Don't Click Here

Are you using the phrase “Click Here” on your website as a link?

I just did a Google search for the term “Click Here” and got 2,580,000,000 results. Two BILLION results! That’s a lot of clicking here going on.

How did it start?
The phrase “click here” was coined in the late 1990’s so website users would know what to do in order to get to the link you are talking about in your text. Those days are long gone and today most 8 year old children know what a link is, what it looks like, and what to do with it.

Why not use it?
Well, first off it just looks silly! Have you ever been to a website’s home page that has a link that says “Click Here to Enter Website”? Wow, I thought I was at your website. Why would you do this to your home page of your website, it is a complete waste of your users time (more on this topic coming soon).

The phrase “click here” does not provide information as to what it is when read out of context. If you were to print the page the link becomes useless as just text on paper.  A good call to action will provide at least some information when printed.

Ask yourself this, if there was a link on a page and it did not say “click here”, would you know what to do? Sure, so why not use some descriptive wording for the link and make a better experience for your users?

Here is what the W3.org has to say on using “click here” as a link:

When calling the user to action, use brief but meaningful link text that:

-Provides some information when read out of context
-Explains what the link offers
-Doesn’t talk about mechanics
-Is not a verb phrase

When you might use it
This is a topic of much debate online but I do agree with the copy writing phrase “if you want someone to do something, you will get better results if you tell them exactly what to do”. So, that being said I might use “click here” on a call to action button or graphic where appropriate, but I would not use it as a text link in most cases.

If you must use it in a text link then try to add some descriptive text with the link like the example below:

Click here to download my eBook on Social Media Marketing” – Good Link

Click here to download my eBook on Social Media Marketing” – Not so good

What about Search Engines
When using a link like “Click here” instead of a descriptive link like “website design in Sarasota” you are losing some potential “food” for the search engines.

Google’s Official SEO Starter Guide (nice link example) page 17 says to “Avoid writing generic anchor text like page, article, or click here” (see image below)

Google SEO Guide

Surfing by sound
Not everyone uses their eyes to surf the web. People with vision problems use a device called a screen reader that will read a web page to them. A “click here” link does not provide the accessibility requirements for people using screen readers and does not provide value to those users.

People Scan Websites
When someone visits your website they usually don’t ready every word of content you have. They scan the page and very quickly to look for something that interests them. If the website is properly built then your links should be very easy to spot within your text. A link that reads “click here” does not explain what the link offers and is not attractive to your user. Make your links stand out with good descriptive text!

Summary

The next time you are creating a text link on your website try to use some descriptive text instead of “click here”.

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