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Why don’t you ever write “click here”

Why don't you ever write "click here"

In the world of websites, app design, and user experience, certain practices are so ingrained that it’s easy to overlook how inappropriate they are to user experience design principles. One of the biggest such practices is the practice of “click here” for hyperlinks.

While this may seem like the easiest way to direct users to additional information, that doesn’t mean it’s the right way!

Besides accessing online information, products, and services, users also want to navigate websites quickly to find what they are looking for. For this purpose, effective hyperlinks are as much a part of the design experience as they are the site layout or color scheme.

But this aspect of user experience – the language used in hyperlinks – is often overlooked. It’s not unusual to see phrases like “click here” or “read more” even though they are far from ideal.

But why don’t you ever write “click here”?

In this article, we’ll explore why these hyperlinks are a bad idea and what you should write to improve your user experience.

Why are “click here” hyperlinks a bad idea?

For a long time, “click here” was commonplace: with the advent of search engine optimization (SEO) and backlink building, the need for more sophisticated ways of presenting links became imperative.

As people emphasize user experience (UX) and accessibility, it has become widely understood that “click here” is not only unnecessary but detrimental to the user experience.

So why is clicking here a bad idea?
There are many reasons why it is best to avoid “click here” hyperlinks. Here are just a few things to keep in mind.

“Click here” provides no context as to where the link will take the user
When users browse a webpage, they are consciously (or subconsciously) scanning the text looking for relevant links that will move them forward on their journey. The development of eye-tracking technologies has given us unparalleled insight into how users navigate the Internet.

However, if all links are labeled simply “click here”, users lack context. It takes a long time for them to decide which link will lead to the information they are looking for.

For example, if you have a list of links to different search sources, all of which have identical anchor text, that won’t serve the user well.

Instead, try using hyperlink text that summarizes your search title or key messages.

Click here links are not SEO friendly

Whether you are a UX designer or a digital marketer, another reason to avoid “click here” links is that they are not well optimized for SEO.

SEO appeared in the early days of the internet to help websites improve their rankings on search engines like Google.

While there are many aspects of SEO, one of the elements is hyperlink text. Search engine algorithms use this to determine the relevance of the page a website is linking to.

If all of your links simply say “click here”, search engines will not be able to index your site properly and this will negatively affect your SEO ranking.

What do you write instead of “click here”

We have now established that “click here” hyperlinks should be avoided at all costs, so what is the best approach instead? The most obvious answer is to use descriptive anchor text that tells users what’s on the other end of the link.

For example, instead of saying, “Click here to read our blog,” try a sentence that ends with a hyperlink like: “…our last blog post is about number systems.” Doing so will provide more context, while placing the link more naturally.

It also allows users to rate whether they are interested in the content of the link without having to visit the page first, thus improving the browsing experience.

While judgment is necessary (dependent on context and not always appropriate for informational links) another option is to use action-oriented language. For example, instead of saying: “Click here to sign up,” you could try: “Sign up for our newsletter now.”

Direct language encourages users to take the desired action, and in marketing, a strong call to action is crucial. Be aware though, this is not appropriate for all contexts. For example, when providing referral links, descriptive text is more appropriate.

Other phrases to avoid:

We’ll admit that poor Click Here had a hard time posting this blog! Although we argue that this is justified, we also maintain that “click here” is not the only reason for a bad user experience. In general, it is best to avoid any vague or imprecise wording in your hyperlinks.

Other phrases to stay away from include:

“read more”
“learn more”
“check this out”
“Find out more here”

Except where the link encourages an action (such as signing up for a newsletter), it’s actually best to avoid verbs and stick to descriptive nouns in your hyperlinks.

This is not to say that you should never use verbal phrases in your copy or calls to action, but in most cases, they should be avoided in hyperlinked text.

The best practical alternatives to “click here”:

Finally, let’s finish up with a final look at some examples of effective hyperlink text:

Instead of “Click here to see our pricing”, try “View our pricing plans today”
Instead of “click here to buy now”, try “review cart”
For informational links, avoid verb phrases like “click here to learn more” and try something specific like: “A Complete Guide to Smart User Experience”.
While these are simple examples, they hopefully give an idea of ​​the type of anchor text users will find useful without being overly verbose or obfuscating.

In this article, we found out why it is better to avoid “click here” hyperlinks. For starters, they provide no context to the user. It can also negatively affect your SEO and be disincentive for those who rely on assistive technologies, such as screen readers.

In addition, they focus on the mechanics of using the mouse, which, let’s face it, when touchscreen devices start to dominate the market, it’s not always the case.

Instead of writing “click here”, why not try using descriptive anchor text that accurately describes where the link leads? This can improve user experience, aid your SEO efforts, and most importantly, increase your user experience.

We’ll end up acknowledging that even the best writers and user experience designers sometimes make mistakes and use “click here” links. This practice is ancient but also ingrained in our collective consciousness.

However, be mindful of the language you’re using, and you can improve the user experience on your website or app for all users. This will increase the effectiveness of your content and potentially boost your business. It’s an easy win, so think about the impact of the language you use.

The article was prepared by Engineer Tareq Othman Agha, Director of the Software Department at ISAR Group

ISAR Group

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