call to action watch

Essential Components of Website Design: Calls-to-Action

Randi Grant

By Randi Grant

Marketing Manager

Published May 20, 2015
Updated September 29, 2020

2 min read

Creating a high performance website is part art and part science. It is critical that when considering a new practice website you hire a dental website designer that is well versed in making sure each page has at least one suggested action step – a call-to-action – as this is a crucial aspect of an even larger conversation called "conversion."

What is a Call-to-Action?

Call to Action Button exampleA call-to-action is, as the name implies, an appeal to your site visitor to take a certain action, such as “Click here to request an appointment!” You’ll sometimes see these take the form of a website button like the one to the right.

Or perhaps it’s an attention-grabbing banner that spans the width of your site:


Why You Need Calls-to-Action on Your Dental Website

Strategically placed CTA’s guide your visitors through your website and gently encourage them to take the action you want them to take—schedule an appointment.

Do people really need this guidance? Yes!

Think of CTAs as directions leading visitors to their destination. You don’t want your website visitors to feel like they were plopped down in the middle of a busy street with no idea where to turn.

The conversion specialists at Unbounce explain it this way:

“Your call-to-action represents the tipping point between bounce and conversion.”

These strategically placed pleas to take an action will determine whether or not a visitor stays on your website or leaves, whether they call your practice or keep browsing the web.

The goal is to enter the conversation going on in a prospective patient's mind. What are they thinking or feeling on a particular page of your website? Make sure the CTA is appropriate for that page and will help move the visitor toward making the commitment to begin care.

When incorporated into your dental website design, whether in the form of buttons, banners, or text, calls-to-action will tell your prospective new patients exactly what they need to do to get the information they’re looking for on your practice website.

The Science Behind the CTA

Internet marketing experts have been studying the CTA for years, running countless A/B tests to find the highest converting phrases and designs, and learning from each other’s case studies. While there is no single CTA that will always work for every business, there are some clear do’s and don’ts.

For example, as HubSpot aptly points out, all calls-to-action need an “eye-catching design” and a “clear value proposition.” If you want your visitors to actually click on your CTA, they have to see it. And once they see it, it needs to be evident what the value is in clicking it.

Here are just a few examples of calls-to-action we consider when designing our dental websites:

  • Click here for answers to the most common questions.
  • Do you have questions not answered here? Give us a call.
  • Dental problems rarely get better on their own. Begin care today.

And here are a few simple don’ts:

  • Don’t use dental jargon
    Nobody wants to click on a button that says “Click here to schedule your subgingival scaling”
  • Don’t use too many
    Have a clear end goal in mind and lead your visitors to it
  • Don’t blend in
    Use colors that contrast with your branding so the CTA stands out

When working with a dental website designer, they should be very knowledgeable about the calls-to-action that are most appropriate and effective on a dental practice website so they can incorporate them into your site design.