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Five Reasons to NOT Use "Click Here" On Your Web Site

It has been there since the birth of the Internet. "Click Here" to download a file. "Click Here" to go there. "Click Here" to see our products and services. These are two words that you want to banish entirely from your web site and we've got five good reasons why you should do it now.

Reason #1 - Misplaced Emphasis

Emphasis should be placed on your content not the fact that you Click Here to get it. Compare the emphasis of these two sentences:

Download the Product Specifications PDF

Click Here to download the product specifications PDF

Now imagine two pages full of links, one using the Click Here technique and one using the contextual linking technique. Which technique would aid the reader in quickly scanning a page for content clues? Contextual linking keeps the emphasis where it belongs.

Reason #2 - Search Engines

Search engines weigh linked text as more significant than plain text. If a page is linked just by the meaningless words Click Here, you will lose out on a higher ranking for the page. Place good keywords in your link text wherever possible.

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Get more information about this year's Baby Time Show!

Reason #3 - Too Many Words

The Click Here statement adds at least two words to the message. Often space is at a premium and a shorter message would fit better in the limited space. When it comes to making your point on a web page, you have a very short time span in which your visitor reads text. The less wordy your web site, the more likely it is that they will read your entire message.

Reason #4 - Let Your Menu Do the Talking

The Click Here technique is used most often when imbedding links in the text of a site. However, links to other pages in your site should be on your navigation bar (menu) not scattered through your text. By placing navigational links throughout your text instead of your menu, you are forcing visitors to read all of your text to find the links to the content they really want. You improve the user friendliness of your web site by letting your menu be the guide.

Reason #5 - Give Your Customers Credit

Back in 1996, the Click Here term was born from a need to indicate a spot that people needed to click on to get somewhere else. In the early days of the Internet, this was necessary since most people did not understand that text with an underline meant inherently that an item was a hyperlink.

Now that we are in the 21st century, even your elderly relative is likely to recognize a hyperlink when she sees it. Your customers also know a hyperlink when they see it. It is not necessary to point out that you must Click Here any more.

By replacing all Click Here links with contextual links you will improve your site's optimization for search engines, its user friendliness and its navigability.

To learn more about improving your web site Click Here!
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Back2Front is full of tips to help you get more value from your web site.

by Candace Carter, Back2Front-The Web Site People, 2009