the sky floor

Should the Call-to-Action Button Really Go There?

August 9, 2022

Last year, I had the most peculiar experience at a mall. I needed to go to multiple stores on errands, and in every store, an employee was standing right near the entrance yelling like Loud Howard near the doorway:

Get Started! Register! Shop Now! Start Now! Sign Up for 10% Off!

Sometimes they were sitting right at the entrance; other times, they seemed to jump out of nowhere after 750 milliseconds, sliding into my field of vision. Some wore brand colors, and others had wild off-brand colors you could barely ignore. The thing is, I was just walking in, and I wasn’t ready to purchase – please, give me some space to see if I want what you sell! 

Of course, I wasn’t shopping at a real mall; I was browsing the interwebs (I assume thats what the kids are calling it these days).

We have all been accosted by the large call-to-action buttons at the top of nearly every webpage – practically yelling at us to take the next step. But is the top banner the best place for a CTA? 

When new users arrive at your website, they probably aren’t ready to punch that button, sign up, get started, or shop now. Often the new user is there to learn what you are about and decide if they are ready to take the next step. BUT, we don’t want to obscure the call to action if someone is inclined to act. So how can we bridge the gap between accosting new visitors and making it easy to take the next step?

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Here are a few ideas on how to switch it up:

  • Have a CTA button that only appears for return visitors in the top area on the home page: It may help to target return visitors with a more assertive call to action.
  • Have a CTA in your navigation: You can take it out of the banner area on your home page since it is still accessible.
  • Replace the primary CTA with a CTLM: Okay, I made that up, but a call to learn more might be more appropriate. 
  • Move your CTA to the second section or lower down the page: Hit them with the ask after they have already engaged. 
  • Use the space to be snarky: Label the button something unexpected, like “Don’t Click Here”.