To Click Here, or Not to Click Here: That Is the SEO Question.

Today, I'm delighted to introduce a guest post by one of my favourite bloggers, web and social media expert Brad Shorr of Word Sell, Inc. Regular readers will know that here at goodcopybadcopy we like extremely detailed discussions of business vocab, but even I had never guessed that there was so much to know about those two little words "click here". Thanks, too, to Brad for introducing me to the phrase "link juice". Read on, Macduff. To sleep: perchance to dream – click here.

Did you click on the link just above? Weren’t you itching to? That’s the power of the much debated “click here” link. People move quickly on the web. Subtlety doesn’t work when you’ve got a handful of seconds to influence visitors. Whack them upside the head with clear instructions, and you’ll get those precious click-throughs.

But wait, says the SEO expert, Using “click here” anchor text is a wasted opportunity!

This is true. Keyword rich anchor text does indeed enhance search engine visibility, primarily for the page you are linking to. The “linking to” part is the all important consideration. Let’s sharpen our thinking by looking at five link situations a bit more closely.

• If you are linking to an external web page and have no particular interest in boosting its search performance, using “click here” doesn’t hurt a thing.

• If you are linking to an internal web page, you presumably want to boost its search performance. Thus for internal links, using anchor text relevant to the target page would seem to be essential. However, we need to make one distinction.

• If your internal link is mainly a navigational aid – an effort to help visitors more easily find related information – by all means use keyword rich anchor text.

• But, if your internal link exists to move people to the target page come hell or high water, let keywords take a back seat. Do whatever you must to force the action. And remember: brevity is the soul of click.

• Finally, for an inbound link to your site, always strive for maximum link juice. Ideally, you want people linking to you with your target page’s primary keywords, not “click here” stuff.

Now, skillful writing gives you a chance to have it both ways.

Learn more about slings and arrows Click here for photos of slings and arrows Buy now - slings and arrows

Still, the data I’ve seen suggest a simple “click here” will generate more click-throughs than keyword rich workarounds. You needn’t obsess over it, though – testing is easy enough. If your optimized anchors aren’t producing suitable numbers, give “click here” a try and see what happens.

Cover Your Mortal Coil and Avoid a Sea of Troubles

• Direct command, “click here” anchor text loses its persuasive effect when overused. Think about that mother we’ve all seen barking out orders to her toddler in the grocery store. You know what happens: the kid tunes her out. Mom screams, “KEVIN! GET YOUR A** OVER HERE!” Kevin grins and knocks over a pyramid of onions. The last thing you need is a bunch of Kevins running around your site.

• Along the same lines, pyramiding keyword rich internal links, especially when a single phrase is used over and over, can hurt your SEO cause rather than help it. Whenever Google picks up the scent of keyword stuffing tactics, they smell something rotten in the state of Denmark.

To sum up – writing anchor text is all about context. Always using “click here” and never using “click here” are foolish consistencies. The link’s the thing. If you know why you are including a particular link, what its purpose is - you will find the right words to describe it, with plenty of time left over to take in a play.

Brad Shorr, Word Sell, Inc., specializes in content strategy, and created the preceding hyperlink strictly for link juice. He now brings you the following links in a vigorous bid for your business.

For more about his blog consulting services, click here For more about his content optimization services, please click here For an extremely useful Website Content Evaluation, CLICK HERE THIS VERY INSTANT! (OK, Brad, that's enough - Clare)