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Thread: Click here...

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    SitePoint Enthusiast qazpoc's Avatar
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    Click here...

    I'm in an environment where I'm all but ordered to use phrases like 'click here' for link text. I hate it. SEO, accessibility, etc.

    But all my arguments against it are met with "our users aren't web savvy enough, and studies show that using 'click here' leads to more click-throughs."

    What studies? No one can say. I've looked around various web design sites, and all I see is a lot of support for not using 'click here' links. Am I missing something?

    Do you think my colleagues (marketing folk) have a case?

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    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    They have as much of a case as -- well, they don't have a case. End of story.

    Try asking them if they're open to using such text as "Get your [insert offer] here." or "Download [product name] Here" and so forth.

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    I don't buy it. I'm sure "click here" is better than ineffective link text, but I bet you can find even more effective calls to action that improve even further.
    "I'm Commander Shepard, and this is
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    We'll miss you, Dan Schulz.

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    I would have thought that the marketers would be right on this one. Their job is to sell your services so they're bound to know how it works.

    Also after attending UI testing sessions, watching average users, I can definitely understand that having a 'click here' when sending people to pages makes more sense to them. It's an instruction that tells them what to do so they'll pay more attention to that then figuring it out on their own. Why not have both? A link on the area you're trying to highlight and a 'click here' for those that need direction.

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    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    The thing is though, not everyone uses (or can use) a mouse, so "clicking here" will be meaningless for them.

    For example, I'm finding myself using the keyboard a lot more now that I'm using a laptop - it's just a lot faster for me, especially when I take advantage of the spatial navigation features built right into the Opera browser.

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    It depends on your audience, but we had great results in making links as obvious as possible. It reduced our COA hugely.

    We didn't use 'Click Here' in particular, but my recommendation was to use action text like "Get A Quote Now", making the links the same colour and style as those in a Google SERP, and having a &raquo at the end.

    You have to make it super-easy for a user to convert, so that is almost mindless. The less they have to think about how to do something, the more likely they are to just go ahead and do it.

    It made a big difference to us, at least.

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    SitePoint Enthusiast qazpoc's Avatar
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    Yep, I do think pushing for true calls to action in the link text is the way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by abrookdev View Post
    I would have thought that the marketers would be right on this one. Their job is to sell your services so they're bound to know how it works.
    They get our audience, no doubt. Nonetheless, the fact that we have many users who are 50+ and don't use the web for much still doesn't convince me somehow. Anyone on the web needs to know how links look and work, surely - how do they get anywhere otherwise? Maybe that's an overestimation. My 78 year old dad manages, and he's only a year or two into using a computer at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by abrookdev View Post
    Also after attending UI testing sessions, watching average users, I can definitely understand that having a 'click here' when sending people to pages makes more sense to them. It's an instruction that tells them what to do so they'll pay more attention to that then figuring it out on their own.
    Curious. So was that comparative? Typical users responded more to 'click here' compared to meaningful link text as suggested above?

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    I can imagine that for a less web-savvy audience "click here" is a clear instruction. However, when scanning the page for links they'll only see just that. If you want to stick to click here, you could add something to clarify: "click here to Do Something". This will be better for SEO and for users depending on speach software.

    As for Dan Schulz's remark that click here is meaningless for users not using a mouse, I disagree. Even when you're not using a mouse, you still know what clicking means, and what you'll have to do to achieve te same result as clicking.

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    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qazpoc View Post
    What studies? No one can say. I've looked around various web design sites, and all I see is a lot of support for not using 'click here' links. Am I missing something?
    You are entirely correct on calling them out for claiming "click here" is a good plan, while it may indeed give a direct instruction it is counter productive becuase as long as the hyperlink is visibly different from normal text, every study I have read shows that people can identify an anchor fairly easily (usually by it's traits such as color, underline or hover status). The general research is that most people "scan read" text, by doing so their eyes automatically fall onto links which have placed emphasis within the content (and they do not generally read each side of their focus point). Having "click here" means that the overweaming majority of people will ONLY therefore see "click here" and have to waste time backtracking to find out what it was in reference too reducing the readability of the information, basically it's the equilivent of hitting the "I'm Feeling Lucky!" button in Google. Apart from this problem you also need to think of the disabled, as far as accessibility goes most screen readers will jump to hyperlinks through navigation and focus and hearing "click here" when reading lists of links is pointless, repetitive and annoying.

    If you want something to throw at the marketing team, Usability expert Jakob Nielsen (pretty much the industry leader) stated the following in an Alertbox article...
    Explain what users will find at the other end of the link, and include some of the key information-carrying terms in the anchor text itself to enhance scannability and search engine optimization (SEO). Don't use "click here" or other non-descriptive link text.
    Source: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/designmistakes.html

    And if that wasn't enough you should at least make them aware they are actually violating accessibility guidelines, WCAG 1.0 / 2.0 states clearly in guideline 13.1:
    Link text should be meaningful enough to make sense when read out of context -- either on its own or as part of a sequence of links. Link text should also be terse. For example, in HTML, write "Information about version 4.3" instead of "click here". In addition to clear link text, content developers may further clarify the target of a link with an informative link title (e.g., in HTML, the "title" attribute).
    A good source of information as to why "click here" is a bad idea is here: http://www.seo-scoop.com/2009/02/25/...ility-and-seo/ as for the claims of studies your fellow workers state, I have yet to see a usability study grounded in valid research which backs up what they say... call them out on it as their groundless claims.

  10. #10
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    What is wrong about 'click here'? If this link is used on official website (where product/service is being offered) everything is just fine.

