29 Mar Click here: The Art of What Not to Do
On the topic of online content development, nothing irks me the most than seeing “click here” on any online marketing element/initiative — websites, email marketing, and otherwise — and especially in those sites that say that they offer search engine marketing services and optimization, or online content development. I won’t name names or sites, since I don’t believe in tattle-taling (as much LOL), but I do want to address this issue firsthand and get this off of my chest.
I understand that a lot of marketing managers/directors, or peeps in charge of marketing for companies aren’t always going to be versed in online marketing. I get that… In fact, I know some companies whose online marketing directors come strictly from either a traditional marketing background or a print marketing background, and are in charge of company marketing initiatives — both online and print. Sadly, this is because they’re the closest to an online marketing experience as they can get without having to hire another marketing person. And I definitely understand that a lot of web designers have no actual online marketing experience to generate marketable results. While I am happy that they have that job, that is not my problem.
My problem stems from the lack of essential necessities of conducting online marketing initiatives — the knowledge, experience, and best practices of conducting said initiatives. If by chance that the marketing manager knows such things, then they would also know the practice of traffic management, goal conversions, acquisition of repeat business, and other metric analysis that goes along with conducting online marketing. In addition to that, they should then know about conversion methods through methods like implementation of SEO techniques in online content development, not JUST to rank in search engines, but to ACQUIRE the necessary metrics to conduct online engagement and acquisition. The term/phrase “click here” just doesn’t cut it, and here’s why.
- The term “click here” before the main call-to-action verb (to register, to vote, to do something) is very passive, and neither a) engages your customers well, b) gives great metrics for your site, or c) enhances your credibility to generate positive ROI through action-oriented online content.
- It assumes that your audience is not technologically advanced enough to understand what to do on your site when they get there.
- It does not fall in line with organic optimization best practices, which …
- Results in less positive (or in some cases, negative) ROI for your metrics.
I wasn’t going to name names or company sites, but I do want to point out the industries and the differences in usage. Take, for example, the usage of “click here” below:
Example number 1 – marketing/advertising company
“Click here to learn about ______’s awesome atmosphere”
If you’re a marketing company that has its own online marketing team, one would know that “click here” isn’t the best verbiage to generate exposure and interest. Why not just say “Learn more about our awesome atmosphere” or “Find out why we’re rated #2 in customer satisfaction?” That entices the user to be more interested in what the company has to offer and builds more prominence to the company’s value.
Example number 2 – email marketing specialist
“If you have any questions, ‘click here’ to send me an email”
Now, as an email marketing specialist, one should know that call-to-action responses and elements are one of the primary factors in converting readers to clients. In both portfolio web site and in the emails being created, action elements need to be consistent and constant in form, message, and method. It would say a lot to readers when the specialist uses one form of language/verbiage in one email and then use something different (and less successful) in another. Granted, there is the battle between the specialist and the client, as we in the freelance world know that some clients often want their wishes to be granted, regardless of best practices. There is an education factor that goes along with that, but the best foot forward is to use as much as one can the best practices of that medium.
So instead of using the verbiage above, here are some examples of alternatives to use:
“Questions? Email me at someone at somewhere dot com” (if you want to show your real email)
“Need answers? I can help answer your questions” (and link whichever keyword phrase to your email)
Example number 3 – corporate site
“Click here to view who are”
“Click here to view our policies
Most traditional industries (i.e. law, banking, etc.) started to adopt better online marketing practices within the last 5 years, which is a great step in those fields, given the fact that they still are traditional at best. But they also have a hard time understanding new methods of marketing as they are still clinging onto old-school “tried and true” methods. While some companies are definitely justifying their methods and hesitancy to move further in new methods, they are also wondering why their methods are lacking in greater response and metrics. Frankly, I’ve had the pleasure of being in such industries, and the underlying factors include combinations of
- lack of knowledge (or in some cases, lack of education) when it comes to “new” online marketing methods
- lack of best practices to implement said methods
- lack of human resources that understand how to operate/implement said methods, and
- lack of knowledge/best practices in marketing/advertising companies who deal with said industries (see my first example)
It would be better for that marketing/advertising company to be more educated in servicing their clients in the newer forms of online marketing so that the clients can have a better understanding of why methods are being carried out, why best practices are taking place, and why some mediums are being replaced while others are not.
Overall, it would be a much better for your online marketing initiatives to use better call-to-action elements and techniques than using “click here.” While that phrase had its time back in the day, it does not have much power now as it has back then. With the advent of newer online marketing methods, better, more robust metric analysis tactics, more savvy users, and especially the way search engines are used to increase company brand exposure, content development needs to get with the times by augmenting its tactics to go with the new mediums of online marketing.