Dos & Don'ts For an Effective Call to Action

Content marketing is a very diverse area of focus for any ecommerce business, and there are many distinct aspects that make up this form of advertising. Perhaps one area that requires more attention is the call to action; a feature that the Content Marketing Institute describes as being highly ‘neglected’.

What is a Call to Action?

When we write website content, we do it for a number of different reasons: to highlight products and services, to inform, to engage… but there’s one reason that trumps all: we write content to convert.

A call to action is persuasive content that encourages the visitor to take some form of action; to be an active visitor, rather than a passive one. The action can be pretty much anything that brings a visitor closer to a conversion – signing up for a newsletter, downloading a demo, or practically anything else.

Writing a Persuasive Call to Action

The problem with a call to action is that it can be remarkably tricky to get right. After all, there is a fine line between being persuasive and being pushy. Here are some “dos and don’ts” for getting it spot on:


  • Help to guide the visitor onto the next logical stage of their buying journey. If your website content looks at a specific product, for example, encourage the visitor to ‘learn more’ about it.
  • Consider your SEO marketing efforts. Think about what keywords have brought each visitor to each landing page, and design a call to action that matches the audience need at that time.
  • Incorporate web design techniques. Work with your web design company to ensure your call to action is visible and attractive, using stand out colours or fonts to make it clear and accessible.


  • Use passive language or language associated with uncertainty. Avoid ‘should’, ‘could’, ‘might’, ‘maybe’, ‘can’, ‘may’, and instead take more of an authoritative approach in order to persuade.
  • Overwhelm your audience. Try to focus on just a single call to action per page, using similar wording. Audiences may feel overwhelmed if they need to ‘register’, ‘subscribe’, and ‘sign up’.
  • Be random. There is a common misconception that a call to action must be placed at the end of a piece of content. It is much more effective if placed logically, relevant to the content itself.

Ultimately, a call to action should be a primary consideration in terms of website design and content marketing, rather than an afterthought. By considering the purpose of your website content, and making this purpose clear through an effective call to action, you can successfully boost conversions and sales.