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Best Call to Action Words

Little Things Make a Difference

Here's an example of "you get what you pay for" when it comes to website design. It's about what might be considered to be "the smaller things" which are what to label buttons and other "call to action" (CTA) statements on your website.

The generic "Click Here" statement is usually not the best call to action for your website. In my opinion, it's a little lazy. It works, sure. What's funny is that years ago, you had to say "Click Here" everywhere because the Web was new. Guess what? It's not new anymore. The Web has grown up - it's 20 years old. People know how to use it now. There are kids that have been born after the World Wide Web was created who have been using it for years now. The best CTA statements now do not say "Click Here" but state more about the value or what will happen next.

It pays to test your main pages - your money pages, landing pages, sales pages, offer pages and your home page. What works on one website might not work on another.

Here's a great article on call to action statements:

Mastering The Call To Action – Words, Color, Size & Location (conversionxl.com)

The article is very in-depth and worth at least a skim if not a print out and being stuck to the fridge. It talks about testing images and heat maps, too. Read it.

Best CTA Phrases and Words to Use

In general, you definitely want to use a verb. This is basic. Even "click here" does that much. Some good examples:

  • Buy
  • Save
  • Shop
  • Compare
  • Find
  • Order

Adding "Now" on to any of these is good, too.

The more specific you can be, the better. For example:

  • Grab Yours Now
  • Save Your Seat
  • Try It Free
  • Start Now
  • Sign Up
  • Learn More
  • Get It Now
  • Join Now
  • Get Started
  • Register Now
  • Find Out More
  • Claim Your Spot Now
  • Free Registration
  • Get a Free Quote
  • Start Your Trial
  • Act Quickly
  • Offer Expires
  • Watch Now
  • Reply Today
  • Add to Cart

Search Boxes

For search boxes, using the word "Go" for the button works better than "Find" for "Search" written on it.

Where to Put Your CTA

Beyond just using the right words, you want to test where your call to actions should be, what color they are and so forth.

I really like this article which goes pretty in-depth:

20 Mistakes that Will Undermine Your Call to Action and Cost You Sales (copyblogger.com)

Test, Test, Re-Test, A/B Test, Split Test... But Just Test!

It all comes down to testing. Sure, our design team has a really good idea on what we've found to work but each website isn't the same. The audience is different, the brand is different, the industry is different and so forth - there are many factors. The small things matter.

Testing doesn't have to be expensive, either. Try a button label one way one week and then change it. It can be just that simple.

You, of course, need to be keeping good statistics and have a baseline to test against. Once you're doing that, try changing things up and give it a good amount of time like a week or two.

Other Factors

Don't forget about the "other factors" that affect website traffic. I'm mainly talking about offline things... you know, the real world. Some examples:

  • the weather
  • holidays
  • world events
  • tragedies
  • entertainment events
  • is school in session?

One thing I've consistently seen over the years is how the weather affects Internet traffic. The worse the weather, the better the traffic.

I've had clients call in a panic wondering what's going on and I've had to remind them about the real world. In one instance, there was that big power outage on the East Coast. Once I mentioned that, he calmed down. He forgot that 20% of the nation (or whatever it was) didn't have power. Those people were more worried about getting power and food and water and not so much about buying items on his website.

So don't forget about what's going on in the real world / offline.

This can work the other way, too. Sometimes there are events happening online and if you're in the right place at the right time, you could be getting more traffic.

The Size of the "Ask"

Ok, getting back to the call to action... you want to vary how much you're asking of your website visitor. Sure, there's the "big ask" where you're trying to get them to pull out their credit card but maybe they're not sold yet. You can ask for smaller things like:

  • Join Our Newsletter
  • Download Our Report
  • Contact Us
  • Like Us
  • Follow Us

You get the idea. Provide multiple calls to action of varying strength.

The thing I really hate is that popup that asks you to like their page on Facebook right as you enter the website. Whoa! Wait a minute... I'm just getting to know you - don't ask me if I like you on our first date... my goodness.

Don't forget that you're dealing with real people. Do you walk up to strangers and ask them if they like you? No, that's not how society works. They'll think you're weird or run away from you. If you're going to be social, remember how society actually works if you want the best relationships with your clients, customers or prospects online.


Try to go beyond "click here" and try different statements. Maybe you don't need a website overhaul but just a few adjustments to your current website. Don't always think in terms of getting more traffic but instead converting more of the traffic you have. Bam! Did I just blow your mind? Probably not but sometimes people forget that. The great thing is that if you can convert more of your existing traffic, then when you get more traffic, your sales will really go up!


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