Anchor text plays a defining role in how clickable a hyperlink in your content is. Even though the page you are linking to maybe a credible, authoritative and informative resource, all that won’t matter for the reader if the anchor text is lackluster or repulsive.
Many website owners and copywriters fail at this crucial step of content creation by treating anchor text as an afterthought. There’s no better example of this failure than the frequent use of ‘Click Here’ as anchor text. While the phrase sounds harmless and to some extent practical, it’s usually not recommended for anchor text though there are exceptions.
We take a look at why you should use ‘Click Here’ sparingly.
1. Google Doesn’t Like It
One of the reasons for the popularity, proliferation, and power of the Internet is the absence of a central authority. Still, while there’s nobody or person sitting somewhere dictating what can and cannot be done on the worldwide web, Google is by far the single most influential organization on the Internet.
Accounting for the largest proportion of web traffic, Google’s opinions on how the world wide web should work is pivotal. You are under no obligation to adhere to Google’s recommendations or rules but failure to do so would mean missing out on the enormous web traffic that originates from Google Search.
When it comes to the use of ‘Click Here’ as anchor text, Google is unequivocal in discouraging it (see Google’s SEO Starter Guide).
2. Confuses Search Engines
Google discourages the use of ‘Click Here’ as anchor text. That’s partly because the phrase doesn’t help search engine bots understand and categorize the content. When assessing content for relevance and authority, search engines compare the text on the target page with the phrases different websites use as anchor text to link to the page. If you use ‘Click Here’ for most or all links on your web page or website, you’re denying search engines the vital information they need to establish the context of the target page.
It’s bad enough if you are using ‘Click Here’ for external links but much worse when linking to internal pages. In theory, you are the foremost authority on the content of your page. So if you are not clear about what your internal pages are about, you cannot expect anyone else to do it for you. Your web page’s reputation could suffer for it in the eyes of search engines.
3. It May Be Ambiguous
‘Click Here’ is such a common, generic phrase that a user wouldn’t know what they are getting into. There’s an ambiguity that may breed confusion and hesitation. Always assume that your users are in a rush and that they’d be keen on getting down to business in the shortest time possible. Giving them the run-around with ambiguous anchor text defeats the purpose of the link.
Of course, you can mitigate against such confusion by leading up to the ‘Click Here’ with a couple of sentences providing context and explaining what the user will find when they follow the link.
4. It Assumes the Type of Device
Study the traffic to your website and pay attention to what devices most visitors are using. If you are like most sites today, you’ll realize that half or more of your traffic is from smartphones and tablets. If that’s the case, most users aren’t using a mouse when navigating your site. Ergo, when your anchor text says ‘Click Here’, that instruction cannot be executed in its literal form on a mobile device where screen tapping is the name of the game.
And that’s not the only instance where ‘Click Here’ cannot apply. Some users may be navigating your page with their keyboard or via voice commands. ‘Click Here’ not only seems to ignore these alternative modes of navigation but also implies that they are not supported.
5. It’s a Little Pedantic
“Sit here”. “Stand there”. “Walk here”. On the face of it, these statements seem quite harmless. However, if you’ve ever had someone say them to you, they come across as condescending, patronizing, infantilizing, pedantic and just rude (depending on the tone used). Every human has a proud and perhaps rebellious streak within them that makes them resent being told what to do. So when you tell users to ‘Click Here’, some may actually think twice about following your direction just to prove that you have no right to order them around.
One of the key tenets for business success is establishing an emotional connection with your prospective customers. Recognizing the visitors to your page are rational, intelligent individuals by paying attention to small details like your anchor text phrasing can make a substantial positive difference to your click-through rates.
‘Click here’ as anchor text reached its peak in the 1990s when web designers were experimenting with stylish page design and getting rid of the underlines on hyperlinks. Making the links indistinguishable from the rest of the text was thought of as a means of creating flowing, coherent content. It didn’t take too long though for many to figure out this was a bad idea and actually affected click-through rates by rendering hyperlinks almost invisible.
As a general rule, your anchor text should be concise yet descriptive enough for readers to know what information they can expect. By avoiding ‘Click Here’ and similarly problematic phrases, you’ll be halfway there to creating an anchor text that entices users to follow the link.
Published By: Anish Tiwari is a Digital Marketing Expert and Blogger who loves to write and explore newness relating to IT, Search Engines, Web Development, Gadgets, etc. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for the glimpses. You can also find me on Twitter and LinkedIn for better communication.