Don’t say ‘click here’ on link textPosted January 19th, 2009 by David Hamill
You should never need to write ‘click here’ on your links. This post explains the reasons why.
Your links should be obvious
In a previous post I advised you to let your hyperlinks shine. This is because your links should be obviously visible on the page. When we’re looking at a web page, we shouldn’t need to guess if text is linked or notÂ We also shouldn’t need to spend a lot of effort seeking out our options.
If links are obvious, we don’t need to be told that we can click them. It’s just patronising.
It’s not a call-to-action
Defenders of ‘click here’ links argue that it’s a call-to-action and these are good. Calls-to-action can be helpful, but ‘click here’ isn’t a good call-to-action. Here are some good examples of calls-to-action:
- Get a quote
- Open an account
- Sign-up now
They are good because they tell us why we should click them. ‘Click here’ is an operational instruction rather than a call-to-action.
It doesn’t tell us where we’re going?
We often read link text on websites without reading any of the text around it. If we’re on a page and we’re just looking for the link we need, we ignore everything that isn’t a link. So ‘Click here’ tells us nothing. If the link we’re looking for says ‘click here’ instead of ‘get a quote’ we might never click it.
It smothers trigger words
So if ‘click here’ on its own is bad, what about ‘click here to get a quote’ or whatever? Well, this is slightly better. At least the text tells us what the link does. We know where we’re going to go if we click it. But finding it on the page could be easier.
The words ‘click here to’ are smothering your trigger words. When we’re scanning a page for links, it takes longer to recognise a link when the helpful words are at the back. If lots of links begin with ‘Click here’ then it can be very difficult to find the link we want.
Good link text is front-loaded, so the most important words are at the front. This makes the link easier to find.
I’ve heard talk that the words ‘click here’ have been statistically proven to increase click-through rates in banner advertisements. I can’t comment on this because it’s not really part of my expertise. It might be true. However nobody has ever been able to show me the research itself. If you know where this research exists, please put a link to it in the comments for this article.
What do you think?
Am I wrong or do you agree with me? Whatever your opinion, please leave a comment and let me know what you think.