I’ve always been a big proponent of having actionable anchor text for links when I really want someone to click. From a copywriting standpoint, it’s a no brainer—it’s been proven time and time again that if you want someone to do something, you’ll get better results if you tell them exactly what to do.
Simple as that.
So, it catches me off guard when people question something so fundamental. I’ve had people email me to settle disputes over the issue, such as the time a reader told me about an argument he was having with his boss. The employee thought it was archaic to tell people to “click here,” and his boss thought otherwise.
I politely replied that for once the boss was right. I never heard back.
Another reader once chastised me for wasting anchor text with the words “click here,” even though my primary goal for the link was to get people to click (shocking, I know). This is when I first realized that Google is truly making people retarded. Somehow, this person no longer saw links as navigation for actual people to use; they only exist to pass on “juice” according to an algorithm that no one outside of Mountain View fully understands.
Someone has the wrong idea.
It’s been a bit since I’ve seen any independent testing data on the use of actionable link anchor text (outside of my own), so I thought I’d share the results of a Marketing Sherpa experiment performed with their newsletter readers. The goal was to find out if the wording used in hyperlinks could make a difference in click through rates.
The answer is yes. They found that the right two or three “click” link words can lift click through rates by more than 8%.
Here are the results:
- “Click to continue”: 8.53%
- “Continue to article”: 3.3%
- “Read more”: (-)1.8%
Since there’s no relevant difference between an HTML email message and a web page, the lesson is clear. Not only should you use actionable anchor text if you really want someone to click, but you should also tell people to take the exact action you want them to perform in order to get the best response. Click here to read the original Marketing Sherpa article in its entirety, and have a good Monday.