Never Say “Click Here”!

This mistake misleads Google in important ways. Your website becomes lost in a huge ocean of other “click here”s on the Web.

Why is that? Google uses link text (the word or phrase that you click on) to understand what the destination page is all about. When you say “click here” to see/view/learn more, you’re telling Google that the page viewers will see next is about “click here.” This is true even for pages and documents on your own site.

Let’s say you have a blog or newsletter on your site, and you want to link to a pdf document with Ten Tips for Puppy Training. Many websites say something like this:

As soon as you bring your puppy home, it’s important to establish a training schedule. For ten tips about training your puppy, click here.

Equally bad:

Click here for ten tips about training your puppy.

(These links are just examples. They don’t go anywhere.)

Instead of “click here,” use the title of the document as the link or a keyword-rich phrase that describes the content of the document. These two approaches tell Google what the linked page or document is really about. Use whichever is appropriate for the text on your page.

Ten Tips For Puppy Training
Your puppy wants to please you. Learn how best to teach commands like sit, stay, come and fetch, as well as basic housebreaking and good guest behavior (no jumping!)

Every puppy has its own disposition. To learn what kinds of training styles work best for your dog, read our ten tips about training your puppy.

Use this strategy to build a site map for your website, even if your site has only a few pages. Use a keyword-rich phrase for the links on your site map. Put a link to your site map on the bottom of each of your pages. These keyword-rich links in your site map help Google understand what each page is about.

Of course, Google also indexes the actual content of each page. However, having keyword-rich links will reinforce that phrase as the important keywords for the page. This helps raise your site towards that all-important page one of the search results.

This same principle applies when creating a link to your website on LinkedIn or other sites. Perhaps a friend or business associate agrees to link to your site. Insofar as you can, use a keyword-rich phrase to make the link, not just your domain name. Some examples:

Puppy Palace: Home-style boarding for dogs of all ages.
Dog Grooming in HomeTown Massachusetts.

Less good: Home-style boarding for dogs of all ages.

Even less good: Dog grooming in HomeTown Massachusetts.

Really poor but better than nothing:
My website

—April 2010, Wyn Snow

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