SPI 054: The Click

The Smart Passive Income Podcast Logo

In this session of The Smart Passive Income Podcast, we talk all about a small, tiny little action that happens on our websites, but it’s probably the most important action there is.

What is it?

A click.

We click on links all day long, but how conscious are we about exactly what’s going on?

By understanding exactly why people click on links (or don’t click on links) and what happens when they do, we can better fine-tune the experience our readers have on our websites.

The fact is, you have total control of exactly how people view and navigate through, in and around your website – but unfortunately most people just throw links up without even thinking about it.

Yes, I talk for 36 minutes all about clicks and links, but as I mention in the show, success comes in the details.

More specifically, in this session you’ll find out about:

  • How archery inspired me to create this podcast session.
  • The importance of reader and user experience and how clicks play a role in it.
  • How a click, even one that doesn’t seem to matter, becomes a “mini-commitment” and why that’s important.
  • The first impressions beyond your first impression.
  • 3 specific strategies to fight the 404 error page and keep people on your site.
  • The two levels of links and how to use them properly in your posts.
  • The best color to make your links.
  • Strategies behind the call to action, including when not to use them.
  • How to decide when to (and when not to) open links in new windows when people click.
  • The reason why people click on anything at all.
  • Plus a whole lot more…

Right click here to download the MP3

Items mentioned in this podcast include:

Thank you all for checking out this session of the SPI podcast, and finally, if you haven’t done so already I would love if you took a minute to leave a quick rating and review of the podcast on iTunes by clicking on the link below! It would be extremely helpful for the show!

Thanks again, and all the best!

Cheers! :)


Click Here to Download the Transcript for Session 54 (PDF)

  • http://zenpresence.com Dan Garner

    I love the analogy comparing blogging and archery. Smalll things compound over a distance (time).

    Dan @ Zen Presence

    • Pat Flynn

      Thanks Dan! Just like archery, it’s easy to pick up and get started, but hard to master. Cheers!

      • http://www.shuckabuck.com Eric @ ShuckaBuck.com

        You can’t hit a bulls-eye from 10 yards??? My god woman! Haha, jk……but seriously.

        I remember seeing my first buck while bow hunting about 6 or 7 years ago and my arrow was shaking…try hitting a deer from 16 feet in the air when your heart is pumping and hands are shaking…hard stuff – but awesome.

    • http://www.patrickwagner.com Patrick Wagner

      I have always been told that the devil is in the details, nothing it seems can go overlooked in this business.

      • http://snitchim.com Eric

        I fully agree how things can continue to compound over a time! This is so true and that’s why I keep coming back to read all these great lessons from Pat!

        Great information and really liked the 404 redirect page ideas! :)

    • http://contentmarketingup.com Michael Chibuzor

      Hey Dan, the analogy also resonates with me. “A click” is something that’s very important really. I’m sure this episode is going to be insightful as usual.

      Asking someone to click an ad, a link or subscribe to your list is a form of call to action. Let me quickly listen to it and who knows, this might be what I need to boost my conversion rate. Thanks Pat!

      • http://howtocreateawebsiteonline.com Vince @ How to Create a Website Online

        Mike, My conversion rates have already increased just by listening to Pat’s advice. So amazing that this guy gives all this information for free! Class Act!

    • http://pagerankworld.com Brandon Bear

      Haha, this is totally true. I think the biggest thing that new bloggers don’t realize is that the work they are putting into their site in the beginning, while making no money, is just as powerful as their posts years later that earn them serious money.

      You need to lay the groundwork to any large business.

  • http://www.cuadernodemando.com Manu

    I was wondering if it was going to be a shorter podcast since you’re going to be doing more, but I see it’s 37 minutes, awesome! You’re going to be my walk buddy Pat. 😉

  • http://www.runninganinternetbusiness.com Mark McKnight

    I always thought blue was the best color of links to get clicks. I have now discovered through my own research that links and also Google Adsense ads work better on my niche sites when they are all the same color and complement the color scheme of the site. If my links are random colors and don’t match the color scheme of the site, they don’t have as high a CTR.

  • http://www.patrickwagner.com patrick wagner

    I was impressed by the thought provoking comments. I never thought about whether the links matched the color scheme as a major issue.

