Using calls-to-action effectively helps increase email signups, social media participation and time spent on site.

Many of your clients may not fully understand calls-to-action and how design and placement matter. If visitors can’t find the links, buttons or forms, the CTAs are useless.

Help your clients by educating on the most effective placement and design strategies. They’ll appreciate your input and the conversion boost it provides.

The Hierarchy

All calls-to-action aren’t created equal. For instance, a “Signup” button for your client’s email newsletter is likely  more important than the “Read More” button on story previews. The more important the CTA, the better placement it needs. The general hierarchy is as follows:

  • Buy products or subscriptions to special areas of the site
  • Subscribe to newsletter or email list
  • Download a free or fee PDF
  • Member registration – free or fee
  • Social follows
  • Social shares
  • Subscribe to site’s RSS feed
  • Add comments
  • View next post or read more on post previews

More important ones tend to be larger and placed higher on the page while less important ones are usually smaller and may be included in part of a story or post. Placement is vital. If they’re all together, visitors get confused. Spacing them out strategically reduces confusion and increases their effectiveness.

Provide White Space

Your clients’ most common mistake is likely burying their calls-to-action. Instead of buttons standing out, they’re surrounded by clutter such as extra stories, ads and even other CTAs. It’s not that visitors don’t want to take action, but they don’t notice any buttons or links to begin with.

Explain the purpose of white space to your clients. The size of the call-to-action may be fine, but adding a little white space around it makes it far more effective. If the CTA doesn’t isn’t immediately noticeable, it’s not going to help the client.

Optimize Placement

Your clients might want their content front and center, but visitors don’t want to have to scroll just to find a newsletter or social media signup. The most important calls-to-action should be placed above the fold. Explain to your clients that these can be in sidebars or within the header. This still provides ample space for content while still keeping CTAs visible without visitors having to scroll.

Place additional CTAs below the fold. For instance, social share buttons might be featured largely in the header or sidebar and then again in a smaller format in the footer. This reminds visitors to take action throughout the page.

Make Them Standout

Often times, clients want to make their calls-to-action blend in. They want their stories to be the star of the site. If the CTA buttons are the same or a similar color to the background, no one will notice them. Show your clients the difference between a standout button with contrasting colors and a bland, camouflaged button. The pop of color, larger font or even banner style still fits in with the design, but draws a visitor’s eyes to the button.

Rearrange The Layout

Rearranging where the calls-to-action are placed helps boost conversions. For instance, featuring the client’s new Instagram account in the header for a few weeks increases awareness and followers for the client. If your client has a premium subscription option, adding it to the featured content slider or as a banner between main stories helps draw more attention to it, especially if the client is offering a discount. Plugins such as Conductor help you and your clients easily rearrange the location of CTAs as needed.

Make The Purpose Clear

No matter where calls-to-action are placed, they need text to explain them. For instance, an email signup form in the sidebar should have large, noticeable text saying something such as “Don’t miss another exciting story. Sign up today.” Clients sometimes want to decrease font sizes to save space, but if the purpose isn’t clear, no one will take any action.


With a little education and some examples, it’s easy to help your clients understand calls-to-action. By working with them, you help improve the look and effectiveness of their sites. They might be hesitant at first, but they’ll come around as soon as they see how much better your CTA ideas perform.

Take control over call-to-action placement with the easy to use Conductor plugin. It saves you and your clients time. 

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