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Friday, Nov. 20, 2009 at 9:00 am

“Click Here” Makes Me Rip My Hair Out

By Melissa Burdon
November 20th, 2009

"click here" makes me rip my hair outEvery time I see a button or text link that includes or says “click here,” I pull 10 hairs out of my head.  I have a lot of hair, so the good news is that I won’t go bald anytime soon.  It’s troubling to see that so many sites are still using this language within their calls to action. Using this flimsy phrase makes the call to action weak!

If the call to action is underlined copy, visitors realize it’s a text link. If the call to action is a button, it’s obvious that this is click-able. Don’t tell the visitor to “click here” in order to engage them to click. Instead, persuade the visitor to click with the use of keywords or “trigger words” that speak directly to the visitor’s motivations and needs within the link, based on what they came searching for in the first place.

A great link uses an imperative verb that calls the visitor to take action, and it absolutely needs to clearly describe what the visitor will experience when they click.

Here is RelationshipHeadquarters.com’s homepage. Let’s look at some of their calls to action.

button and link languageThere is a big button in the active window of their homepage (the Primary call to action) that says “Are you a woman that men adore? Take free quiz.”  The first portion of this language engages the visitor by speaking to their interests and motivations, and the second portion is the action that you’re recommending they take which is “…take free quiz.”

The links in the active window (the Secondary calls to action) each engage the visitor to help them find solutions to their problems:

  • “Understand men”
  • “How to get him back”
  • “Be the woman men adore”

There are many things you should consider when optimizing and testing your calls to action, but first and foremost, remove all of the “click here” language that might currently exist in your links and buttons.  A quick audit of your site to write better calls to action will provide a great return on your investment in terms of persuading more prospects to take the action you want them to take.  Don’t believe me?  Run some tests and see for yourself :)

Editor’s Note: No mannequins were harmed in the writing of this blog post.

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Comments (66)

  1. Or, juste like a colleague of mine said, replace “Click here” by “Don’t click here!” ;)

    No, seriously, I agree. And speaking about accessibility and SEO, having a link on a “Click here” text has no signification.

  2. No, seriously, I agree. And speaking about accessibility and SEO, having a link on a “Click here” text has no signification.

  3. having a link on a “Click here” text has no signification.

  4. Or, juste like a colleague of mine said, replace “Click here” by “Don’t click here!”

  5. This is great advice. It’s really important to look at all of the little pieces when trying to boost response rates.

  6. normally the click button related to “Landing Page”. what kind of landing page that will persuade people to clik and to know more. Landing page is a big picture and inside that, the click button has its own role.

  7. Having worked in IT for a very long time I can assure you that a great many people need to be advised to “Click Here”. They just sit there staring at the screen thinking ‘what do I do’ otherwise.

  8. When I first read your post, I thought… What is she talking about? because or me the “click here” button always work well. Then, when I saw you talked about buttons, I said Ahh.

    It’s always good to test.

    Franck Silvestre

  9. So it’s safe to assume that most internet users know what a link looks like these days? :)

  10. [...] “Click Here” Makes Me Rip My Hair Out – from grokdotcom [...]

  11. That’s good advice! I always do this for transactional buttons and such, but the RelationshipHeadquarters.com’s homepage button example showed me that this might be worth using on other pages as well.

  12. [...] “Click Here” Makes Me Rip My Hair Out – from grokdotcom [...]

  13. This is great advice.I always do this for transactional buttons.

  14. That’s a great advice. I think the information presented will be useful to many people a lot.

  15. So it’s safe to assume that most internet users know what a link looks like these days?

  16. In the process of eliminating the very non-compelling text of “click here” it forces you to be more intriguing in your writing. “Click Here” is a cop out and doesn’t really work. Stretch yourself, think out of the box, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.

  17. I am left scratching my head a little – I don’t agree, but there is nothing here that I entirely disagree with either. In reading and re-reading this, there are so many assumptions (CSS rollover states use of buttons, site design, etc…) that come into play, it is just to hard for this broad stroke generalization. I know from experience, in almost all of the testing that I have done, the more specific and focused you can be with your calls to action, the better. ‘Click here’ has won more than it has lost. Your mileage will vary, and the key take away here is to test and refine. Then repeat.

  18. Absolutely. Not only is it uninspiring copy, but the anchor text does nothing for you.

    I might argue that not everyone is conditioned to know that underlined text is clickable – this might depend on your audience, who could require stronger directions.

  19. ‘click here’ not good for SEO, but it works more than anchor text. Thanks for your article

  20. One of the basic tenents of usability is to use terminology and conventions that customers will understand. Don’t put in cryptic page labels or navigation links. There is always a clash between usability and design or optimization

  21. I think what is not healthy is to have many “click here”. One or two cannot hurt.
    Many can actually keep the visitor away from clicking even one.
    But the advice about keywords and trigger words is quite good, that helps to get the visitor get to your site almost immediately.

  22. Great Advide, ‘click here’ not good for SEO.

  23. wow it never came to my mind.. i’m gonna try this.

  24. One of the easiest and most important parts of the SEO process..

  25. I may be wrong, but I believe it was Anne Holland who recently profiled a case where three calls to action were tried on Twitter and the one with the best click-through had “click here” in the copy.

