Don’t Click Here – The Ultimate Anchor Text Link

Marketing Sherpa just came out with an interesting report which found that a simple word change in a hyperlink can raise conversions by 8.53%. Of the three scenarios presented, “Click to Continue” resulted in the highest increase in conversions (over “Continue to Article” or “Read More”).

This article piqued my interest for a number of reasons, the first of which is that while it centers on the intricacies of anchor text from a conversion standpoint, it fails to take into account certain SEO components.

As an SEO professional, I cringe when I see any of the above instances, used in Marketing Sherpa’s case study, on a client’s site. We SEO’s are constantly battling the use of “Read More” and “Click Here”. But that doesn’t mean I don’t also respect the extraordinary power of anchor text to improve CTR and conversions.

Why is anchor text important for SEO? Here’s a relevant example: Do a search on Google on the text “click here”, and who comes up? Adobe.

Do you think Adobe optimized their site for the words “click here”? Hell no. However, thousands of pages across the internet are indirectly helping Adobe position by telling their users to click here to download Adobe’s software.

This just goes to show how incredibly powerful anchor text can be. I would also like to clarify that this pertains not only to external anchor text, but to internal anchor text as well.

This recent article from the talented folks at FutureNow on how to write persuasive links implies that the best formula is:
imperative verb + implied benefit

I would take this one step further to suggest that the best formula is:
imperative verb + implied benefit + relevant keyword (if ya can work it in)

Let’s try this theory out:

Search over 10,000 Halloween costumes to find the perfect outfit at the perfect price.

But wait a minute- is there so much text that we are diluting relevance? Maybe we should try a different approach, like this:

Search over 10,000 Halloween costumes to find the perfect outfit at the perfect price.

I can tell you right now which one is better from an SEO standpoint (it’s the one with less anchor text). As far as converting traffic goes- only A/B/ or multivariate testing will tell us for sure which is most effective from a usability standpoint.

What do you think? Any other suggestions for the ultimate anchor text link? I’d love to hear your thoughts.