  • KimP

    Oh I love this episode! The title is so simple (It sounds like a television series episode title) and makes you want to “click” for more info.! :)

  • Nathan DeMelo

    Hey Pat I checked the phone three time this morning in anticipation of this podcast. I love the fact that you will be posting a new episode every week. Now I have a great way to get through hump day. I found you about 2 months ago. I listen to everyone of your podcast in a month. I couldn’t stop listening. Your content is always great this week is no exception.

  • http://brentwilliams.co Brent Williams

    This is what makes you special Pat. The simplest elements are really the important things! Thanks for all you do!

  • http://www.autoprofitincome.com Greg Jeffries

    Thanks for producing consistently useful and engaging content.

  • http://www.davidveldt.com David Veldt

    Your mention of links colors reminded me of this article on the amount of research that went into Bing’s “$80 million” blue links: http://www.colormatters.com/color-matters-blog/entry/blog-archive/a-color-thats-worth-80000000

    Also reminded me of the color wheel of emotions that I’ve used for sites: http://www.colourworks.brother.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Color-Therapy-Color-Wheel.jpg

    Yes, I did once try to launch a creative/innovation blog with an orange theme and #0044CC blue links. I regret nothing!

  • Nathan DeMelo

    I don’t know if this is the right place for this. But I thought of question for you Pat and your listen, if the have some advice too. Ok so being new to this I have know idea of some of the services or tools out there that make things easier. That’s why this blog and others are so help full. Here’s my problem though. All this information comes in and it’s all great. Like today’s podcast the google web master tool and the broken link checker. These are great tools but I’m not to that point of implementation yet. So I guess I’m asking how do you keep this info organized till you need it? I write things down and voice record notes but the info piles up. Anyone have and tips or tricks that work for them? Any advice is helpful thanks.

    • http://www.sergnotes.com sergio

      Nathan, get firefox or Chrome.
      Install the evernote extension and that way when you are on spi just screen shot the post. Label it SPI > Tag it – podcast, wordpress, blog, niche sites, whatever =)
      I’ve gone as far as purchase a Smart Moleskin book just for my notes. It works well with evernote.

      Also, subscribe to the SPI youtube channel. I find it helpful when google suggest videos for me to watch. The important thing is to pick your top 5-10 resources/subscriptions and stick with them!
      Hang in there man. I almost quit because all the info that is out there gets overwhelming at times.

  • http://www.unleashyourhealth.com TJ Anderson

    Nathan- Have you ever tried http://www.evernote.com ?

    • Nathan DeMelo

      Yes I have in one of Pat’s posts. I will check it out tonight.
      Thanks TJ.

    • http://www.patrickwagner.com Patrick Wagner

      I had not tried this one and now that I have given it a shot I find that it works well for my needs thanks TJ

  • http://howtocreateawebsiteonline.com Vince @ How to Create a Website Online

    I love how you mentioned a click being a minor commitment. It really is, if the person is willing to click on anything on your website then they have some trust in you. Thanks for another great episode Pat!

  • http://snitchim.com Eric

    That 404 redirect page tip is very clever. I don’t think I have seen that before. I had to check it and give it a try and sure enough it worked. I just actually wanted to look at it.

    Very clever and useful stuff!

  • http://teeballbaseballblog.com Tom

    Great episode. Another tool for my kitbag. How far out do you prepare for the next episode?


  • http://www.mobilemixed.com Greg Hickman

    I like how at the end you called out that you were using a call-to-action. haha. Nice work brotha.

  • http://heard.fm Chris Jacob (heard.fm)

    So stoked to see the first “weekly” podcast pop up this morning.

    Thank you Pat, I look forward to listening!

  • http://www.topbloggingcoach.com Theodore Nwangene

    Hey Pat,
    Just downloaded the podcast and can’t wait to listen to it.

    I’m more concerned on the 404 page issue because I’ve been having so much of that these days.

    Thanks for sharing man.

  • http://www.superfastbusiness.com James Schramko

    I like archery too Pat. Great podcast and your download numbers are impressive.

  • http://www.cuadernodemando.com Manu

    Amazing how all the people hit Reply to the first posts just to appear among the first comments LOL.

  • http://www.GoToPhysicianAssistantSchool.com David DuBose

    This podcast was very informative as always Pat! Keep ’em coming.

  • http://babesinwoods.com/ John Keats

    This article is really wondering me and opening the real motions of ad clicks clearly before. The author really did a great responsibility. Congrates …
    Vintage Clothing

  • http://www.freedigitalphotographytutorials.com FreeDPT

    Great podcast. Learned some good tips on when to use an aggressive “click here” link or a passive one.

