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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    'Click here' is actually good copy

    Not to dig up old demons... but I can't resist when I find a prominent blogger who is more in line with my position.

    ... the results of a Marketing Sherpa experiment performed with their newsletter readers. The goal was to find out if the wording used in hyperlinks could make a difference in clickthrough rates. The answer is yes. They found that the right two or three click link words can lift clickthrough rates by more than 8%.
    Here are the results:
    • “Click to continue”: 8.53%
    • “Continue to article”: 3.3%
    • “Read more”: (-)1.8%
    Click here for the full post from Copyblogger.

    Lots of good stuff in the comments on that post, too.

    I'd still stand by my original point to add context to your 'click here' directive with descriptive text about what you get when you click. I.e., "Click here for the blah."

    Whether to use 'click here' or similar actionable text is situational, but no one should write it off as antiquated or useless bits of content, in my opinion.
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  2. #2
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    Nice point, thank you. And this doesn't invalidate at all the use keywords in anchor text.

    Evan

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast WinKing's Avatar
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    It's an interesting fact, how actionable verb can change the traffic to your site in a major way!

    It's great to think in that direction. A new food for my creative mind.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy DaveWoods's Avatar
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    "Click here" on it's own goes against accessibility guidelines so I'd certainly discourage using the method. What happens when there are 10 "Click here" links on a page and someone is using assistive technology to scan through the links on the page.

    I'm not against the idea but the link itself should read "Click here for the blah" as apposed to "Click here for the blah".

    It's a small point but I'd personally never just use the words "Click here".

  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict
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    I think "click here" and similar are useful. The only reason I would sometimes avoid them is SEO.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Evangelist superuser2's Avatar
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    Yeah, that and the fact that it's gone out of style a bit, so in some contexts it may look ametur. But if all the "pros" are doing it again, it might be seen as accepted again.

  7. #7
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    Maybe their clickthrough rates are so high because everyone is clicking on everything cause the links are meaningless? :P
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast WinKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eldacar View Post
    Maybe their clickthrough rates are so high because everyone is clicking on everything cause the links are meaningless? :P
    Oh really! I'm sure, am NT 1 of them. What about you

  9. #9
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    And probably when you make the text even bigger (and most of the time uglier) it will get even more clicks. It's the same as in e-commerce websites. A big "buy this" button, albeit ugly, gets way more clicks.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy
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    Usually the supporting text gives the Click Here link meaning. But I love this part of the article...

    Another reader once chastised me for wasting anchor text with the words “click here,” even though my primary goal for the link was to get people to click (shocking, I know). This is when I first realized that Google is truly making people retarded. Somehow, this person no longer saw links as navigation for actual people to use; they only exist to pass on “juice” according to an algorithm that no one fully understands.
    -- Does Telling Someone to “Click Here” Actually Matter?
    The trivial issue that users have taken a distant third place to Google and code in web design is humorous, but not really on topic.

    The real issue is whether we can't find something better than Click Here.

    The Right Trigger Words suggests there is a way, "How do you find out what your users' trigger words are? Well, you start by asking them."

    This would be in vogue with the social trend in website design. Testing wins out, and until you can find and test out something which beats Click Here for results, you're stuck with it. Click Here seems to be the generic default people resort to when they can't be bothered to improve on the default. These tests seem to indicate it isn't a bad fallback position.

  11. #11
    padawan silver trophybronze trophy markbrown4's Avatar
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    I think it's just because there's a long history of the links and it's become one of those bad de-facto standards of link text on the web.

    People are so used to it that they know to follow them straight away. With the steady march of web standards perhaps they will soon look outdated?

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard jimbo_dk's Avatar
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    The article does bring up a great point. I guess more so it depends on the target audience. People who came onto the web in the 90s will be more accustomed to clicking on the familiar "Click here" link. Younger people of the blogging generation are probably more used to links with trigger words.
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  13. #13
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    hmm, very useful. I should be able to increase my ctr now.

  14. #14
    PHP/Rails Developer Czaries's Avatar
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    What's interesting is the search results for "click here".

    Adobe Acrobat Reader is the top result, among other commonly needed utility programs like mapping websites, Quicktime, Real Player, Java, etc.

    I can picture it now... and have seen it many times in the past:
    "click here to get Adobe Acrobat Reader"
    "click here to download Apple Quicktime"
    "click here for directions"

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard jimbo_dk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Czaries View Post
    What's interesting is the search results for "click here".

    Adobe Acrobat Reader is the top result, among other commonly needed utility programs like mapping websites, Quicktime, Real Player, Java, etc.

