Entice me to click, don’t leave it to chance

When you visit a website there’s really only two things you can do: absorb the content or click on links. If you own you own website you really want your visitors to do both. Getting then to absorb your content just needs some good copywriting but getting them to click on your links is another matter.

So how do you do it? How do you get your visitors to click on your links?

Good anchor text can be a strong driver to explore other parts of the site. The anchor text are the words displayed on the screen rather than the actual link itself. Anchor text is a sneak preview about the target page, it tells both me and the search engines what’s at the other end of the link.

On blogs and news sites you often see a ‘read more’ link. Lazy online store owners leave the generic ‘more info’ link in place and others still use the long discredited ‘click here’.

If you want me to click on your links then give me a reason to do so. Make sure your copy leads into the anchor text so that there is an information flow. Instead of:

Flying pig spotted over Glasgow. Read more

why not have:

Flying pig spotted over Glasgow, read the eyewitness reports and see the amazing pictures.

Or even better:

Stunned passers by see a rare visitor to the city of Glasgow. Read the eyewitness accounts of the flying pig and see the amazing pictures of the porcine aerobatics.

I count at least 10 good keywords in that paragraph. It’s not just about the words you use in your anchor text, it’s the relevance of that text to the source page and the target page.

It’s also worth noting that if you provide information then inline links tend to be followed more than those in your primary or even secondary navigation.

Some sad souls get very worried over the keywords they use and the position of those keywords in the anchor text. My answer is:  it doesn’t matter, just write normally.

So if you want people to click on your links and explore your site, give them a reason to do so.

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