    And if you mean external links (links leading to your homepage from other sites), I'm sure persons are intelligent enough NOT to use text 'click here' for backlinks.
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    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Hosting24, I advise you to read threads before you post responses, there's more than SEO at risk when you use "click here", there is accessibility and usability damage being caused too. Hyperlinks should describe where they are going too, giving a link the anchor text of "click here" is like giving an image the alt value of "image".

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    AlexDawson, how many sites did you see using just link 'click here' WITHOUT any content? Personally, I didn't see any.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe no one uses just simple text 'click here' without any content. Of course it will be bad if there is just a link named 'click here', but what is negative effect (for SEO or anything else) if there is a text like this one:


    PRODUCT DESCRIPTION WITH IMPORTANT KEYWORDS...
    Please CLICK HERE (link to order page, for example) to order!
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  13. #13
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    And if you read my earlier post you would be aware that usability research states that most people don't read all that content, they scan to reference points to find what they want, and their eyes naturally fall upon links, if the link is meaningful they will automatically know where to click having an increase in the user experience and readability, having "click here" forces readers to reduce their scanning ability in order to backtrack through the previous content to find where the "click here" refers to, automatically forcing the reader to use more brainpower, increased inflexibility of the overall readability of the information and as a result, reduces the overall usability of the document. This is already well established research based in psychology, using "click here" links is a sure way to damage the user experience.

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    Sorry, but I do not agree. Let's say a new person visits hosting site. And there is a link 'Click here to order'. I do believe that person will clearly understand what will happen after clicking this link. If he is looking for links, he surely knows what these links are used for.

    Anyways, it's just my personal opinion.
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    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Ahh but there is a very clear difference in that example, "click here to order" is not the same as "click here" (to order), if the anchor text says "click here to order" it isn't just giving the generic click command, it's backing it up with what will happen upon clicking the link (starting the ordering process).

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    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy C. Ankerstjerne's Avatar
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    I would consider 'Order now!' better than 'Click here to order', though.
    Christian Ankerstjerne
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    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C. Ankerstjerne View Post
    I would consider 'Order now!' better than 'Click here to order', though.
    I would consider "Order now to recieve your product today!" as better than both your solutions

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    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy C. Ankerstjerne's Avatar
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    How about 'Order Now! Instant delivery!'?
    Christian Ankerstjerne
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    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Black Max's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qazpoc View Post
    Yep, I do think pushing for true calls to action in the link text is the way to go.
    Exactly. We're talking directives. "Click here" is a non-specific directive. Click here for what? I have to look elsewhere for the answer to that question. Even if the info is next to the link:

    Click here to go to Fubar!
    I want that info in the link itself. "Click here for valuable prizes" or "Go here to download the file" is much more specific.

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    SitePoint Enthusiast qazpoc's Avatar
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    Appreciate all the replies and info folks.

    From all I gather then, 'click here' seems entirely redundant. Meaning that 'click here to order now' is - while better - unnecessary. 'Order now' is sufficient. Cheers.

    And Alex, made me feel justified to see that they are violating WCAG.

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    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Black Max's Avatar
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    "Click here" is no more meaningful than yelling at your kid, "Do this!" The kid looks at you and yells back, "Do what?!" and the whole process goes out the window. The kid stalks out of the room, the user clicks out of the site. Semantic garbage.

  22. #22
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C. Ankerstjerne View Post
    How about 'Order Now! Instant delivery!'?
    Instant delivery of what?

    If i just read the links on the page or even go so far as to tell the browser to hide everything but the links (which most bowsers can easily do for you) then how do I know what will be instantly delivered and that I would actually want it.

    For maximum accessibility of links you should imagine that your visitor sees just the links and not the surrounding content. That's all a lot of them will bother to read anyway and if they do read more then is it the description before the link or the description after the link that tells them what you will do to them if they dare to "click here"?

    Note that I came very close to not accessing this thread at all because the title was "click here" and anywhere other than this forum I would have considered that to be not descriptive enough to bother with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Max View Post
    "Click here" is no more meaningful than yelling at your kid, "Do this!" The kid looks at you and yells back, "Do what?!" and the whole process goes out the window. The kid stalks out of the room, the user clicks out of the site. Semantic garbage.

    OK, let's try to imagine you came to the nightclub. You want to get out of here after some time, and there is a glowing sign - EXIT. I strongly believe you will be intelligent enough to understand this is the exit, won't you? Or will you need a glowing sign "This is the exit from nightclub. Leave this club from here" to get out of that place?
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  24. #24
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hosting24 View Post
    OK, let's try to imagine you came to the nightclub. You want to get out of here after some time, and there is a glowing sign - EXIT. I strongly believe you will be intelligent enough to understand this is the exit, won't you? Or will you need a glowing sign "This is the exit from nightclub. Leave this club from here" to get out of that place?
    And now imagine that every door in the place has that sign on it instead of telling you where the door will really take you. So you follow the exit sign and end up in the ladies toilet - which isn't the exit you were actually looking for.

    "click here" is the web page equivalent of labelling every door as the "exit" from the room.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  25. #25
    SitePoint Enthusiast qazpoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hosting24 View Post
    I strongly believe you will be intelligent enough to understand this is the exit, won't you? Or will you need a glowing sign "This is the exit from nightclub. Leave this club from here" to get out of that place?
    On the point of being intelligent enough to understand that a link is a link, I do think anyone on the web understands what a link is and does. Which is precisely why 'click here' is redundant, and gives them no useful information. They already know that you click on it. It's almost patronizing to tell them. Tell them where it will take them. An exit is an exit, and leads outside. A link, however, can have one of billions of destinations.

    And this is really my whole point - it is useless to use 'click here'. Why not make the link text more useful?


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