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The power of "CLICK!"

 3:18 am on Dec 18, 2000 (gmt 0)

A few years back I read about some testing that banner ads got better clickthrough when they included the explicit instructions "click here". I took it to heart and used the words on every banner for a long while -- but somewhere along the way I forgot about it. Guess it started to feel boring and unsophisticated, or something like that.

I recently did a test -- exact same banner with and without the "CLICK HERE". Guess what? You probably already know, but I got a 40% better rate with the words than without. 40% is a huge difference.

So it's back to the basics, and never creating a banner without including the magic words. I don't know whether it's newbie confusion or just the subliminal power of the command, but it still works.



 5:08 am on Dec 18, 2000 (gmt 0)

I was told by an old ad exec, "ALWAYS TELL THEM WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO DO!" I feel this applies to any banner ad, any and all web pages any payed for description etc. A simple click here to buy, click here for more information, click here to contact us, click here to end this message . . . :) has power


 6:13 am on Dec 18, 2000 (gmt 0)


Yep -- I'm embarrassed to have ignored it, because I say something like this to other people all the time. Never forget the "call to action". I did the comparison test because I wanted some hard numbers for clients who didn't like the look of the banner with the message included. But thinking about it, I've definitely slipped a bit in this area recently.

Wonder how many conversion rates can be boosted by examining every page with this simple creed in mind. Think I'll start in the morning.


 1:31 pm on Dec 18, 2000 (gmt 0)


Thanks for sharing the information. I believe a lot of us know what a hyperlink looks like while many novice internet users won't recognize it without being told to "click here".

Plus it never hurts to give a call to action for someone to "click here" (especially for purchasing a product).

40% is indeed a huge difference and well worth it to add these magic words to each and every page.


 9:35 am on Dec 19, 2000 (gmt 0)

Hey Tedster,

just been reading a press release on a Korean Site, or at least trying to....

The page included a very nice banner up top, all in Korean, except for one underlined English Word - "Click".

So the concept of "Click Here" transends language barriers as well.



 2:49 pm on Dec 19, 2000 (gmt 0)

>concept of "Click Here" transends language barriers

I wonder if "click" has become a universal computer-related word like "diskette" did? (I remember an article about the French getting their shorts in a knot over computer words creeping into their language.)


 10:25 pm on Dec 19, 2000 (gmt 0)

i just saw this banner ad. it doesn't have a border. thus web site integration seems more natural, and it has a drop down menu that will take you to different departments within the banner ad's presented web site. i just couldn't resist checking it out because of the drop down menu, i did it without awareness and i never go near banner ads.
as soon as i did it, i became aware and then remembered this thread.

thought someone may find it interesting.

located here (at this very moment at least)


Edited by: mousemoves


 10:36 pm on Dec 19, 2000 (gmt 0)

Yes, banners with <SELECT> options have been given repeated kudos for their effectivenes in online advertising articles. So eye-catching, in fact, that many banners w/ fake graphic drop-downs appeared. I'm using one to cross-promote various sites I have. The big problem is I can't track CTR of the various options using CentralAd.


 10:56 pm on Dec 19, 2000 (gmt 0)

right, come to think of it, i was fooled once by a fake one. but not twice. i remember now, they really piss me off.


thus possibly somewhat without awareness, i think...deceiving company.


 11:12 pm on Dec 19, 2000 (gmt 0)

>thus possibly somewhat without awareness, i think...deceiving company.

Actually, I've seen just that reaction by the public written up in those online advertising articles. CTR may be high, but conversion is supposedly very, very low.

Much of the same negatives go for those "alert box" or "error message" banners.


 11:48 pm on Dec 19, 2000 (gmt 0)

i sure like that no border idea also.
anything that doesn't make it look like a banner ad. different dimensions and locations are at the least a bit interesting for anti-banner types like me.

also, a truly artistic banner may get me. as will words that address my needs in a highly clever manner. i don't care what the name of your company is or the product name. product type yes. but this is in general, and may not apply always. for example, a company i really like running a sale suddenly, if they say sale at such and such, it would strike me, probably. whereas just sale and no company name might not.

i saw this one banner once, in a directory, that was not even related to the category topic, but the words were so clever, the design so beautiful, sophisticated, and subtle! i couldn't help but pause, go back to what i was doing their in the first place, but pulled in again, i paused and just had to click. the words were something like Got the Look? Have the Look? I can't remember exactly, but wow it was good.

Interestingly also, I can't remember the site. I only remember it was cosmetic related. i may have remembered more if it wasn't in the wrong category and i was actually looking for cosmetics at the time. on the other hand, a wrong category may be benefical as a secondary ad.


 12:01 am on Dec 20, 2000 (gmt 0)

ya, i'm pretty sure it was Have the Look?

so my thoughts, when looking at the beautiful but subtle banner were,

have the look? what's the look? i have to see what the look is. i think i want it!

plus, since i'm using myself as a case study of sorts, i should point out, i rarely wear make up. thus, anti-banner, banner in wrong category, clicker hardly uses product.

Edited by: mousemoves


 12:18 am on Dec 20, 2000 (gmt 0)

That is a beautiful "non-banner banner". And that happens to be the category I might need next month.

OK..with "click here"..would this work on a site that doesn't necessarily "look" commercial. I got awful tired of "sameness" and totally re-did a site to deliberately look non-commercial - tapestry background, birds, flowers..have not seen a commercial site look like that, and I'm trying to write copy that doesn't sound like sales. But it will still have to sell.

