Whether you’re redesigning your school website or starting fresh with an entirely new website, creating effective calls to action (CTAs) are incredibly important. A CTA is your chance to motivate prospective parents to take steps toward enrolling their child in your school, so you want to ensure you know how to choose the right CTAs.

What is a call to action?

A CTA is an element on a webpage, advertisement, or piece of content that encourages the user to do something. CTAs come in a variety of designs and styles, and function differently depending on the action they’re leading the user to take.

Have you ever signed up for an email mailing list? Downloaded an app? Registered for an online course? Chances are that it was a strategically designed call to action that directed you to take this action.

Types of calls to actions

CTAs can be presented in a number of different ways, but the most common formats include; buttons, text links, social sharing, and form submissions.


Buttons are the most common way to encourage action from a user. It’s important that they’re designed consistently and in a way that makes them stand out from the other content on the page.


Enrol online button
Source: Redeemer Lutheran College 


Text links

Text links are a more subtle call to action, allowing visitors to access further related information.


Example of text call to action

Source: Redeemer Lutheran College 

Social sharing

Enabling social sharing buttons on your website encourages viewers to share a piece of content with their networks. Most schools will enable these social sharing buttons on blog posts or news items.


Example of social share buttons


Form submissions

Forms allow schools to collect personal details from website visitors in order to provide them with further information. An effective CTA will always tell the visitor the exact action that’s required to proceed.


Example of form submission
Source: Redeemer Lutheran College 



Call to action objectives

The first step in determining your school website CTAs is to decide which actions you would like visitors to your site to take. These actions are known as objectives. Some common objectives on school websites include:

  • Completing general inquiry forms
  • Accessing or downloading a school prospectus
  • Booking an interview online
  • Submitting an enrollment inquiry.

Every page on your website should then lead visitors to complete at least one of these objectives. You can lead users to take action by considering your CTA text, design, and placement. 

Attention-grabbing calls to action

Once you have determined the objectives for your website, you can then begin designing the CTAs to ensure they encourage users to take action.

Your first consideration is the text that will be featured within the CTA. It’s important that your CTA text aligns with the action that you are leading users to take. So, if you’re encouraging visitors to download a prospectus, using a CTA such as “Download Now” or “Get Your Prospectus” is stronger and clearer than “Submit”.

You then need to ensure CTAs stand out against the rest of the webpage. CTAs should attract attention, while also working with the color scheme and design of your website. This means you’ll need to carefully consider its color, size (if you are using a button), and placement within the webpage.


Measuring and optimizing your calls to action

Your CTAs might be live, but your job isn’t complete just yet. It’s important that you’re constantly measuring the effectiveness of your CTAs and performing small updates to ensure they’re improving. Keeping a close eye on the clicks on your CTAs will help you to know which CTAs are performing and which are not.

You can also implement a third-party tool, such as Optimizely, which allows you to A/B test two different CTAs to see which one has a higher click-through or conversion rate. CTAs are one of the most important factors in building a school website that converts visitors into prospective parents.

Published June 24 2020