Bess Batterham Team : Web Operations Tags : Online Marketing Web Strategy

How to Make Call to Actions More Effective

Bess Batterham Team : Web Operations Tags : Online Marketing Web Strategy

CTAs play an vital role in developing captivating ads, but as all good search engine marketers know, it is difficult to determine which CTAs to use.

There is no one-size fits all approach for selecting the highest performers as CTAs tend to perform differently across verticals, making the task even more challenging. For example, the most effective CTAs for a financial services advertising are words like “trade,” “open an account,” “analyse” etc which might be completely different when advertising as a clothing retail where you will need to use CTA words like “buy now,” “order,” “purchase,” etc. 

The best option for determining which CTAs to use in your campaign is to learn how to properly analyse the performance of your CTAs.

The value of CTAs are that they allow advertisers to clearly define what they want consumers to do like buy, shop, review etc, this also gives them the opportunity to engage with consumers. Advertisers face a great challenge in today’s world with the abundance of online advertising flooding the web, so effective use of CTAs is a must to make an ad stand out and appeal to potential customers. spent some time figuring out how CTAs best accomplish the task at hand by analysing their performance. Here is what they found.

Data Collection and Methodology

For the analysis, they collected data on seven common CTAs in the retail vertical:

  • Buy
  • Find
  • Get
  • Order 
  • Purchase
  • Review 
  • Shop 

To ensure the data represented various types of retail markets, they extracted it from multiple live campaigns representing various categories, including handbags, bedding, car suspensions, and electric appliances.

While the data they provided is statistically significant, it should by no means be seen as comprehensive. Instead, the data and findings should be seen as a call to action in and of itself. reminds you that you should regularly test your CTA performance starting with impressions and ending with return on advertising spend (ROAS). Then use the findings to inform your business strategies.

The hypothesis that was tested was simple: CTAs with the highest click-through rates (CTRs) also have the highest conversion rates and conversions per 1,000 impressions.

Impressions, Clicks & Conversion Rates

By analysing how much traffic specific CTAs drive and how that traffic leads to conversions, the chart below illustrates that high CTRs sometimes result in high conversion rates, but not always.

In this analysis, “Buy” has the best CTR, but produced the fourth best conversion rate. “Order” has the best conversion rate, but its CTR was nearly three points lower than “Buy.”

Conversions per 1,000 Impressions

To examine which CTAs produced the greatest number of conversions per 1,000 impressions, it was as simple as multiplying CTR by conversions by 1,000.

Now it is clear that their hypothesis was wrong - while CTRs may be an indication of conversion rates, they cannot be considered predictors of a successful campaign. As a result, viewing CTA data in isolation can be misleading and potentially costly.


There are three key takeaways from this analysis that can help inform your future CTA strategies:

  1. When analysing CTAs, CTR is not the end-all, be-all. CTR and conversion rate are equally important. You need to consider both (multiplied together) to determine conversions per 1,000 impressions and the true effectiveness of a CTA.
  2. Test your own CTAs. While not shown in the analysis above, there were definitely differences in CTAs across the different categories. Recognize that some CTAs may work better than others for your category.
  3. CTAs can make an enormous difference to your campaign performance. The difference between a good CTA and a bad CTA can create as much as a hundred-fold difference in performance.

By keeping an eye on CTAs and analysing their performance, you can maximize the effectiveness and ROAS of your campaigns