Don’t Click Here! Or, How to Use your Links Effectively

30 06 2010

As I was driving up to Summerfest with my sister Amy, I read to her from a Sweet Adeline chorus’ home page (gotta ♥ the iPhone!) about a unique method they were using to solicit new members.

“Blah blah blah,” I read, “and for more information click here.” And “click here” were the words that was the link.

I told her that you should never make “click here” the link!

She asked me why and I proceeded to explain it to her in some detail.

That’s when she told me that I should be blogging. And I told her that I wasn’t sure I had anything new to contribute. And she told me that I had the opportunity to reach out to people in my own “community” who need to understand today’s technology. Like that chorus that had a great idea for a promotion and just needed some help in promoting it…

So, with that long-winded introduction, here’s why you should never make “click here” the link.

Two reasons, actually.

1) Accessibility. A person with poor vision, no vision or dyslexia will often utilize a piece of software called a screen reader to read his computer screen out loud to him. When a screen reader reads a website, it starts at the top and reads everything on the page. This person may “skim” through the page by just tabbing through the links of the page, to see what the page has to offer. If the only thing that’s linked is “click here,” the person will have no idea where “clicking here” will take him. See the video to the right to see/hear an example of what someone might hear by using a screen reader.

So, what do text do you link to? Link to a description of what he’s going to when he clicks.

  • Register for the class instead of Click here to register for the class
  • Find more information about our director, Wolfgang Mozart instead of More information

2) SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Folks, you stick with me and you’re going to wish you knew as much about SEO as I wish I knew!

SEO is what we do to our websites so that people can find them. I’ll talk a lot about SEO on these pages, but right now, let’s just agree that if we have a website, we want people to be able to find it.

Search engines believe that one of the things that determines what a page is about, is what it links to. So, if your page is about a class that you’re offering, it will help the search engines if your links look like this

  • Register for the marketing class
  • Learn more about the teacher
  • See the class itinerary

Bottom line? Don’t “Click Here”  or “Read More.”  Put useful, meaningful words on your web pages.

Comments? Questions? How am I doing?

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7 responses

12 07 2010
Bari~Gwen

I think that is fabulous! Great reasoning and thinking out of the box, how others may think, learn or precieve things!

13 07 2010
Ed

Thanks, Sj!

18 07 2010
IsraelP

This is too hard for me to follow.

But it’s probably me, not you.

18 07 2010
Sarajoy

Happy to clarify if you have any questions!

20 07 2010
wittwa

Clear to me. Never thought about it before, you see that all the time. I’ve probably done it, too–keep up the good work!

21 07 2010
Maria

Longtime listener…first time caller…
What you’re saying makes perfect sense, but I’ve dealt with people who worried their target audience wouldn’t know where to click without CLICK HERE pointing them the way. I compromised by linking the entire phrase– a version of the example you didn’t like: “Click here to register for the class” —now everybody’s happy. :o)

22 07 2010
Sarajoy

LOL!

That is a very sensible compromise, Maria. Of course there’s nothing wrong with having the link be longer.

:)Sj

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