This website mistake has been an issue for a long time but with some of the newer technologies that have been introduced it’s only gotten easier to make this mistake. What we’re talking about are hyperlinks.
The biggest problem we see is that many website owners or webmasters try to change the appearance of a hyperlink either to make it “blend” with the site or to hide the fact it’s a link at all.
The best analogy we can think of to describe why this is important is this. “If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and walks like a duck, then it must be a duck!”
Think about this…if it looks like a hyperlink and responds like a hyperlink, then it must be a hyperlink.
Too many times people have added styles to the link to make it appear a different color or added coding to make the underline disappear. Plus they add a lot of underlined text in their sales copy that confuses people as to where the links actually are.
Remember a confused shopper rarely buys. They just stay confused and then leave.
A hyperlink should always remain blue and underlined. If you are going to add ANY programming to a hyperlink it would be to enable a rollover action. What a rollover does is when the website visitor places their mouse over the link it changes color.
I generally like to use red for this action because it catches the visitor’s eye. By adding this rollover or hover action it lets them know something is about to happen and verifies the fact that it is actually a link and not just underlined text.
Some conversion specialists will even tell you that you’ll get a higher conversion rate by leaving the link blue, adding the rollover or hover over action AND applying some code to change the cursor to the pointer finger.
The ONLY place where you might want to disable the appearance of a hyperlink is in spots where you really don’t want them to click, but need to have the link on the page. You’re probably wondering why you would even include such a link on the page.
Obviously, these are needed but you really don’t want the visitor to click on
these… you only want them to click on the order links. So for this section you can add a style to set decoration = to none. That will remove the underline but I would ONLY use that tip for the footer section.
Another thing about hyperlinks is that many website owners don’t include enough buy links on their page. On way too many sites you have to hunt for the link to buy the product.
Remember, you generally have less than 10 seconds to get a visitor’s attention. If they have to hunt for your order links they will move on and hunt for another site that will take their money.
You want to be sure you have anywhere from 9 to 12 links on your sales page asking for the sale and not just, “click here to order now”. Be a little creative; add keywords or actions words like, “Click here to learn about using Hyperlinks”.
Finally, hyperlinks should not really link to another site off your sales page.
Obviously, if you link away from your site there’s a good chance they won’t return. BUT, if you must link to something off your site make sure that link opens in a new window. You can do this by adding a target= “_blank”to your url.
For example, that would look like…
<a href=http://www.that1domain.com target=”blank”>Click Here </a>