Marketing Sherpa has recently published a study which resulted in some intriguing results. The key objective of the research was to see whether putting an instruction like “click here” in your link text would make the link more effective—would more people click on it?
You may feel a little uneasy about adding the instruction “click here” to your links—after all, the visitors to your site aren’t complete Internet novices are they? Most people can tell the difference between normal text and links, and so there may be a perception that putting something like “click here” on the link is a little patronizing. Surprisingly however, it works a treat!
Marketing Sherpa have used a newsletter as a testing ground. At the end of article summaries they placed the usual hyperlink to link back to the full article. They varied the text for this hyperlink to see if it would make a difference on the number of people clicking on them. The resulting click-through rate was as follows:
“Read more” - 1.8%
“Continue to article” - 3.3%
“Click to continue” - 8.53%
Look at that! When the instruction to “click” was added to the anchor text, the click-through rate went up to 8.53%, a very healthy boost. It appears that visitors like to be told what to do—even if they realize that that bit of underlined text is a link, they still need a call to action to push them to click on it. I think results like these cannot be ignored. If you own a site, you should check to see whether your link text could be optimized—adding a simple call to action words like “click here” or “click to continue” may result in a significant boost for your conversion rates.