The call-to-action button is a critical part of the conversion process. If it gets missed or misinterpreted, you’re leaving money on the table.

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when creating your buttons, so it’s easy for visitors to take your desired action:

1. Have a single, clear call-to-action button on the page

It should be immediately obvious what the user is supposed to click on to move forward.

If you have more than one CTA button, create a clear visual hierarchy, so the user knows which button is most important.

You can do this by picking a color that stands out or by making the primary button bigger than the others. You can also demote less important buttons to text links.

2. Experiment to see which format works best

Your site visitors need to be able to immediately spot your buttons.

There’s this concept in usability called visual signifiers for affordance – clickable elements on the page need to look the part. Buttons need to look like buttons, so users know that they can be interacted with.

That said, not one button format will work for all, so test to identify which format works best for your page.

You can experiment with …

  • Shape, specifically how rounded the corners are
  • Color, specifically how much contrast there is between the button and the theme
  • Visual embellishments, like a chevron to indicate actions
  • Size, and the minimum dimensions that work without being gaudy

3. Be Clear and Specific

Buttons should accurately describe what happens when it’s clicked.

For instance, a button that merely says “Proceed” in the checkout flow will create confusion about whether clicking the button will result to the customer being charged or if they can still review the order.

Also, don’t sacrifice clear for quirky. “Add to bag” might not immediately make sense to the customer, so you might want to stick with “Add to cart,” which is the convention.

4. Write button text from the user’s perspective

Button labels should match the user intent. Ideally, the label should complete the thought “I want to …”

So, instead of the button saying “Submit,” it should say something like “Download the whitepaper” or “Start my free trial.”

Get Your Buttons Pushed

Make it easy for your visitors to take action. If you make your CTA button obscure and use vague messaging, you’re only getting in the user’s way.