Who Actually Clicks Click Here?

Using the nondescript “click here” anchor text to link to a shopping page is a bad idea.

I have been experimenting with my coffee purchases as of late and found myself changing some of my Gevalia shipments around. After removing a product from my delivery list, I was asked to confirm the action. I was also given the choice to restore the product or add a new product.

Curiously, they used the hypertext copy …to add a new product click click here, with the last two words made into a link to the product-adding page. This is the epitomy of the so-called “click here” mentality, where the very phrase “click here” has been so objectified that it is used as a noun unto itself.

To make matters worse, there was no title attribute for the link which may have served to mitigate the uselessness of the instructions. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the clearer instruction on how to restore the product was not a link. Instead, that button is way over on the other side of the page.

So, the morale of the story is that nobody’s actually going to click a “click here” link the first time around. They first have to decipher what it will actually do and sometimes that’s even more confusing than it was in this example.

Instead of such meaningless anchor text, it is always better to turn the verbs of a sentence into a link. In this case, I would have said something like “The product will no longer be sent with your future shipments. You can still restore this product if you’d like to continue receiving it, or you can add a new product instead,” with the emphasized text being the links for the respective actions. For extra credit, change “The product” into the actual name of the product I’ve just removed.

Clear, unambiguous, and personable text that’s easy to read with just a quick glance. That’s what hypertext copywriting is all about. More to the point, I gaurantee you that more folks would actually order additional products that way, too.