    I can picture it now... and have seen it many times in the past:
    "click here to get Adobe Acrobat Reader"
    "click here to download Apple Quicktime"
    "click here for directions"
    Haha....I realized the same thing: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...7&postcount=14
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  16. #16
    SitePoint Zealot cholmon's Avatar
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    This was left out of the blog, but it's pretty relevant. The Marketing Sherpa study that Brian Clark refers to (Test Results: Simple Word Change in Email Hyperlink Raises Clicks 8.53%) was done via email, so SEO considerations can effectively be ignored...unless of course the exact copy of the newsletter was going to be posted on the web in stand-alone fashion.
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  17. #17
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cholmon View Post
    This was left out of the blog, but it's pretty relevant. The Marketing Sherpa study that Brian Clark refers to (Test Results: Simple Word Change in Email Hyperlink Raises Clicks 8.53%) was done via email, so SEO considerations can effectively be ignored...unless of course the exact copy of the newsletter was going to be posted on the web in stand-alone fashion.
    Yeah, this advice is best for getting clickthroughs from email newsletters, not so much for links on a website. For something on a website I'd still make sure the link had more relevant text than just "click here" or "click to read"

  18. #18
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Just remember that there will be some people who only see/hear the links without the surrounding text.

    click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here

    by itself is meaningless. By all means include click here in the link text but also include something that thells them what they get when they click.
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  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard jimbo_dk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Just remember that there will be some people who only see/hear the links without the surrounding text.

    click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here

    by itself is meaningless. By all means include click here in the link text but also include something that thells them what they get when they click.
    Doesn't a title tag help in this kind of situation?
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  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Imagine a web where *every* link said simply "click here" and all the buttons just said "press here."

    "Continue" and "read" are also action verbs... I want them to continue and to read, not to just click on the link.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard
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    There are still many people who are simply not as apt to understanding website navigation as well as most of us here at SP do. Even some people who have been using computers for years can look at the screen and not know where to click.

    I agree that adding "click here" can help tremendously, but it must be used in the right way. As was already mentioned, you cannot just arbitrarily place many "click here" links on a page an expect people to know where they lead to. The "click here" links must be lead up to or followed by some type of descriptive text, for example:

    Click Here to purchase some cool new gadget from Amazon.com.

    Or

    Amazon.com has a great new gadget for sale, click here to buy it.
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  22. #22
    Cha, Cha, Cha!!! Gamermk's Avatar
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    Ya I'm just re-phrasing my comment from there, but eh... "Here" is the problem. Everyone keeps missing that!

    - “Click to Read More” should have been an option in the test. It could have scored as good as or better than "Click to Continue"

    - “Click here” is still bad.
    - The issue with “Click here” isn’t Click its the word Here.
    - Here is a useless word. It doesn’t tell you anything about the destination.
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  23. #23
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    What about something like "Click here to read more"? To me, that sounds a little better. I know I mean be undermining some people's intelligence, but "click to continue" or "click to read more" makes it seen like they just have to click anywhere on the page. The "here" focuses there attention on the location of that specific text.

    Also, do you think that having the link text say simply "click here" or whatever, with lead in text, or do you think it would be better to have at least a self-descriptive portion of the text in your link.

    So, something like:
    Code:
    <a href="clickme.com">Click here</a> to read more.
    or
    Code:
    <a href="clickme.com">Click here to read more</a>.
    From at least an accessibility standpoint, I think the latter would be the best choice. Are there any negatives from using option two versus option one?
    Last edited by samanime; Sep 19, 2007 at 20:23.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Zealot Raphaelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samanime View Post
    What about something like "Click here to read more"? To me, that sounds a little better. I know I mean be undermining some people's intelligence, but "click to continue" or "click to read more" makes it seen like they just have to click anywhere on the page. The "here" focuses there attention on the location of that specific text.

    Also, do you think that having the link text say simply "click here" or whatever, with lead in text, or do you think it would be better to have at least a self-descriptive portion of the text in your link.

    So, something like:
    Code:
    <a href="clickme.com">Click here</a> to read more.
    or
    Code:
    <a href="clickme.com">Click here to read more</a>.
    From at least an accessibility standpoint, I think the latter would be the best choice. Are there any negatives from using option two versus option one?
    I actually disagree with this.
    I don't think "Click here to read more" gives any extra information about where the link is clicking through to.

    Have you guys ever used a screen reader?
    Sighted people have the ability to screen a page in a second or so, that way they get a rough idea of what's presented to them.

    The way blind people screen through a page is mainly with 2 shortcuts in the screen reader: one brings up all the headings (hence the importance of using Headings tags properly) and the other one brings up links.
    So if they end up with a list such as "click here, click here, click here to read more, click here for more info, click here for details", it doesn't help really.

    I think a good way to do it is to have:

    Code:
    <a href="#"><span>Click here</span> to read more about the Nokia E61i</a>.
    The whole thing is a link but not everything has to be underlined.

    Another way is to use "invisible text". This is something that should be use quite often for screen readers.

    It would be something like this
    Code:
    <a href="#">Click here <span class="invisible">to read more about the Nokia E61i</span></a>.
    
    
    span.invisible{
    position:absolute;
    right:9999px;
    }
    So the bit within the span class="invisible" is off screen and only screen readers will pick it up.


    anyone agrees? disagrees?

  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    @Vinnie and Cholmon:

    I think you guys are missing the point, which is that SEO considerations are hurting your copy (at least in terms of usability for the user). Actionable text increases utility, whether on the web or in email. (Sure, maybe at the cost of a bit of Google juice, but you are writing your websites for people to read, not for Googlebot... you are, right?)
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