Do I need to tell people to "Click Here"?
Short answer: No. Never. Not ever.
Long answer: When the internet first became popular for personal use in the 90s, the term "click here" was everywhere. Even with links in big blue letters and underlined, web site builders knew that with a new technology comes people who don't know how to use technology, so it was very common to see "CLICK HERE!" as a call to action for links.
But tech has come a long way since the days of free AOL CDs. Search engines have evolved and web content must evolve with them. Here are just a few reasons why you should never type the words "click here" in your content again.
- It's not 1997 anymore.
People know what a link is and what to do with it. If they didn't, chances are they wouldn't be visiting your site. "Click here" is not only redundant, the language makes our site content appear outdated.
- Google's spiders actually devalue links using this term.
That's right, if you're using this term in your text links, you're hurting your site's SEO.
- People don't just "click" anymore
Mobile technology is a common part of our lives now and has to be a part of our consideration. At least 10% of visitors to any given event site are accessing it using a phone or tablet, not a keyboard and mouse. The term 'click' doesn't even apply to them.
So by all means, use calls to action in your text links, but make them concise and relevant to your content and avoid overused phrases like 'click here' and its cousin, 'follow this link'. Even better, use key words in your text links to give Google a clue about that the content on the page is.
Does Your Home Page Have a Headline? Does It Need One?
Google has an incredibly complicated set of algorithms that go into determining the search results for any given phrase, but one rule has been true for as long as "Google" has been a verb: Content Is King! To that end, it is very important to be sure that the copy on your home page and throughout your site will appeal to search engines looking to know what you're about.
Headlines are a necessary part of SEO strategy because Google gives content in search engines a greater weight than normal paragraph content. Not only should your home page content have a headline, that headline should include the strongest keywords people would use to find your event. This does not necessarily include your event name. For instance, "Best of Success" gives no indicator that it has anything to do with the roofing industry. On the other hand, "Groundbreaking Women in Construction" contains 2 primary keywords, women and construction.
Meta Descriptions - What are they and why do they matter?
Meta Descriptions are tags on the site hidden from site visitors, but very important to search engines.
As an example, I Googled DASNY and (not surprising) the top result is DASNY’s site.
You’ll see the site title, the URL, then the description. That isn’t text that’s on the home page, it’s the site’s description meta tag. All of our sites have (or should have) description tags similar to this. They're one or two sentences including at least a few of the keywords identified as important search terms that let people and search engines know what it is they’ve found.
Description tags are an important part of your SEO strategy. If you haven't sent me any for your sites, chances are I made them up. If you'd like to make the most out of your meta descriptions, reach out to Stephanie Makar, BNP's SEO strategist.