01 Jul Click. Capture. Convert: 6 secrets to writing the perfect link.
You’ve read it before. Yikes, maybe you’ve even written it before.
But do you know how ineffective these two words are?
That’s right. When used as a link, vague phrases like ‘click here’ and ‘find out more’ are the worst way to go – as they provide no added value for the reader or for Google.
I see it all the time. And it does your business more damage than you might think.
Yet when you master the humble link, you’ll enhance your website’s usability, accessibility and SEO.
Intrigued? It’s easy to learn how – with these 6 secrets to writing the perfect link.
(PSSST. Heads up: example links are for example use only. Nothing to click to there!)
Now onto the tips.
1. Make it meaningful
When it comes to website content, clarity is king.
That’s why your links need to be crystal clear – no matter where they’re read on the page. Your link anchor text (the text that represents the link) should be relevant and describe the link’s destination.
This way, the reader will know exactly why they’re clicking on the link. And that’s better for scanners, visually-impaired learners and optimising your ranking on Google. Why? Because what’s best for accessibility is best for SEO.
It makes sense then that hollow phrases like ‘click here’, ‘find out more’ and ‘check this out’ are a total no-go.
Take these two examples.
- BEFORE: Check out this page on gardening tips.
- AFTER: This article will help you learn clever gardening tips.
2. Nail the length
Pithy is perfect. That’s the link mantra you need to remember.
Because if your link anchor text is too long, readers are likely to get lost, feel confused and click away. And this is the exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. Right?
So what should you aim for? No more than four to five words.
Your links shouldn’t be too short either. A one or two-word link can get lost on the page – and it’s also harder for mobile readers to click with their thumbs.
Plus, research has shown that people only tend to focus on the first two words of a link. This means that – if possible – you should try to put the key information at the start. However, only do this if it doesn’t impact the flow and clarity of your writing.
Take this example.
- BEFORE: You can learn more about asthma at Asthma Australia.
- AFTER: You learn more about asthma at Asthma Australia.
3. Think of scanners
You’re not writing for readers. You’re writing for scanners.
That’s why it’s your job, as the writer, to make the scanning journey as easy as possible.
On top of your links being meaningful and concise, they must stand out. This, again, is another reason for why the infamous ‘Click here’ is so futile.
When a reader sees these meaningless phrases scattered throughout your copy, they then have to sift through the surrounding words to understand what you’re actually referring to.
It gives them extra work and slows down their reading journey.
Instead, choose a short phrase that any scanner is sure to spot.
Like these ones below.
- BEFORE: Here are some great resources to learn more.
- AFTER: These great resources will help you learn more about aloe vera.
PSSSST. When writing for scanners, you also need to consider the best ways to present your links. If you have more than four links in one paragraph, it might be better to arrange them in bullet points.
4. Highlight the verb
You may have noticed a pattern. Each time I adjust the link text in the ‘AFTER’ examples, I rephrase it to start with a verb.
Why? Because action-oriented text works better. People find verbs easier to understand – and they’re more compelled to click.
By ensuring a verb leads off your link text, you’ll immediately make it clearer and more meaningful. It’s a win-win.
See the difference below.
- BEFORE: You need to upgrade the app from our website.
- AFTER: You need to upgrade the app from our website.
5. Aim for quality (over quantity)
Looking for the best way to overwhelm and disengage your reader?
Stuffing your copy with links is a safe bet for driving your audience away. That’s why you should only include links when they add value.
On top of this, it’s key that the websites you’re linking to are high value. Why? Because Google rewards you when you link to high-quality websites. So do yourself a favour by selecting only the best sources.
- BEFORE: From coastal walks to national parks, plus fabulous wineries, discover Shoreham’s best sights!
- AFTER: From coastal walks to national parks, plus great restaurants, discover Shoreham’s best sights!
6. Keep it clear and consistent
Your link text should be distinct. This will happen automatically on whatever platform you’re using, with the link appearing underlined and in a different colour.
There are different schools of thought on whether underlining links is good or bad for readability. But whichever way you go, just make sure it’s consistent.
While you can use the CSS to change the link colour and appearance, keep it simple. You still want your link to look like a link. So don’t alter it too much.
Take this example.
- BEFORE: I want to know whether this looks like A LINK?
- AFTER: It’s clear that this is a link.
We hope that answers all your link questions! If you’re eager to know more about us, then learn more about Refresh Marketing.