December 18, 2017

Format links for clicking

5 ways to draw eyes, fingers

Your most important links are calls to action, writes HubSpot’s Kyle James. So how can you increase the chances that they’ll get clicked? Follow these five tips:

Format links for clicking

Living color How can you get more clicks with link size, placement and color? Image by Denise Chan

1. Bold-face your most important links.

Visitors are 20% more likely to click on a bold-faced link, according to HubSpot research.

2. Go graphic.

Clickable images with text under them increased click-through rates by 100% in one Hubspot test.

3. Keep your call to action above the fold.

4. Underline links and make them a different color.

Web users have learned to see underlined, colored text as links. Don’t make them learn a new approach for using your website.

“Users shouldn’t have to guess or scrub the page to find out where they can click,” writes usability expert Jakob Nielsen.

And if it’s not a link, don’t underline it. If you do, someone will click it. And that will confuse and irritate your visitors.

5. Make visited links a different color.

Reserve blue for unvisited links and use a clearly different, less saturated color for visited links, Nielsen suggests.

Some sites use gray for visited links, but Nielsen recommends that you avoid this practice. That’s because gray type is hard to read, and it’s often used online to show that something is unavailable.

Read Nielsen’s Guidelines for Visualizing Links and Link List Color on Intranets.

  • Writing For the Web and Mobile in Chicago

    People devote 86% of their time and attention to the upper two-thirds of a mobile screen, according to a study by Briggsby.

    Chicago Writing For the Web and Mobile workshopAt Writing For the Web and Mobile — a two-day digital writing Master Class on June 12-13, 2018 in Chicago — you’ll learn to reach them where their eyes are.

    Specifically, you'll learn to:

    • Organize your webpage using the temple structure. Designed for the web, it's the most effective way to help visitors find what they're looking for online.
    • Choose from 5 types of web leads that work. And learn 3 common approaches to avoid.
    • Tear down obstacles to reading your webpage by passing The Palm Test.
    • Get found and clicked. Help Google and humans figure out what your piece is about with 6 quick tricks.
    • Pass the 80/20 test. Put your key messages where readers will be 84% more likely to find them.

    Learn more about the Master Class.

    Register for Writing For the Web and Mobile Workshop in Chicago.

    Browse all upcoming Master Classes.

    Would you like to hold an in-house Writing For the Web and Mobile workshop? Contact Ann directly.


Sources: Kyle James, “9 Ways to Optimize Your Links and Draw Attention to Your Calls to Action,” HubSpot’s Inbound Internet Marketing Blog, March 4, 2009

Jakob Nielsen, “Guidelines for Visualizing Links,” Nielsen Norman Group, May 10, 2004

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