Why “Click Here” & “This Link” Are Choices To Avoid For Web And Email Links


By: Drew McManus

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Consider taking some time over the holiday for a content audit to find and update any outdated link-oriented copy.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!

Drew McManus
Drew McManus
In addition to my consulting business, I'm also the Principal of Venture Industries Online but don’t let that title fool you into thinking I'm just a tech geek. I bring 20+ years of global broad-based arts consulting experience to the table to help clients break the cycle of choosing one-size-fits-none solutions and instead, deliver options allowing them to get ahead of the tech curve instead of trying to catch up by going slower. With the vision of legacy support strategy and the delights of creative insights, my mission is to deliver a sophisticated next generation technology designed especially for the field of performing arts. The first step in that journey began in 2010 when The Venture Platform was released, a purpose-designed managed website development solution designed especially for arts organizations and artists. For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, lead a team of intrepid arts pros to hack the arts, lead an arts business incubator, and love a good coffee drink.
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