    I write for an email newsletter for an automobile association and use “click here” in alt text for images, and in some text and buttons. The reason being is the membership skews older and they may not be as familiar with Web practices.

  26. In my experience there are situations where a ‘click here to….’ or even a plain ‘click here’ works better. There is a segment of web-users who understand this better.

    #1 Advice: don’t just assume anything, but find out how something like google website optimizer works and test for yourself.

  27. Great post.

    Thank so much.

  28. All thanks to you dear

  29. All thanks to you dear All thanks to you dear

  30. “click here” is a lazy web designer approach who cannont be bothered to think about more creative link words.

  31. Very true. If you search for the words “click here” in google adobe is number one and they do have the words anywhere to be seen on thier page. Just shows how many people use these words on thier websites when instructing visitors to download an adobe product.

    Thanks

  32. i don’t mind as long as its not spam

  33. Thanks i won`t be using click here!

  34. Great article – If you want to read more about my comments “click here” LOL just kidding…

  35. [...] Source:“Click Here” Makes Me Rip My Hair Out Share and Enjoy: [...]

  36. So it’s safe to assume that most internet users know what a link looks like these days?

  37. Thanks for this simple tip to improve conversion rates.

  38. Hi Melissa, I hate the ‘click here’ phrase too, I think it is fairly obvious whats a link and what isn’t. Using this phrase just destroys a possibly effective call to action.

  39. Wow, I still need to learn how to apply imperative verbs for my click to action title. Always fail to get people to do something for me. But hey, thanks for the tips. I should use it more often

  40. Thanks, very informative!

  41. Thanks for the useful tips Melissa, I have used the ‘click here’ phrase in the past, but I can totally see why I should use better call to actions. Thanks again.

  42. Awesome article. Very informative. Thanks a bunch. Cheers

  43. Neat. That’s a really cool article. Thanks.

  44. I’m trying to break this habit, it’s just so easy to say click here.

  45. I think you just describe my dd lol. But not that bad….at least not yet. She does have OCD tendancies and I’ve been suspecting ADHD for awhile now. I just dont give in …. well at least not all the time!

  46. I agree. It was ok when it was use back then when computer literacy was not up to standards. But now thing have changed. And people know what is a link and a button and it can be clicked on.

  47. Thanx for the useful tip, this helped a lot since im a new blogger.

  48. So it’s safe to assume that most internet users know what a link looks like these days?

  49. Thanks for this simple tip to improve conversion rates.

  50. Thanks a bunch for the awesome tips. Cheers

  51. I must say that’s a very brilliant idea. I use to provide a click button when I started doing affiliate marketing. Your strategy to this is very good, and I will try out and compare the results from 4-5 blogs on the various niches.

    I am sure the conversion rate will vary a lot.

  52. I believe you can also use:
    “Click here and learn how to get your ex back”
    Would be interested to test which one gets the highest CTR. I bet on the “Click here” :)

  53. Great article indeed. Honestly nowadays these types of links can be really annoying. Thanks a bunch for the article. Cheers

  54. The advice in your article is great. I have never consciously noticed the difference in the calls to action. But now that I see the example, it makes complete sense.

  55. Instead, persuade the visitor to click with the use of keywords or “trigger words” that speak directly to the visitor’s motivations

    Seems easy when you read it but is not that easy to find those words.

  56. True sometimes it does drive you mad! The clicking everywhere can be royal pain. And yes I totally understand why you’d want to rip your hair out! These adverts need to stop!

  57. With amount of adverts coming out these days, everything is just a click away! like its become so undeniably similar, that you cant tell the bogus links from the ones you actually want to get into! and its honestly quite frustrating!

  58. It if funny but true. There is a huge lack of creative “call to action’ strategies in many sites.

  59. Brilliant, top read… keep the good stuff coming.

  60. For those who simply aren’t ready to leave “click here” behind, at least add a keyword to your anchor text – i.e. “click here for [whatever keyword is]“. That way you’ll get some SEO benefit to your link that also includes the “click here” phrase.

  61. Well you still look good even with your hair out. But some of us dummies still have to fix the click here buttons on our sites and we appreciate the column you wrote.

  62. I prefer “order info” instead of click here, do you think it’s better? Because some ebook I read suggest to put “click here” word as call to action, it’s like saying if you want to know more … this is the link.

  63. “Or, juste like a colleague of mine said, replace “Click here” by “Don’t click here!” ;)

    Like the big red button that says “don’t push”. You just have to do it!

  64. It still annoys me seeing websites do this, when it so simply to make a better text link. If you search Google for the phrase ‘click here’ without the quotes, you’ll notice Adobe at the top – a pretty interesting fact showing that there must be a LOT of people linking to Adobe with ‘click here’!

  65. Agree!

    “Click Here” sounds like promoting product or something. Nowadays, peoples aware and try to avoid on click them. Suppose to find another strategies to attract people to click ads, I guess

  66. Descriptive text/graphics should ALWAYS let the user know what to expect next. Not only does “click here” border on spammy these days, but it’s too ambiguous.

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Melissa is a Senior Persuasion Analyst at FutureNow.

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