converter” putting things in perspective for users they got a massive boost in conversions.

The big green button with relevant copy outperformed the control copy that offered little to no context by 10.94%.

Design Call-to-Action Buttons

In yet another well-documented example, the Conversion Rate Optimization team at Moz wanted to improve conversions on a landing page for a client in the B2B space. They did this by optimizing the CTA button copy.

The landing page was designed to attract qualified leads by getting them to sign up for a demo of the product.

It had a clean design with a call to action that invited prospects to schedule a demo.

But the team felt that the page was lacking in conversions.

The problem, it turns out was in how the CTA was phrased—it said, “schedule a demo” which caused friction because scheduling required work and planning— viz picking a date and time in the calendar that matched both the user’s and company’s convenience.

In a bid to improve clicks, the team decided to completely go away with the point of friction. Instead, they created a demo video that was readily available to download and thus chucked out the need for scheduling and keeping an appointment.

The promise of convenience was all that the page needed to attract more clicks and conversions.

Here you can see the difference between the two pages. The first page with the CTA “Schedule a Demo Today!” and the second page with the CTA “FREE 5 Min Demo Video”

C:UsersGeorgeDownloadscta power1.png

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Since now all that a visitor needed to do was enter their email and download the demo video. It resulted in a higher number of leads with the conversions jumping by 738% in the variant.

This kind of insight lends itself to us only when we collect feedback—i.e. talk to our existing customers and potential customers on what’s holding them back from signing up or continuing further up in their journey effectively helping us identify the point of friction.

Finally, kill the word “Submit” in CTAs. A CTA that puts the entire focus on the work the visitor must do benefits no one. It kills a perfectly good opportunity where we could have added a line of benefit or told the visitors what they get after the penultimate step. Some simple alternative sentences are as follows: read the blog, download the e-book, get the checklist on Facebook ad optimization, and so on.

The word submit is the dumbest CTA ever.

Make the CTA more personal

Simple variations in CTA copy that make them appear more relevant and personal can lift conversions.

Michael Aagard of Content Verve too discovered that a personal copy attracts more clicks and conversions.

He believed that the call to action copy would have a major impact on the “purchase decision” of prospects.

However, he arrived at this starting with the wrong hypothesis.

He wanted to test if the possessive determiner “your” worked better than possessive determiner “my”. The working theory was since the entire copy speaks to the visitor in the second person the determiner “your” in the CTA copy will not only be harmonious with the rest of the copy but will also improve conversions. But he decided to test and see for himself.

When he changed the extant CTA from Create my Account to Create your Account, the conversions tanked by 24.95%.

C:UsersGeorgeDownloadscta create your account.png

Testing it on a number of pages yielded the same result. Using the word “my” lifted conversions in CTA copy than using the word “your” on a consistent basis.

Carrying forward what Michael learned with his test on CTA button copy he decided to conduct the same test on Unbounce’s PPC landing page. The sole change that was introduced was changing the button copy from “Start your free trial” to “Start my free trial”.

The revised CTA copy “Start my free 30-day trial” increased CTR by 90%.

C:UsersGeorgeDownloadscta my free trial.png

The only thing to be kept in mind for conversions is to pick something up and stick to one (albeit plain) that brings the most conversions rather than swearing by flawed theories and trying to make them work. In that attempt, you unnecessarily bloat word count hoping that a wordier CTA will get more conversions or do similar unnecessary things that tank conversions instead.

Give them a single choice

Several choices reduce clicks on CTA buttons.

Competing options and elements distribute clicks to the different clickable items on the page. Instead of the call to action getting the prime focus it gets a diluted approach from visitors.

Everybody knows that x number of clicks mean y number of clicks and conversions. You increase clicks and there’s a good chance that the conversions go up.

Hence any attempt that drives down the number of clicks is detrimental to conversions.

That’s why we don’t want any other links messing up our CTA’s shots at success.

In this case study by MarketingSherpa we can see the difference in conversions when a single CTA was employed instead of placing too many of them.

This was the original landing page.

Notice the number of different CTAs throughout the copy?

I count at least 5.

Image Source

This was the variation

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All secondary CTAs and photographs were removed and there was just one CTA with a big orange button. The new landing page with the single CTA achieved a 42% increase in clicks for Whirlpool.

A word to the wise

Finally, make sure your content is easy to read and understand.

Blue text on a black background. Flashy texts and javascript all over the place.

They looked cool back when the internet was launched. In the 90s. Now it’s hideous and jarring.

Don’t make it that the visitor has to squint to understand what’s going on.

Make it scannable. Maintain a visual hierarchy that’s easy to follow. Bullet points were invented for this very reason and so were subheadings.

Use visual cues like arrows and pointers to call attention to specific elements like the CTA if you can’t help being verbose.

To sum things up

  • Call to Actions are buttons. Make them look clickable. Lots of fancy CSS that make the CTA look wonderful but un-clickable aren’t going to get many clicks. Stick to what works and make them look clickable. One way to do this is by using clear borders around the button so that it differentiates itself from the rest of the copy.
  • Also, remember that as many distractions as you place reduces the number of clicks that eventually get funneled. Always strive to reduce distractions.
  • Action words convert best. By all means ditch the word “submit”.
  • Use contrasting colors in the CTA. The CTA shouldn’t blend with the rest of the page but pop out. Don’t fuss with shades of colors picking and throwing ones to find aesthetically perfect ones. Your goal is to improve conversions and not win awards

What do you think about the role of CTA buttons in conversions? Do let us know in the comments below.

Want more sales? Download my 11-Point Perfect Sales Funnel Checklist or invest in our Sales Funnel Blueprint.

About the author:  
George is a freelance writer and marketer for the past 8 years. He blogs about search intent optimization to CRO to marketing advice for startups almost every day.


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