We’ve all been reading a blog post when we run across the dreaded “click here” link. Some like to think of it as a way to direct action – a form of call-to-action – rather than caring about the user experience or the impact on optimization for Google.
“Click here” is unnecessary
We know what a link is when we come across it. Chances are it is a different color, underlined, and has some kind of mouse-hover change that indicates it is clickable. These are the visual clues, including the context of the link, that tell us additional information is just a click away. All of these factors make saying “Click Here” irrelevant.
Not only that, using unrelated text for the link disguises exactly what you are clicking on.
It decreases the user experience
When you’re in the middle of reading something interesting and you see “click here” it changes the user experience. It messes with the flow of what was a good paragraph. The ability to link text means that we should never have to pause the readers flow of thought. We want it to occur in normal conversation and if the user feels the need to investigate deeper, they can. It is more of an invitation than a command.
The impact on SEO
There are two important factors that impact your search ranking on Google and both play a role in the text you choose to link.
The link itself is valuable and important, whether it’s internal or external the anchor text you choose puts the link in context. Our goal is to help Google as much as possible and “click here” doesn’t do anything to tell Google what the link is about.
Second, site structure plays a key role in Google’s assessment of your site and proper internal linking with sound anchor text can help the search spider. We want Google to know the link and the context of the link. Using a good internal link structure can help search engines map your site and make it perform better in search results. This is not some black-hat trick that will suddenly make your page/post rank higher but a long term strategy that will help your domain. Google values user experience and this helps create a better, lasting user experience.
Create links the right way
Notice the links above from our post Invest In SEO Before Display Ads? First, you want to tell people what they are linking to and this usually means nouns over verbs. Verbs tend to be more vague and don’t provide the right context for the reader.
Second, you want to be specific. If you aren’t upfront and specific with what the user is clicking into, then they probably won’t click. You’re not going to follow a stranger into a dark alley just because they say “come here”.
Lastly, you want to put your link towards the end of your sentence. People tend to read with a dialogue running in their head so putting a link too early in the sentence or paragraph doesn’t give the reader a chance to put it into context. Putting it at the end of the thought (unless appropriate somewhere else) gives you the best opportunity to get the click.
Have you noticed any blogs that use click here? Do you notice a better reading experience when they don’t? Try to pay attention to link structure as you surf the web today. Share your findings with us in the comments. Thank you!