How different can you go in the design aesthetics and still have it effective?


 2:55 am on Dec 20, 2000 (gmt 0)

oh my Marcia, what a question. in order for me to offer my best opinion, i would have to look at the entire situation. the company, the site, and what site it will be listed on.

well, you did say that yahoo cat. so, i will blab away here, and maybe you will find something useful.

i assume you want to use the "click here" because your audience is still newbie enough that they still respond to this type of direction.

possibly adding a reason with the "click here". the line certainly requires work, but just off the top, something like,
oh....i need more input, what is it about tapestries that people like? what is the appeal? what is it the customer hopes to achieve by purchasing a tapestry. go even deeper if you can into basic human wants and then relate one of them back in a subtle but effective manner. needs like: love. beauty. comfort. esteem. accomplishment.

in general for the design, noticeable but integrated. make it look better then anything else on the page and don't use basic pounding animated gifs to force attention. boring and tacky if you ask me. if you want animation, i think flash. don't use, too far out of line, clashing colors when viewed in comparison to the rest of the page. use noticeable attractive colors that stand out and make the rest of page look dull but don't clash while enhancing your intended mood and communicative purposes. with yahoo, you have lots of possibilites. shapes, shadows and perspective are important too. subtle but noticeable. you don't want to MAKE the person notice, you want to draw them in so they can't resist.

thus, how far outside of the box can you go. in my opinion the sky is the limit with the key idea of drawing them in at the forefront.


 3:19 am on Dec 20, 2000 (gmt 0)

About going outside the box: Beware -- beyond this point there be monsters!

I really mean it. If there's one thing I've done over and over again that's tripped me up it's been gettin' creative.
And I am a "creative type" - music, poetry, painting - I get bored easily with the conventional solutions to anything at all. The very frequent result for me has been an unintended lost connection to the basic needs of the site, confused users, and lower overall performance. Often with oohs and ahhs and rave reviews -- but still, lower performance.

I'm not saying that a great creative breakthrough can't work, it certainly can. But I suggest (to myself as much as anyone else) keeping some kind of measured control and a way to back out to a more standard approach if the numbers don't add up when you get experimental.


 3:30 am on Dec 20, 2000 (gmt 0)

>confused users

We had a thread here about something as "creative" as right-hand navigation columns. I still go back to an article that I read two or three years ago about a user survey. Turns out the users expected the inverted "L" layout (banners and tabs across the top, nav down the left). The article ended up with a pretty blunt summary; leave this and it will cost you traffic.


 3:40 am on Dec 20, 2000 (gmt 0)

hehe. yes of course. purposeful design. not free ranging art. nevertheless, one cannot be reminded of this enough until it becomes second nature. actually what is free ranging art? can't imagine art being constructed without some initial premise, intention or restriction either. Anyway, good point Tedster, i know what you mean.


 2:57 pm on Dec 20, 2000 (gmt 0)

Just logged in at Atomz and was greeted by a pop-up.
Welcome to the new Atomz Web site!

As you can see, we've made a few changes to our site in an effort to enhance the time you spend with us. But don't worry! We haven't changed the way things work, only made it easier for you to find what you need.

When you log in you'll notice that our tab menus have changed into a simpler navigation system, now placed vertically on the left side of each page. This will allow you to dig as deeply as you want without losing your way.

They went "classic" -inverted L design.


 7:59 pm on Dec 20, 2000 (gmt 0)

from mousemoves:
>i sure like that no border idea also.

I also like the idea, but I've never tried it out. I've been scared off by research I read over a year ago that banners without borders receive significantly fewer clicks!

I'd guess that by making the "Click Here" really obvious the problem might dissolve, but I'm wary. If anyone has experience with borderless banners I'd love to hear about it.


 10:55 pm on Dec 20, 2000 (gmt 0)



 4:27 pm on Dec 21, 2000 (gmt 0)

>About going outside the box

Actually, it's not all that far out of the box, because it's crafts-related. The really big sites are very commercial looking, but the small ones typically don't have left navigation, and most I've been seeing look more like personal sites.

What's "different" with what I'm thinking of is a total departure from the most common decor - more artsy than craftsy, and definitely not classic country, most definitely not primitive. The first backgrounds I tried, every crafter who looked *loved* it, non-crafters hated it (so did I). What I'll try to do is insert some commercial elements while making it *pretty*.

>right-hand navigation columns

I was on a right navigation kick for a while and the first site I did with that has, for a site it's size and scope, a very respectable number of sales.

>back out to a more standard approach

I'm backing out to that right now. My own original site had left navigation, which I changed to right. It's being changed back to the original for what I think is the best reason - it doesn't suit either of two target markets.

I kind of like the word "classic."


 9:36 pm on Dec 21, 2000 (gmt 0)

cool Marcia.

i saw this illustration of a right-sided menu today. i think the key here is that it does a nice job of directing the eye.here [cqhost.com]
what do you think?


 5:25 am on Feb 6, 2001 (gmt 0)

>just saw this banner ad. it doesn't have a border.

>banners with <SELECT> options have been given repeated kudos


Just had a long discussion with a CJ merchant that is doing well (making a profit, sounds good for a change!). Though the CTR rate has been good on one of his search boxes, he wanted me to switch to a 468 banner. He says it's by far his most successful ad. You guessed it, it is white, borderless, with 5 text links and a <SELECT> box.

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