Way back in 2016, ArtsHacker Phil Paschke wrote an article about why you want to begin moving away from using phrases like “click here” in web and digital marketing copy.
Fast forward five years and it’s still an issue at a lot of sites but the stakes are a good bit higher now than in 2016. It isn’t difficult to find, common examples include “complete this form,” “click here for more information,” or “download our brochure with this link” where the underlined words are linked to the URL target.
While those may feel natural, the sooner you change, the better your copy will connect with patrons. Here are two high priority red flags to keep in mind:
- Anything that instructs a user to click isn’t applicable to mobile devices. You’ll never look older to the younger generations you’re trying to attract.
- In an age where phishing scams are more common, using general terms like “here” lacks transparency. If a patron is concerned, even for a moment, about the validity of where a link points, you’re chance of losing the conversion goes up exponentially.
Fortunately, crafting meaningful links is straightforward. Give yourself 15 days and I’ll be shocked if you haven’t dropped the old habits entirely. When in doubt, the more direct and specific you are, the better. Here are some examples:
- Download our brochure here. – NOT GOOD
- Please download our PDF brochure. – GOOD
Another big change is it’s now okay to expose URLs, meaning you can spell out the full link in the copy. Having said that, there are some caveats, the most important of which is they are short and “pretty” – i.e., don’t contain a string of alpha-numeric characters. This example includes a pretty URL and also let’s the patron know exactly what they going to download:
- Please download our PDF brochure: https://culture.org/2022-brochure
Consider taking some time over the holiday for a content audit to find and update any outdated link-oriented copy. After you’re done, you’ll be surprised at how much better everything reads!