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Don't "Click here"

A language peeve of mine is seeing regular use of “Click here” or "here" as link text. Web users today quickly scan pages, and seeing these links won’t tell them what the page is about or where the links will go. Also, a website’s chance with search engines won’t be improved by using “click here.” Better keywords should be used.

Don't click here message with "here" underlined

Years ago I purchased the Yahoo Style Guide when it was available in book form. It gives the best and most simple advice about writing link text:

Good usability depends heavily on site visitors being able to understand where they are and where they can go. Effective link text helps them get oriented and stay oriented. Follow these guidelines for wording links:

  • Write short, descriptive text about where the link leads (“Next page,” not “To go to the next page, click here”).

  • When possible, use the same words in your link text that the reader will see as a heading on the resulting page. For example, if the page you’re linking to is called “Our Company,” phrase the link “Our Company,” not “About Us.”

  • To optimize your page for search engines, use search keywords in your link text – words and phrases your audience is likely to type into search boxes. The best keywords are multiword phrases comprising three words, four words, or even five or more words. Single word keywords appear too frequently on the web and won’t get you a high ranking.

  • Avoid using “click here” and “here” as link text because they’re outdated and don’t describe where the link takes you. People have been using the Web long enough to understand that they are meant to click a link.

Good examples:

To use our loan calculator, click here. Visit our loan calculator. OR Visit our loan calculator.

To view our shipping rates, click here. View our shipping rates. OR View our shipping rates.

Click here to read our privacy policy. Read our privacy policy.

The Yahoo! Style Guide: The Ultimate Sourcebook for Writing, Editing, and Creating Content for the Digital World, by Chris Barr and the Senior Editors of Yahoo! (2010)

Say it with Steele, x C

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