Getting the Click

It’s just not clicking. You’ve peppered your website or e-newsletter with lots of links and graphics to support your sizzling content, but no one seems to care, (or, click). What can you do to improve the odds that your links will get noticed and clicked, (and lead your visitors to where you want them to go)? No worries. There are a number of steps a you can take, that will encourage visitors and customers to click on a link or graphic located on your website. Just take a look at the tips below, and try some or all to help get “em clicking”…

  1. Colors – Use contrasting colors for links. This makes the links stand out from other text on a web page. Also, avoid placing links against a patterned background, as it will make it much more difficult for your visitors to read the link text. Bottom line, the link color should stand out from the rest of the web page, and be easy to locate.
  2. Link Traits – Underlining is still the universal indication of a link. Using the “underline” for links will send a clear message to website visitors about which text on the webpage is just text, and which text is actually a hyper-link. And along this line of thought, you should avoid using underlining for text that is not a link, just to avoid confusion.
  3. Visible – It may sound obvious, but make all your links visible. Do not hide the links or navigation on a web page.
  4.  Textual – Text links have a higher rate of clicks than linked images. The one exception is typically a “Buy Now” button, which tends to be more effective than text-only “Buy Now” links. Keep this in mind when creating a linking scheme for your website.
  5.  Consistent – The location of links should be consistent as the visitor moves from page to page through your website. Do not move links around as the content of the web page changes.
  6. Position – Place important links in a location that is easy for the website visitor to see without having to scroll. Position important links “above the fold” on the website. Above the fold? typically refers to the portions of a webpage that can be visible without scrolling.
  7. Font Style & Size – In order to make links easy for the visitor to see, be sure to use a font style and size that can be easily read. And, of course, be consistent with its use throughout your website.
  8. Graphic Links – If you use image links, the clickable graphics should be vibrant and should stand out from the other content on the page. Use bright or bold contrasting colors for the graphic. Be sure to include appropriate ALT text, (i.e., text that is displayed instead, when an image cannot be displayed), for each linked image, so the visitor will have an indication of the material being linked to as they move their mouse over the graphic. Keep in mind that ALT text is not supposed to literally describe contents of the image — iIt’s supposed to be an alternative for the image, usually stating its purpose. For example, an image of a warning sign should not have the ALT text “a triangle with yellow background, black border and exclamation mark”, but simply “Warning!”.
  9. Fresh Eyes – Ask a friend or family member to navigate your website. It may surprise you to learn what they see and where they click. A fresh set of eyes will give a good indication of how others will perceive your website and the clickable content.

Of course, these tips also apply to the links and graphics included in your e-mail communications and electronic newsletters. Take a look at the examples below; the links are in a contrasting color to the rest of the text, and the universal link trait of underlining is used.

Example 1

Example 2

Posted by Birgit Pauli-Haack

Since 1998 Birgit Pauli-Haack has worked with nonprofits as a web developer, a technology strategist, a trainer and community organizer. She founded Pauli Systems, LC in 2002, now a team of six. It is a 100% distributed company. Since 2010, her team has used WordPress to build new nonprofit sites and applications. In her spare time, Birgit serves as a deputy with the WordPress Global Community team, as a WordPress Meetup organizer and a Tech4Good organizer.