Simple Examples of Various Types of Calls to Action (CTA)

The call to action (or CTA) on your webpage is one of the most important pieces in the conversion process. It speaks specifically to the readers of one piece of content and beckons them to move closer to becoming a customer. Having effective calls to action can increase your conversion rate many times over and

What exactly is a website call to action?

A call to action is a banner, form or link that guides or requests website visitors towards the next step in the conversion process. So, for instance, if a searcher lands on your website for the first time, you might offer them something with a very low barrier to obtain, such as a downloadable ebook or whitepaper. Someone who has already obtained one of those “top-of-the-funnel” offerings might have a more advanced call to action presented to them, such as product specs or a special invitation that requires a bit more personal information to be obtained in exchange.

Example of Form and Banner call to action
Banner Call to Action – Banners generally target new visitors and people in the research phase of the buying cycle. The sole purpose of a banner is to grab attention quickly while providing information that speaks to the visitor. Banners are best served when highly targeted to the webpage audience and are most effective when targeted on a per-page basis. So, if I have a page / article / blog post talking about small blue and black widgets, having a banner with an offer targeted to the people who would most likely be interested in small blue and black widgets will mean a much higher conversion rate (or chance that they will become customers).

Example of Call to Action Banner and LinkLink Call to Action
-Links are usually used in navigation or as a call to action at the end of an article that tells visitors that they can get more by clicking. In addition to being easy to implement, a link has the ability to offer additional value to search engines by utilizing anchor text. Don’t let the simplicity of a text link call to action fool you, when used at the bottom of posts where the text is highly targeted to the offer, they are powerful SEO and conversion tools.

Form Call to Action – Forms are usually presented as a way to sign up for a newsletter or request information. Sometimes forms are placed right into the page you are viewing and other times, the form is associated with on of the above mentioned calls to action – whereas a person might see a link, banner of button that leads them to a page with a form for them to fill out. In-page forms are usually very simple and request very little information from the visitor in exchange for the offering.

In all of these examples, you will notice that there is a common theme and that is to match your call to action with your content. For obvious reasons, having a mis-matched offer will mean a far lower conversion rate as opposed to an offer that’s spot on. If I’m writing about cats, I need to have a call to action associated with an offer that speaks to cat owners – not dog owners. This holds true no matter the type of business you’re in, demographics or location. If you’ve gotten people to land on your page, you’re missing huge opportunities if you aren’t utilizing calls to action!

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  • Laura Olney

    Hi, Samantha!  I found this page very interesting.  I am setting up product lists for my category pages, and I have made notes on items that seem to be a natural link to another category page.  Do you recommend having links with a few product listings?  For example, under Gifts, a “bird cam” seems a perfect link to my Gotta Have This! page, where I have all the techno-geek stuff for gardening, such as a”time-elapse plant cam” etc.  I figured that a new visitor may not identify the best category at first, or may find interesting information under another category that may enhance the “browse” and perhaps gain sales?

    I’d love to know what you think.

    • Hello Laura,

      It’s very hard to say what would be most effective without looking at the site. However, one thing I will say is – don’t be afraid to test, test, and test some more. Even for the most experienced marketers, there is some trial and error involved in setting up a new website. If you are DIYing it, go with your gut at first, but be sure to have your Analytics set up (with goals / funnels preferably) and don’t be afraid to switch little things up a bit and monitor conversions to see what’s working.