How Link Blocking Can Increase Your Click-through Rate

by on 11/18/14 at 9:05 am

User research has proven that the larger a target is, the faster and easier it is to click. That means if you turn a link into a button, you can increase your click-through rate. But if you turn your button into a link block, you can increase it even more.

Link blocks are larger click targets than links and buttons. They’re a clickable block placed on an area of content. Link blocking makes clicking easier because users don’t have to look for a link or button and target it with accuracy. They can move their mouse over the content area and click without doing as much work.

link-blocking

Moving the mouse arrow over a link block will change the cursor to the pointing hand. But sometimes this subtle change isn’t enough to tell users they can click the content area. You should make it more clear by adding a hover effect on the link or button of the content area. You can also turn it into a grid tile and highlight the link block on hover.

Link blocking encourages users to click-through without targeting a button or link. This makes clicking faster so that users don’t have to work as hard with their mouse. The less work the user has to do, the better your click-through rate. There’s more to click-through rate than easy clicking, but this is one way to engage more users with your content.


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6 Responses to “How Link Blocking Can Increase Your Click-through Rate”

  1. esg

    Nov 18th, 2014

    i think this can be dependent on the accompanying text. sometimes it can be worthwhile to highlight the text for copy+paste purposes. but i can see this solution being more of a general use case type solution.

  2. Ricardo Zea

    Nov 19th, 2014

    Indeed, the larger the target the easier to click/tap is. And if it improves conversion, even better.

    Nonetheless, this technique has the accessibility issue of not allowing the selection of parts of the text.

    In desktop browsers you could potentially get away with it by viewing the source and copying the text from there. Or via the DevTools. But that’s pretty much for advanced users and developers, rather than the common user.

    So it boils down to the King: The content. Depending on the content this solution may or may not be the way to go. If you think there’s value for the users in being able to Copy the content, this technique may not be the proper solution. But if on the other hand, Copying the text is not an added value of the content, go for it.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Guillermo

    Nov 24th, 2014

    As always your posts are very interesting.

    Since most of the content is consumed in small screens, I wonder how this would apply to smartphones and tablets, were there’s no mouse and there are no hover states that show a block as a link.

  4. Alex P

    Nov 25th, 2014

    “That means if you turn a link into a button, you can increase your click-through rate. ”

    Surely this is a statistical likelihood based on users making accidental click-throughs. In which case these increased volume clicks aren’t providing anything but junk traffic to clog up your analytics data.

  5. Mohsin

    Nov 26th, 2014

    I don’t know about that. Google AdSense moved away from link blocks to normal links.

    Link blocks may improve CTR but it’s mostly just a statistical fallacy. An increased CTR made up of accidental clicks wouldn’t necessarily increase your conversion rates.

  6. Tharshan Venkadesan

    Jan 18th, 2015

    Great tip, I always use this while designing something :)

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