5 Call to Action Strategies to Lift Conversion Rates

Your new eCommerce store is up and running.  Visitors are coming to the site.  Half the battle is already won!  After some time, you notice that your conversion rates have not lifted, but also that bounce rates are not particularly high.  So, what is going on, and what can you do about it?

Based on this scenario, there is a good chance that the store lacks an effective call to action (CTA).  A CTA tells a store’s visitors what to do, what to buy, or where to click.  It can help shoppers begin navigating a site and can serve as the shortest path to a conversion.  Without a clear and effective CTA, a site’s visitors may lack direction and decide to leave.  

If this scenario pertains to your online business, do not worry.  Here are 5 call to action strategies to lift conversion rates.  

1. Ensure the CTA stands out and is clearly identifiable 

While this may seem obvious, it should not be overlooked.  Only 47% of websites have CTAs that take 3 seconds or less to find.  If visitors can quickly find a site’s intended starting point they are sure to be more likely to make a conversion.  According to many tests, it was found that 70% of the time online shoppers utilized the links on a given site to search for a product.  Only after exhausting the links do most visitors resort to the search bar.  What does this mean?  Shoppers want to be guided through websites; they do not want to spend much time looking around for something.  For more on essential eCommerce features check out this article.  Having a standout CTA is a great way to start guiding a shopper towards a conversion.

How can you make a CTA standout, though?  A CTA needs to be easily recognizable and obviously clickable.  One way to do this is by surrounding it with a border or by placing it on a complementary-colored banner so that it stands out from the rest of the page.  Using white space around a CTA is also a solid strategy for making it standout.  By simply making the CTA look like a button, companies have seen a 45% boost in clicks.

2. Instill a sense of urgency

When shoppers feel an opportunity is limited they may be more inclined to act fast.  One case study found that by adding a sense of urgency to a CTA, a company can increase conversions by 332%.  That is huge for any business!  A store can increase urgency in its CTAs by highlighting limited stock levels of a product or the time remaining to take advantage of a deal or sale.

3. Strategically located

While many marketers might impulsively place the CTA “above the fold” so that shoppers immediately see it, there should be more thought that goes into this decision.  A general guideline is as follows:  If a product does not require much explanation for a prospect to understand, for example clothing, then a CTA above the fold will quickly grab their attention.  However, if a business sells a more complex product, perhaps software or technical gear, placing the CTA below the fold after a description or explanation will give shoppers information to make a decision about whether or not to continue shopping and eventually make a purchase.  Shoppers are unlikely to be ready to make a purchase until they have a better understanding of what a business is selling.

4. Minimize choices

While offering more options to shoppers may seem intuitive, the age old saying “less is more” applies when designing CTAs.  Tests have proven that offering fewer options for where to click makes it easier for shoppers to execute a confident decision.  Having to decide between many CTAs to click can leave room for doubt in a visitor and make them less likely to ultimately convert.  A confident shopper is more likely to convert.

5. Minimize perceived risk  

Depending on what a brand is selling, minimizing the perceived risk of a CTA can really help increase clicks.  If a company is offering an expensive service or luxury good, “Buy Now” is not likely to be an effective CTA.  Remember, 92% of consumers do not visit a site for the first time with the intent to purchase, so especially when offering a high cost good or service, CTAs that minimize the perceived risk for visitors such as “Learn More” or “Try ___ Free For 30 Days” are likely to draw more clicks and eventually conversions.


When it comes to CTAs, clarity and location are key.  There is no single perfect CTA, but knowing your audience and understanding what information shoppers will need to make a purchase is a great place to start when designing it.  Once you have optimized your CTA, expect to see a solid lift in conversions.

Any other tips?  Feel free to comment below.