Four States Small Business Blog

Website Not Generating Sales? Check Your Calls to Action

Posted by Brett James on November 8, 2022 at 9:49 AM
tips for writing CTA copy
A business website is one of the most critical components of a thriving company. It can help people find your physical location, buy online, or help you gather the valuable contact information of potential customers. And driving all of this is the humble call to action. Frequently abbreviated as CTA, your website's calls to action will greatly determine your success online. So, it's important to get them right. 

What is a CTA?

CTAs are integral to all persuasive communications but ubiquitous in marketing. In its most basic form, a call to action is any prompt encouraging someone to take action. On a website, calls to action almost always take the form of a button with text. Two aspects of a website's CTAs are copy (the text) and design (colors, styling, position).

If your website is underperforming your expectations, a great place to start making improvements is with your CTAs.

Tips for Writing CTA Copy

Calls to action are essential for getting the most out of your website, and several things need to come together for them to work right. Some factors that play into great CTA text include:
  • Reasonableness
  • Transparency
  • Tone


An excellent call to action must always be reasonable. Visitors to your website should feel comfortable taking the action you asked for based on the amount of information you gave. That's why most CTAs follow the disclosure of useful information. For instance, a car dealership may use the CTA "Apply for Financing" after a blurb explaining the financing process. If, however, the same company placed that CTA on its maintenance information page, the CTA would not logically follow and would likely perform poorly.

A common mistake with website CTAs is asking too much. The best example of this is asking for detailed contact information before showing that your company can meet the needs of the web visitor. If the first CTA on your homepage is a form seeking their phone number and email, most people will leave your site before learning anything about your business.

Of course, there is absolutely a time for CTAs to garner contact information. But these CTAs should appear after quality information with the guarantee of a swift response and any other benefits the visitor will receive from filling out a contact form. 


When you write a CTA, you must communicate to your web visitors what interacting with the CTA button will do. That's why the worst example of copy for a CTA is "Click Here." That text in no way informs the web user what will happen when they click the button.

The copy for your call to action should always have enough information for anyone to understand what the button does without relying on other content on the website. Web visitors do not read websites from top to bottom. Instead, most users scan the site, only reading what catches their eye or interests them. Your CTA should be able to stand alone, even as it forms a coherent part of the content near it. For instance, your button could say "Read Customer Reviews" following a text block about your company's regional popularity. Without reading the related content above, the user can understand that clicking the button will take them to a page full of reviews.


You must write engagingly using strong action words to create excellent calls to action. Consider an online-based roasteries website button that reads "Coffee Order Form"  This wording informs the visitor what they will find when they interact with the button, but it doesn't engage them with active language. A better version of this CTA would be "Order Coffee Online." The word "Order" is a strong action word and encourages potential customers to take the desired action. Rather than a simple label on a button with a passive description of the content it leads to, the CTA compellingly invites the user to purchase from the website. 

Design Considerations for Your CTA

There are several basic design considerations to help your calls to action stand out on your website that include:

  • Color
  • Styling 
  • Position


The color of your CTAs should stand out but complement the other colors of your website. It's best practice to choose a color for your CTAs and reserve that color for CTA uses only. That way, when visitors are scrolling your website, they intuitively understand that elements of that coloring are intended for interaction.


Styling considerations include the shape of your button and the font. Similarly to the colors, your CTA font should look at home with fonts on the rest of your website, but it generally should appear stronger. The font size should be smaller than website headings but larger than paragraph text. Although it may be tempting to capitalize all the letters in your CTA, you should avoid doing that. Search engines penalize content in all caps because clickbait frequently uses that strategy.


Typically the more important your CTA is to your website's success, the higher on a page it should go. The area visible to visitors before they scroll is called 'above-the-fold.' The above-the-fold area on your homepage will almost always be your website's most trafficked. This is where you should put the most important information for visitors and your highest-value CTAs.

Get Competitive Online with Help from Zimmer Marketing

If you don't yet have a fast, search-engine-friendly business website, the web development team at Zimmer Marketing can help. We've created optimized websites for dozens of local businesses, improving the strength of their brands!

Learn More About Zimmer Marketing Web Services

Topics: Website Design