Don’t ‘click here’: Let’s get meaningful with link anchor text

A human hand pointing to the left (Photo by Random Institute on Unsplash)

Don’t ‘click here’: Let’s get meaningful with link anchor text





Don’t ‘click here’: Let’s get meaningful with link anchor text


Aled Herbert
Content director

Aled oversees all editorial as our content director. He loves a good story – which is no surprise, as he started out in children’s publishing.

The internet is littered with instances of ‘click here’ and ‘read more’. These phrases are commonly used as anchor text for URLs – the (typically) blue, underlined links that take you to other pages on the web. The problem is that these are terribly bad practice for use as URL anchor text on a number of fronts.

First, for human readers, there’s the usability angle. Generic phrases like ‘click here’ and ‘read more’ don’t tell users anything about the page or website they are being directed to. They offer no context or description about the destination.

Second, there’s the SEO angle. Search engines use link text to understand the content and purpose of web pages. Again, ‘click here’ and ‘read more’ offer neither description nor context to help them understand the relevance of the link to the page. Meaningful links work better for SEO and page ranking (scroll down to the section on ‘Anchor text’).

Third, using generic anchor text causes accessibility issues and makes the web more difficult for users with visual impairments or cognitive disabilities. Many visually impaired people use screen readers. This technology reads web pages aloud to help the user navigate and understand the content of the page. A ‘click here’ provides no context for what the link points to. On the other hand, using descriptive keywords for anchor text helps screen reader users understand the purpose of the link. Likewise, users with cognitive disabilities benefit from clear and concise descriptions.

Finally, for editors and marketers, using meaningful words as the anchor text allows us to cut redundant words from our sentences. We should focus our customers and prospects on the things that matter, without waste or waffle.

How does this translate in practical terms?

[Note: all links below simply link back to this page and are for illustrative purposes only.]

Rather than write:

To download our white paper, click here.


Download our white paper

Download our cybersecurity white paper (more context)

Download our cybersecurity white paper (shorter and neater)

Quite aside from using a more active voice, the second set of alternatives are simply easier to understand, and enhance the links with that all-important context.

So, time to declare war on all the ‘click heres’ and ‘read mores’. Doing so makes the web user experience better, can improve your SEO ranking, improves the accessibility of your content to all prospective customers, and helps rid the web of redundant, generic words. Those are all outcomes that your CTAs deserve.