Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Click Here to go straight to Online Hell

Here is the summary of a post straight out of the top drawer from Alex Bainbridge at Travel UCD. [Reproduced with his kind permission]

Alex has analysed how many times Click Here appears on a string of top travel websites.

Why has he done this? Well, it is supposed to be standard practice these days for websites NOT to use the term Click Here to guide users around a site.

Using Click Here 1) goes against Web Accessibility Guidelines [blind users will only hear "click here" when their mouse pointer goes over the text] and 2) it is also the quickest route to a search engine knowing nothing about what else is on a site. In other words: bad.

Travel websites, of course, would know all about these bad habits. Well, perhaps not:

List shows website, number of pages with Click Here, total web pages and percentage of total.

LateRooms - 43 - 819,000 - 0.01%

TravelRepublic - 33 - 1,000 - 0.01%

OnTheBeach - 2 - 16,900 - 0.01% [pledged to remove remaining soon - see Comments]

Kayak - 137 - 206,000 - 0.07%

Wayn.com - 260 - 308,000 - 0.08%

Ebookers - 100 - 56,000 - 0.18%

Priceline - 2,790 - 651,000 - 0.43%

Expedia - 1,300 - 274,000 - 0.47%

Thomson - 62 - 12,400 - 0.50%

Boo.com - 1,840 - 302,000 - 0.61% [has pledged in the comments section to remove 'Click Here's]

Easyjet.com - 23 - 3,610 - 0.64%

Thomas Cook - 159 - 19,900 - 0.80%

Lastminute.com - 13,500 - 1,620,000 - 0.83%

VisitBritain.com - 3,860 - 376,000 - 1.03%

Opodo - 449 - 19,700 - 2.28%

Travelocity.com - 10,400 - 346,000 - 3.01%

TravelSupermarket - 294 - 9,000 - 3.27%

FlyBmi.com - 149 - 2,640 - 5.64%

Virgin Atlantic - 61 - 1,060 - 5.75%

XL.com - 58 - 859 - 6.75%

Hilton.com - 18,600 - 172,000 - 10.81%

Orbitz.com - 21,800 - 110,000 - 19.82%

MyTravel - 2,980 - 10,500 - 28.38%

NationalRail - 3,180 - 10,200 - 31.18%

First Choice - 408 - 1,240 - 32.90%

Ryanair.com - 9,720 - 15,500 - 62.71%

So a glass of champers to Laterooms, TravelRepublic and OnTheBeach. Soda stream lemonade to Ryanair and First Choice.

Click here for Alex's analysis and methodology. Well worth a read...

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

[Before the emails roll in: we are no angels. The current incarnation of the main Travolution website has a few. Let's leave it at that for a few more weeks at least.............]

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10 comments:

Rob said...

"[deaf users will only hear "click here" when their mouse pointer goes over the text]"

I think deaf people will be delighted to hear "click here"

Sam said...

We will be removing the last few "Click Here" links from the On The Beach site in the next few days.

Travolution Blogger said...

Rob: yes, well spotted. silly mistake on our part. corrected now.

Travolution Blogger said...

Sam: good stuff. thanks for letting us know.

Sam said...

You shouldn't be able to find a "Click Here" on the site now :)

nicola@boo said...

We are in the process of removing all references on boo to "click here". Thanks for highlighting this!

Travolution Blogger said...

Nicola: Have noted this on the main post. thanks for letting us know.

Packyourbags said...

How do you define what is inaccessible?

Surely a link such as "Click here to book this holiday" is acceptable over just "Click here"?

Regards

Alex said...

Great feedback.... thanks guys.

Re whether "Click here to book this holiday" is acceptable over just "Click here"....

.... neither are very good - in my book.

Personally I would pack a few keywords in.... like "book your spain wine tour".... much better for search engine optimisation... and it doesn't infer the technology...(the user could be selecting, pressing - all sorts of actions - not just clicks)

Travolution Blogger said...

Alex: thanks for answering the question.