The Writing Phase: The Psychology behind a Stellar CTA

The CTA is arguably the most important part of any page! So, how do you get people to (want to) do what you want them to do? Here are some psychology-backed keys to a killer CTA!

Hello! Danni from Surfer here! Did you just unlock a super, extra, mega bonus lesson in pillar2? Maybe. Maybe unlocked is an exaggeration. Either way, I'm really happy you're here.

In this lesson we're going to talk about the psychology behind CTAs. CTA stands for call to action, and they're essential because they tell your customer, your reader of potential buyer what to next. Let's get started.

A CTA can be “read more,” “click here,” “sign up for this course,” or “leave a comment below!” but the question is, how do you get people to do what you want them to do?

Keep watching this lesson, and you’ll have your answer by the end of this video!


First things first, in case there’s any doubt, yes. Yes, you do need to include a CTA, or else you’ll have a bunch of confused people walking around like a Sim in a room with no door.

Let’s talk about color. Many SEOs recommend taking a look at the main color of your website, then what you can do is look at the color wheel, and go to the exact opposite. If your website is mostly green, try a red button for your CTA.

This is a surefire way to make sure that your button will pop off the page, and grab the user’s attention.

But Danni, I have so many colors on my website, which one do I choose? I’ll just say that having an entire rainbow as your brand colors isn’t the move for two main reasons: If every color is your color, your brand is not easily recognizable. It can be overwhelming to the senses and distracting.

There is very much a science to color; our eyes and brains like some more than others. I mentioned before that if your website is green, then go with red, right?

Does that mean you need to choose fire-engine red? Absolutely not. It’s harsh and usually signals danger or alarm. That’s not what we want people to feel when downloading our lead magnet or booking a seat to our event, right?

Play around with the shade of colors to make sure that they’re both complementary, and attractive.

Once you’ve decided on a color to use for your CTAs, stick with it! This is called “color discipline” and it signals to the user that when they see this color it’s time to click or take action! Be consistent here!

So what if you have two CTAs? Think about this scenario: you want your potential customer to reserve a seat for your SEO webinar, right? The main CTA is to click and snag their seat, but you know that perhaps watching previous webinars might convince someone who’s on the fence. Now what?

Invert the colors. It still stands out but doesn’t steal the shine from the main CTA. This is the perfect opportunity to do some split testing to see what works best!

Now that we’ve chosen a color, it’s time to write our CTAs.

Here are 5 tips to writing a killer-can’t-say-no CTA:

Don’t write an entire novel here. Keep it concise.

Next, create a sense of urgency with words like “today” and “now” so that people realize it’s time-sensitive.

If it’s free, make sure you let people know that! People love free things. I know I do!

Use a verb that incites action. There’s a huge difference between “Free SEO Tips for 2021” and “Get your Free SEO Tips for 2021 Workbook Now!”

Lastly, tell people what they’re going to get when they do click.

Another thing to keep in mind is that CTAs vary from one sector to another. Let’s take a look at affiliate marketing sites first. The two main concerns people have are making sure the reviews are written by real people, but also price.

How do you assure them that they’re getting the best price possible?

You tell them in your CTA of course! “Click Here for Best Price” or “Click Here for Lowest Price” is sure to make their ears perk more than “Visit Official Website”.

I want to highlight, however, that if this is an Amazon affiliate, instead of saying “click here for lowest price,” you should opt for “check lowest price” to avoid breaking any rules.

What does a bad CTA look like? The color blends in with everything around it It doesn’t have a button… There’s nothing to tell the user what will happen when they click Or, they give all the information so there’s no need to click at all!

Here are some examples of poor CTAs that you’ll probably want to avoid: “Learn more” -- do I really need to keep learning? I already read enough to get me to this point?!

“Click here” but, where is here, and where is it taking me?

For service-based businesses, CTAs like “get a free quote” or “book a free consultation” tend to yield great results.

We all know that having a lead magnet is a great way to bring people in, and also grow your list!

But, where’s the best place to add the CTA?

Inside the content using an inline button. In this case, you should make sure that the text takes up the entire button, so short and sweet isn’t as important as standing out and getting the reader’s attention.

Let’s summarize what we’ve covered in this lesson, shall we?

Choose colors that work well with your website for your CTA button

Tell people what will happen when they click

People like free!

Split test! This is not a one-size-fits-all formula and each sector, or better yet, each website, has its sweet spot!

Don’t be aggressive! If you’re talking about SEO basics, placing a CTA in the first paragraph to join a 3-month SEO Bootcamp will not attract people the way you think it will. and...

Place a CTA at the bottom of your page for all the scrollers who don’t want to read, but do know what they want!

Alright, let’s make some buttons! I’ll see you in the next lesson! Happy Surfing!

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