Improve clickthrough rate by optimizing the number of words in links


Do you have internal (or possibly even outbound) links on your webpage that you really hope your visitors will follow? Sometimes a slightest change in the wording will help crease the link’s click-through-rate (CTR), so every piece of information on how to structure anchor text is extremely valuable. According to one study (Spool, J. et al. 2004. “Designing for the Scent of Information”), the number of words in a link makes a difference. How big of a difference? That depends on your overall traffic. But it is pretty clear that the sweet spot is somewhere between 11 and 8 words per link. It is important to remember that the link text must be well written! Do not pad it with words just to reach the optimal count. Rather use this knowledge in combination with other factors, such as giving priority to keywords and identifying the value that your visitor can expect to find on the linked page. Also, you should understand that the magic number includes stop-words (and, the, of etc.), and such words should not overload your anchor text. At the end of the day, A/B tests will help you nail down the right link text, but definitely keep this tip in mind during the initial copy writing process.  Did you notice how many words I used in the title of this post? It worked, because you are reading it!

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