‘Click here’ is a relic of the past when web users needed to be told where to click on a web page for additional information or take action. Nowadays, people can identify hyperlinks by their distinctive colour and the change of the pointer to a hand. ‘Click here’ has become superfluous and even undesirable for three reasons:
- Interference with web reading habits
- Detraction from valuable content
- Missed opportunity for better search engine ranking.
Interference with web reading habits
When searching on the web, people sift through information by skim reading for a broad overview and scanning for specific details.
When skim reading, people use visual attractors such as headings, highlighted words and hyperlinks to determine if a web page could be of interest to them. ‘Click here’ stands out but consists of redundant words instead of some worthwhile information required for the assessment of a web page.
‘Click here’ also slows down the scanning process. Each time ‘Click here’ appears, the reader has to pause and read the adjacent text to assess if the link is worth pursuing. Compare the following options:
1- Subscribe to Webmarketingcues to receive a complimentary ebook. Click here
’Click here’ requires the reader to read the sentence prior to ‘Click here’ to find out why one would take action.
2- Subscribe to Webmarketingcues click here to receive a complimentary ebook.
’Click here’ not only interferes with scanning and skimming but also disrupts the flow of information.
3- Subscribe to Webmarketingcues to receive a complimentary ebook.
Whether a person skims, scans or reads, the destination and purpose of the link is clearly stated.
Detraction from valuable content
‘Click here’ states the obvious and is unnecessary. It takes centre stage by capturing the attention and detracting from valuable content. Compare the following examples:
Articles- Domain names
Note how your eye movement is drawn to ‘Click here’ rather than to the title of the article.
Articles- Domain names
In the above examples, the hyperlink bears the title of the article which makes the destination predictable.
Missed opportunity for better search engine ranking
Search engines take into account text links in their ranking algorithm. By having keyword-rich links you can raise your relevancy score and search engine ranking for both the source and destination page.
(Link relevancy is a criteria used by search engines to ensure that results returned are the most relevant to a user’s query.)
Replace those ‘Click here’ by keywords or keyword phrases that will give people a clear indication of the destination or purpose of your links and provide indexing material for search engines.