Why Click Here Is Bad For SEO
Click here is a remnant of the 1990s when many users were just learning how to interact with websites. Today’s web users understand how to use links – they don’t need you to tell them to point their mouse cursor at one and click.
In addition, some website visitors navigate through pages using touch screens, voice commands, shakes or swipes, or screen readers. Using “click here” can make your site unfriendly to those with these disabilities.
It’s bad for SEO
Click here is bad for SEO because search engines look at the text surrounding a link and use it to establish context. If every hyperlink in your content reads “Click here,” search engines will have a hard time understanding what each page is about.
It’s also bad for accessibility and user experience. Web visitors often scan pages to find links they can follow. They don’t just need to know where a link will take them; they also want to be sure the link will give them what they’re looking for. Using “click here” for all your links will provide no context at all.
Finally, the phrase “click here” could make your site seem dated. Most Internet users no longer use mice; they’re more likely to rely on keyboards, touch screens, or other devices. Click here is also less than helpful for mobile users because they’ll have to scroll down to see the text and will probably miss it anyway.
It’s bad for accessibility
Whether you’re a Web designer or content writer, it’s easy to fall into the habit of using phrases like “click here” in link text. But it’s not a good idea, especially for accessibility reasons.
Most people don’t read every word on a website—they scan it to find what they’re looking for. When links have a phrase such as “click here” in them, it adds to the cognitive load of scanning. It also draws attention to the mechanics of clicking instead of focusing on the information that they’re trying to locate.
Additionally, many users with visual impairments use screen readers to navigate websites. If your links are labeled with the phrase “click here,” screen-readers will have no context of where those links go or what they contain. This can be frustrating for visually impaired visitors, who may have to listen to an endless list of uninformative links just to figure out which one is the right one to click.
It’s bad for user experience
When you use “click here” on your website, you’re directing users’ attention away from the interface and onto their mouse. This can be a bit of a nuisance, especially for new visitors.
Studies show that most people don’t read the content on a page; they scan it for things that jump out at them, such as links. Link text should be descriptive so that it’s clear what they can expect to find if they click.
For example, you might have a short description of an interesting article in your newsletter that leads to a blog post on your site. Instead of using the phrase “click here” to direct them to the article, why not try something like “Check out this awesome article (opens in a new window)”? This is a better way to direct user attention without making them feel dumb. Also, it’s more accessible for users with assistive technologies. It’s important to remember that not all users are using mice, and screen readers can’t translate ‘click here’ into meaningful hyperlink text.
It’s bad for branding
Studies on how people consume information online show that only 20-28% of the content is read by site visitors. This is because users tend to scan pages, using keywords as shortcuts to the information they’re looking for. Links signpost them to additional information but “Click here” is vague and doesn’t tell the user what they will find when they click. They’ll have to search the phrasing surrounding the link to figure out what it means and whether or not it’s relevant.
It also makes no sense when taken out of context and could confuse and detract from the user experience. Especially for visitors with disabilities who use screen readers. A better alternative is to include a short description of the link target or use text from the URL itself as link text. This helps search engines determine link relevancy and ensures that the user gets what they’re expecting. For example: “Read more about sea lions” (link to text-only version) or “Schedule a campus tour today”. (link to PDF).