The only rule about using ‘click here’ is simple; just don’t!
People scan read, so if faced with a page full of ‘click here’ links then it slows them down and they’re likely to forget which link goes where, thus having to click through them all over again. ‘Click here’ links are meaningless without having to read the entire sentence before or after. For example:
Not sure how to claim your expenses? Click here to find out.
This could be better written as:
If unsure how to claim your expenses, read our expenses guide.
See how your eyes were drawn to the hyperlink in the first example and how you had to go back and read the whole sentence? We like to be quick when reading online, so anything that slows us down, even the tiniest bit, can become frustrating.
Avoiding ‘click here’ also helps people using assistive technology (like screen readers) and so is part of your accessibility duty.
Plus, in this multi-device touchscreen world, people don’t even always click. Sometimes we tap or touch hyperlinks.
A few courtesy tips
If you’re using the same link on the same page (or elsewhere, really) more than once, make sure the wording is identical so that the reader doesn’t think it’ll take them somewhere different.
If you’re mentioning an organisation or person, link to their official website or profile – it’ll help the reader discover more about what you’re talking about. Same goes for unusual terms, references to documents and procedures, and locations. The idea is to build a web and help people get around.
For more tips on how to enhance your intranet writing skills and create great content that your readers enjoy using, then our ‘Writing for your intranet’ workshop is a must.
This is one of a series of short articles about intranet content practices.