red button that says Click Here

Why “Click Here” is Bad

It is used all over the place. “Click Here” to get this coupon. “Click Here” to send us your story. To visit our webpage “Click Here”. It’s simple, direct, and devoid of any clues. Out of context on the page, it is a meaningless call to action.

As a designer committed to enhancing web usability and clear communication, I believe using “Click here” as a web link is a bad idea. And the WC3, the worldwide authority on web standards and best practices, agrees with me.

Here are 5 ways that “Click here” violates both web standards and best practices.

  1. The link provides no usability clues, because it doesn’t tell you what you’ll be able to do or can expect to find when you get there.
  2. It’s not accessible for the blind for the same reason.  Providing clues to those who use a screen reader to navigate the web is not just polite — for government and public agencies, it is the law. For the rest of us, including accessibility in our web designs is simply good practice for an aging population.
  3. It’s bad for search engine optimization (SEO) because it tells search engines nothing about the purpose of the link. The words are generic when they could be hot, juicy, descriptive keywords. Using keywords in strong, descriptive links will beef up your SEO scoring.
  4. You won’t find any lazier copywriting anywhere. This overused phrase is a cliche that focuses on the mechanics of using the link instead of the benefit the visitor will receive.
  5. A web visitor deserves your respect, and “Click here” implies they are stupid. This far down the road we do not need to tell people how a web link works. Hello — how do you think they got here?

“Click here” is just another way of saying You idiot. Put your mouse or cursor over this blue underlined text to proceed to somewhere you know nothing about.” It’s like having “turn page” at the bottom right-hand corner of a book instead of page numbers.

Please join me in stamping out the use of  “Click here” for web links whenever you have the opportunity. Better yet, send me prime examples of “Click here” used online. I’m starting a collection.

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