March 20, 2014

Reasons Your Website Design Doesn’t Incorporate Calls-to-Action

Reasons Your Website Design Doesn’t Incorporate Calls-to-Action

Ah, calls to action. They are an unavoidable part of the web landscape, telling us to Click here! Buy Now! Learn More! Sign Up! And submit to all kinds of orders issued in sentence fragments. It may seem like kind of a shock, but not every website features calls to action, preferring instead to allow users to navigate their wild digital terrain with absolutely no guidance. “To each his own,” is their motto. Who are we to tell people how to use our services effectively? They already have mothers.

We’ve been in web design for a long time now, so we realize that CTAs aren’t to everybody’s taste. Nevertheless, if you’re confused as to why a website would possibly neglect to feature prominent and strategic calls to action, here are the reasons we are most often given.

They’re So Clichéd

Yup. Swim against that stream. We admit, the typical CTA buttons range from pitifully ignorable to actively annoying. Why would you want your precious website to be besmirched with mediocrity?

Also — and here’s where devious SEO strategies come in to play — when users can’t find your call-to-action button, they tend to stay on your page longer trying to search for it. Clever, huh? Of course, those users might never come back to your page, but if enough people visit it once, that won’t matter.

They’re So Obvious

How vulgar is that? You’re reading some perfectly serviceable content, and suddenly you’re accosted by a garish ORDER NOW button. It’s so unsophisticated.

Subtlety is an undervalued virtue. People are elitist by nature, and if they think you’re desperate to get them to give you money, they turn off. They won’t respect you. You’re practically a panhandler.

Instead, try to map out your web design in such a way that makes the user feel as though you’re doing him a favor by allowing him to access it. Shroud it in mystery. It’s the online velvet rope; when you exclude people, more people will bang down your door trying to get in.

They Force You to Include More Content

It’s a fact: When you have call-to-action buttons, users expect to be taken to another page – a page with more content that you had to churn out. Content is effort. Effort takes time. Time is money.

When planning your web design strategy, try to include as little content as you possibly can for the sake of your pocketbook as well as your users’ health. You’re doing them a favor, really. Think of all of the ocular discomfort you’re sparing them by not offering them anything to read. This solution is particularly valuable if your service has nothing of value to offer, anyway.

They Make Your Job Harder

Lots of calls to action mean lots of opportunities for users to click on them, subscribe to newsletters, enter email addresses, comment and buy things. When you have a huge number of potential and active customers making demands, that means less you time! You have broken your back trying to establish a solid company, and now you’re being robbed of the luxury of sitting back and enjoying it by all those customers! How dare they?

In summation, call to action buttons are a blight on web design. They disrupt your lifestyle, disturb the delicate layout of your web page and they make you seem like a cheap floozy. Of course, people – sheep that they are – have gotten used to call-to-action buttons, and just refuse to figure out how to negotiate your beautiful site without being led by the hand. So, because life is full of compromises, you might as well include calls to action. Once your business has reached the pinnacle of success, then you can call the shots and toss ’em back in the hole from which they crawled out!


by Kevin Smith
SmashBrand helps brands create, optimize, and launch successful products, services, and customer experiences. Our data-driven process is the key to accelerating sales and minimizing risks.

We use a strategic combination of market research, design, and consumer testing to solve complex brand problems more effectively, create differentiation, and forge more meaningful connections with customers.

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