SEO

The Click Here Problem
How many times have you come across a website that tells you to Click Here in order to do perform an action?

By using descriptive link labels and incorporating these simple best practises when writing your websites links you can help to improve your website rank in Google and the other major search engines, improve your sites overall user experience and encourage people to click through and perform your desired action.

There are almost always better and more informative labels you could be giving your links. A good descriptive link will tell the person using your website what the nature of the content is that lies beyond, whether this be a another page, a document or prompt to download a file.

It’s easy to fix and it has big benefits.

This ultimately helps lead to more business leads, enquiries and sales.

Bad Examples:

Click here to download our annual report.

To download a copy of our promotional catalogue: Click here

Good Example:

Download our annual report (76kb .PDF) for this year’s company activities, sales figures and growth plans.

Good use of link anchor text

5 Reasons NOT to use Click Here for link anchor text

    1. It’s poor for SEO
      Google and other major search engines use the anchor text of a link (anchor text refers to the highlighted clickable words within a link) to determine what the proceeding page or content is most likely to be about. Click here doesn’t help the search engines understand your pages or content, so make sure you use descriptive and appropriate words that describe the content you’re linking to.As we can see in this example, Adobe are ranked first for “click here” due to their popular flash browser plug-in.

Adobe are first on Google for the phrase "Click Here"

    1. It’s not intuitive
      Ask yourself would you walk through an unlabeled door in unfamiliar surroundings? This is precisely the same for click here links. It can be a frustrating experience to inadvertently open a large PDF document because the page didn’t describe of warn you what type of page or content lay ahead. Web usability expert Jacob Neilson pointed this out in 2005 when he wrote a short article on design mistakes that were still being made, this bad habit dies hard!

 

    1. It’s not obvious
      Due to the very nature of links, we want to draw special attention to them in order to indicate to a person using your website that they are indeed clickable links. However if somebody decides to ignore reading your page copy (used to refer to written text on a page) in favour of just scanning your link titles they will likely get little value from reading click here.

 

    1. It doesn’t flow
      If your content is well presented, well written and digestible, after skimming overly only a few sentences or paragraphs it may already be apparent what you’re hinting what action you would like a person to perform. Make it easier for people to do this by giving users the option to click on links that flow within the text.

 

  1. It’s boring
    The words “click here” don’t persuade, motivate or inspire me to click on the link. You may want to link to a piece of content using a strong marketing message that’s interesting and engaging to the people who matter when looking at your site.

If you’d like me to identify more problems or potential issues with your commercial website such as the Click Here Problem discussed above, I would be happy to prepare you with a tailored, comprehensive handwritten report detailing what I find.

Please send me an email, message or a tweet (@davidbeastall) and I’d be happy to discuss with you what I could do.

3 responses to “The Click Here Problem”

  1. Great post David – although I wouldn’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Whilst I agree with all of the above it might also be worth noting that “click here” is an effective call to action. Left on it’s own it is not at all effective for the reasons you point out – but adding “… to contact us” or “…to place an order” makes “click here” a powerful communicator. In some circumstances therefore I believe it is useful as long as an explanatory suffix is added. This is especially the case if your audience is not web savvy (a shrinking market one has to admit!).

  2. Martin Di Martino-Marriott says:

    This is a very necessary post.
    I am amazed how often I /still/ see this on supposedly professional websites. It makes your site look amateurish if nothing else and is just a wasted opportunity to give the search bots more information about your content!

    A good, and useful read.

    Martin

  3. @Matt Thanks for reading!

    I agree, it’s not appropriate to apply this to absolutely every situation without thinking and there’re probably some very creative examples of using CLICK HERE as buttons and typography. This post however is very appropriate to a lot of our audience and will hopefully bring about some good benefit. As Search Marketers we’d be crazy to discount the anchor text benefit.

    I’d still prefer to click on a juicy, clearly labelled “BUY” or “CONTACT” button.

    I believe Sarah’s writing a post on Calls to Action soon, stay tuned!

    @Martin Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it.

    This definitely applies to instances when a content managed website is handed over to a client, and whereby they don’t necessarily know any best practises to follow.

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