Revealed: The Two Most Useless Words on Any Website

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Believe it or not, it’s not just all about how cool your website looks, and how good your product is. One of the biggest factors that determine whether your website converts its visitors is simple: the words you use as links and calls to action.

I have seen my fair share of website words over my 10 years of working online, but I still see some truly shocking words on websites that don’t help convert visitors or engage them in any way whatsoever.

In particular, there are two words on the internet that really make me cringe, and do absolutely NOTHING for the user website experience or improving all important conversion rates.

In fact, the two words are so bad, they might as well not even be words. I’m not talking about swear words or anything – these two terrible words are just two simple words – ‘click here’.

Let me give examples of why ‘click here’ are terrible words to use on a website. Which of these 2 examples would make you want to click on them?

Version 1: To register for our great new newsletter full of the latest tips on car insurance deals click here. After you are done registering for the newsletter, don’t forget to click here to check out our new tool to help you compare the best car insurance deals!

Version 2: Did you register for our new car insurance deals and tips newsletter? Also, don’t forget to check out our new car insurance comparison tool!

You will see the 2nd example is basically the same copy, but with the ‘click here’s removed, the hyperlinks placed on the true calls to action in the copy, and some unnecessary extra words taken out.

Hopefully you chose version #2 as the more enticing copy. Its way better for the user experience and improving conversions for many reasons. But why?

Version #1 is bad for three reasons- the two ‘click here’ links are meaningless words, there are no clickable calls to action to entice the visitor, and it is not obvious what the difference between clicking on each ‘click here’ will be and what the visitor will get.

Nearly as bad as ‘click here’ is another set of two words: ‘read more’. Those two words are the 2nd most uninspiring words you can possibly use to get someone to click on your links. Consider these two examples:

Version 1:New review of the latest Radiohead album. Read More.

Version 2: Have your read our new Radiohead album review yet?

I personally guarantee that if you were trying to sell the new radiohead album based on these two links, that you will get far more people converting from version 2 than version 1.

Basically there are 3 keys to creating great call to action links:

1: Always create links as calls to action that will entice the user to click on them.

2: Never use meaningless words like ‘click here’ or ‘read more’ as call to actions.

3:Remove unnecessary words: make your copy as short and scanable as possible.

Optimizing the words on your websites to take into account these 3 keys will help ensure you are improving your website not only for your visitors experience, but also for improving your conversion rates.

So go ahead, take a look and your own websites and see how many times you are using the most useless words on the internet. And cringe. Then fix them :)

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  • Jason K.

    Rich: what is your take on this post on whether “Click Here” works?

  • http://www.rich-page.com Rich Page

    Jason: Firstly, I love CopyBlogger which did the post you mentioned. But in their article, I don’t think they go far enough. I agree with their results, but they could have gone further by testing more relevant calls to action in their hyperlinks, like I mentioned above. And they would have got even better results…

    I would love to hear what Brian Clark at Copyblogger thinks!

  • http://www.webnetix.nl Alexander van Duijn

    I would like to agree with you on this topic however there are still lots of people who need these pointers to get to the desired content because of their lack of ‘internet experience’.

  • http://www.digitalovercast.com/content-writing-advice.html Content Writing Advice

    What’s even more crazy is I often see the practice of “Click Here” on Big Fortune 500 websites.

    Ken
    http://DigitalOvercast.com

  • http://diyguyct.blogspot.com jacobpm

    *gasp* i never thought about it that way. but it’s totally true. It’s weak. It’s like saying “hey, come here!” and your responce is “why should i? what do you want?” i’m totally getting on this for the rest of the sites.

    btw: great ebook, quick, easy read and a very usable and linear list of things to do. thank you!

    -Jacob

  • Bill Grant

    Although I agree with you, the phrase I detest is “Welcome to”. What a waste of valuable space.

  • Pingback: Comment améliorer votre Call To Action (CTA)? | Luc Pavot()

  • Andrew

    Click here? That’s pretty common!

  • Andrew

    Cool.

  • Don

    I agree, dude

  • gase456

    MD

  • gase456

    HATEHATEHATE IT!

  • Chris Reich

    While I agree, there are many people who misinterpret links as merely bold text. You use the same color of blue for headlines as you use for links. How can I tell a link from a headline? I will sometimes use a compromise solution of:

    For more details go here (and I will make “here” the link)