Why Your CTA is Killing Your Conversion Rate

The mighty call to action button (CTA) is the final gateway to turn visitors into leads which later become customers. A successful CTA largely depends on placement, color, size, shape, and space around the button.

Is your CTA button getting the results you want? Do your visitors clearly understand your proposition and where to click?

These are the nine pitfalls that constantly keep your visitors from becoming leads:

1) It Doesn’t Have Arrows

Directional cues have been shown to make a significant improvement in conversion rate. A study done by Unbounce showed that a CTA with a green arrow performed 12.29% better than one with the same copy without an arrow.

It can be a simple arrow pointing to your CTA or it can include text which shows a benefit or creates urgency.

Mexico resort with a CTA with arrow and text creating urgency
Shopify using an arrow and benefit

2) It Doesn’t Look Like a Real Button

Make your CTA seem like a real button, if it looks flat users will confuse it with just another component on the page.

You must make this the most important component of your page because it is the deciding factor between bounce or conversion.

3) It’s Not Big Enough

Make it as big as possible, however, in proportion with the rest of the content on your page.

If made too big, you are blocking out other important aspects of the page such as the value propositions, the heading, and features.

You also don’t want to make your visitors feel anxious or annoyed by using letters that are uncomfortably large for the eye. With larger buttons, you can use less prominent but still distinctive from the background.


4) It’s Not Personal and Doesn’t Use Power Words

Building up trust on a landing page is extremely difficult but can be done with the small detail of writing your CTA in first person. Words like “my” and “I” have been proven to make a 26.55% difference instead of using “you.

Words that create a deep emotional response or “Power Words” also make an impact on your conversion rate. Phrases that imply exclusivity, scarcity, and security usually work best.

CrazyEgg using “Me” and “My” in the CTA
99 Bit Coins using “Me” in the CTA button

5) The Placement is Bad

A common behavior for page viewers to read in a F-shape starting from the top left of a page to the lower right. This is why when many professionals make a landing page they tend to put the CTA button near the bottom right above the fold.

Nature air experienced a 591% increase in conversion just by testing the best button placement. For this reason, it is crucial to be aware of how we read landing pages, but always try A/B test CTA button placement.

Sprout Social Heat Map Showing F-Shape Tendency

ContentVerve.com argues that if you have a complex product that needs to be explained more, it is best that your CTA is at the bottom of the page. If it is a simple idea it should remain at the top.

Quick Sprout founder Neil Patel also found that his CTA below the fold got 39% more clicks than the one above on his website.

Content Verve experiment

6) There is No Hero Shot

A large picture above the fold of a person also has an effect on your conversion rate. Specifically, directional cues towards the CTA button are also highly recommended.

People rather than objects enjoying your product and looking toward the CTA are also a big factor in conversion. A home loans page had a 1148% increase just from changing the hero shot to a more relevant one to the product.

Lyft using the gazes towards the CTA
Priceline using directional cue and person to the next step

7) The Message Isn’t Accurate and Relatable to the Landing Page’s Offer

If you are offering an eBook, make sure you deliver an eBook. Not only visitors will be deceived if you do not deliver this promise after clicking your CTA, but google might deduct your page a few points.

A widely known rule in CTA design is to never use “submit” or “click here” due to their vagueness. Buttons like the ones shown below are great examples of giving the visitors a direct message of what they will get.

Resume Baking using “Create Resume” to describe exactly what should be expected

8) It’s Not a Contrasting Color

How are people supposed to know where to click if the button is the same color as the background?

If your background is light, then you should choose a darker color for your CTA button. In addition brighter colors like orange, green, or red are usually more noticeable than a brown or black.

There is not particularly a “right” or “best” color to choose. Hub Spot did a case study hypothesizing that green (which suggests safety or to go) would perform much better than red. With over 2,000 page visits, red surprisingly performed 21% better.

9) You Don’t Do A/B Testing

Quite possibly the most important thing is to always A/B test. While there are many general rules in making a great landing page, many of these “rules” are broken and demonstrated to be more successful.

Empire Flippers experienced a 33.10% increase in conversion rate simply by changing the copy; just as Content Verve did in the example below.

When A/B testing, it is important only to change one component so you can can make a more accurate analysis on conversion rate. Don’t rule out to make small changes which can sometimes dramatically increase your leads.

Case study from Content Verve with a change in copy

Wrap Up

Many businesses believe the CTA button may seem like a small detail in the big picture. However, Small Biz Trends reported that 70% of small businesses lack a CTA button on their pages.

Creating a button without falling into the nine common mistakes will already put you ahead of the pack.

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