Don’t "click here"

By Marty Friedel
Published October 22nd, 2015
How many times do we see these simple words on a website. Did you know that every time we write them, a little internet gnome dies. Yes, those words are that bad.

Over the past few years there has been a boom in tablets and smartphones with gloriously large screens ready for our fingers to smudge over. Touch screens are even coming in our laptops and all-in-one desktops now too.

Suddenly, the verb "click" becomes irrelevant.

We don’t "click" on touch devices - we "tap". Don’t forget, some of your visitors may also only be using a keyboard - there’s no "clicking" on a keyboard (and no, your clunky space bar doesn’t count).

And while this simple verb change is minor, think about the purpose of delivery of information the web. The aim is for equal access for all visitors, regardless of device, screen size or operating system. We need to update our lingo to support this, and become inclusive of all of our visitors.

Let’s look at a simple example (note that for these examples, we’ve underlined what would be the link):

Click here for our latest report

A simple change becomes more task-focused:

Download our latest report

This new label has removed the device-specific verb ("click here"), and made the link itself become a descriptive action - tapping, clicking or key-pressing the link will download the PDF. How obvious (and easy to write) is that?

Another example that we often see:

Click here to contact us via email

In this link, the words "click here" have no indication as to the purpose or target of the link. From an accessibility perspective, a screen reader would simply read "click here" - if that’s all you hear, you’ve got no idea what the purpose of the link is.

A better way to write this for the web is:

You can contact us via email

With this re-written format, the link suddenly has clear purpose - by linking the words that describe the target of the page, it’s clear that the link will go to the contact page.

Removing the words "click here" from your online vocab will help be inclusive of all of your visitors, and have the benefit of providing meaningful and descriptive links which can help assist your search engine optimisation efforts.

Marty Friedel
Marty Friedel

Marty has a background in Computer and Information Science, software development, web development, multimedia and web accessibility, and is Mity Digital’s resident nerd.

Outside of his programming work, Marty is a keen landscape photographer, and also teaches Les Mills group fitness classes.