Should You Test Your Call To Action Buttons?

Image of examples of call to action buttons

Testing Call To Action Buttons!

Call to action (CTAs) buttons can be an important element of website optimisation. They determine where a customer should go next.  However, sometimes testing  the call to action appears to be the default strategy for optimising web pages. This may be based upon the assumption that a web page is largely optimised, but whatever the reason it is guaranteed to lead to a sub-optimal website.


No webpage is ever fully optimal, however much you test it. The target is continually moving as visitor behaviour changes over time, competitors launch new offers or improve their websites. Technological developments may disrupt the market and new products or services result in a constantly changing landscape. So, call to action buttons are only one item of many that you should be testing.


Image of lift model


Website optimisation needs to begin with your visitors and your value proposition. Before evaluating your call to action button you need to understand what your visitors are looking for and how your value proposition can help meet their explicit (category specific) and implicit (psychological) goals. Explicit goals, such as quality or style of merchandise, tend to be the more rational and conscious motivators that visitors articulate when evaluating which sites they will consider.


However, implicit or psychological goals, such as belonging or certainty, are important because these allow brands to differentiate themselves and generate an emotional response from customers. If a site wants optimise relevancy then it has to connect with visitors at both of these levels. Even the best designed call to action button will be a waste of time if you don’t provide what your visitors are looking for.


People are motivated to buy brands by implicit (psychological goals) that conventional market research struggles to identify
This motivation model is the intellectual property of BEYOND REASON.


Next you need to align your website goals with your business goals and prioritise your goals to determine your key conversion optimisation objective. Your conversion optimisation goals should be as closely related to revenue generators as possible. Examples include:

      • Purchase conversion rate
      • Average order values
      • Account opening conversion rate
      • Deposit conversion rate
      • Average deposit value
      • Return on advertising spend

To implement a conversion strategy you should also ensure:

    • Your web analytics measure all primary (e.g. account opening) and secondary conversion goals (e.g. newsletter subscription) on pages and flows where you have a reasonable number of visitors. Don’t assume everything is automatically tracked and ensure your call to action buttons are definitely tracked.
  • Only if you have sufficient traffic and conversions should you choose an A/B and multivariate testing tools to run experiments on your most visited pages. Do these allow you to segment and personalise experiences to benefit fully from online testing? Call to action testing can be easy to do but you should implement a process for prioritising A/B tests like PIE.
    • You can then establish a detailed testing roadmap that includes key landing pages, home page, product pages, shopping cart, registration pages, and other important pages and flows. It is essential to consider both new and returning visitors. Review expert literature (see reading list below) on how to build and enhance your optimisation strategy.

6 types of tests to optimise a website page which can include call to action tests


    • Engage areas in your organisation that can assist in the process of improving the customer experience, including IT, UX, usability, marketing, and copywriters.
    • Build a technology roadmap to evaluate and implement new tools (e.g. live chat or App testing) and functionality to further enhance your optimisation capabilities.

When you have established a truly comprehensive conversion optimisation strategy your call to action tests will become a small, but important element of your testing program. Finally, be bold and have fun with your experiments.

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Further reading:



You Should Test That: Conversion Optimization for More Leads, Sales and Profit or The Art and Science of Optimized Marketing


Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions


Website Optimization: An Hour a Day


Your Customer Creation Equation: Unexpected Website Formulas of The Conversion Scientist TM

  • About the author:  Neal provides digital marketing optimisation consultancy services and has worked for  brands such as,,, and He uses a variety of techniques, including web analytics, personas, customer journey analysis and customer feedback to improve a website’s conversion rate.

By Neal Cole

Founder of Conversion Uplift and an expert in digital marketing and conversion rate optimisation.