  • http://CashFlowsToo.com Monty Campbell

    Great Podcast and Article Pat.

    I’m a tremendous supporter. You give me ideas on a regular basis that help me add, enhance, modify and change my site. I love how you have shifted this year. You podcasting on a weekly basis with a consistent schedule is challenge to myself and the community to create consistent schedules as well. I love that something like Archery inspired you. I learn that some of the best inspiration can come from the strangest places.

    The click.. wow.. never would have thought the click would be a clever topic. Now I do.

    Best wishes and regard Pat.

  • http://www.smartresidualincome.com Sachin Bille

    Another Great Podcast Pat!!!

    Every time you publish a post or podcast you EXCEEDS our EXPECTATIONS and that how your business is growing the big way!
    Here you compared CLICK with ARCHERY, we can also relate it with golf! Our eyes should be on target and need to give RIGHT PUSH to ball to get desired effect!

  • Sergio

    I’m so going to use the broken link checker. Great tip!

  • Arlen

    Mr. Pat,

    I like it. I just really discovered your heart… when I discovered that you disclose your monthly revenue. I almost flipped out!

    Flat out impressed!

    ‘Be Everywhere’ is a sweet approach. It has a ‘tzit’ (sound effect of a spark :) to it. It connects to what was in my own brain about effectiveness.

    Thanks for the podcast. Listened to the whole thing.

    Arlen Miller

  • http://sunburned.net Edgar

    Hi Pat,

    Great show. I will go and take action and leave a review on your pod cast.

  • http://www.nickykay.com Nick Kizirnis

    Thanks for a fantastic episode, Pat. As a user experience designer I love digging into these things, and its great to hear you put a lot of good user experience and usability principles into the right context — the intersection of meeting your customer needs and your achieving your business goals. I’m suddenly hearing about Social Triggers every day, so I need to spend some more time looking at his articles too. Thanks Pat!

  • Joi Paternoster

    Hi Pat. My husband and I love your site. You have helped our family so much with your ideas and advice. When every we buy products you recommend we always by through your links.

    I wanted to know if you could publish a list of all the WP plugins you are using and why. I think all your readers would love that and so would I.

    Thanks Pat!

  • http://www.cheap-garden-sheds.com Ryan

    Great post and I loved the podcast. I am trying to catch up on all of them, I found your blog a few months ago and always check in to see what you have to say.

  • http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Mike_RF_Smith Mike

    I thought that the color that gets the most clicks is def an interesting fact.

  • http://www.bloggersmakemoney.com Wade

    I’m not good at archery, but I love blogging! I just finished reading your “How to start a podcast” and its got me to thinking about moving some things around so I can actually do this for my readers. Great stuff!

  • http://www.stumbleforward.com Chris @ Stumble Forward

    Hi Pat. It’s amazing what all goes into just one click. It’s defiantly making me think very differently about the way I strategically place my links on my site. I also need to check into my 404 page and any broken links that are on my site. Thanks for all the tips.

  • http://danielleholdman.com Danielle

    Hey Pat! Happy Late New Year. Anywhoo, great podcast episode. For me using the “Call to Action” strategically, the purple link colors, and having too many options on the homepage for the visitor are what stood out for me. Would like to hear a podcast about the sidebar in an upcoming episode!

  • http://toddlerapocalypse.com Shane

    My wife and I were just talking about this yesterday…how to get more clicks. You so need to go ahead and do the sidebar podcast! That is the one that always gives me fits: Do I use 1 or 2 sidebars? If 1 is it better on the left or the right? If I do 2 should I split it, or put both on the left or the right? We have not even got to the widgets yet!!! What order should they be in, where to slide in ads, aweber forms…madness! haha. No wonder I’m always behind on my content! Good work bro. Enjoyed this weeks podcast.

  • http://www.YourAffiliateSales.com Jason Bennet

    When the visitors decided to click on any links on my website to get more information, it will be my responsibility that they will be getting the relevant content that they are looking for or the the relevant resources that will be useful to them. Nice podcast :)

  • http://wahjobs.blogspot.com Traci-Work at home job journal

    Great podcast-I really enjoyed this one. Who knew that there could be so much learning on clicks and links.

  • http://bloggerabroad.com Bryan Haines

    A click is a complex thing – at least understanding the psychology behind them. Your comments about creating specific calls to action for each page were amazing – sometimes creating content overshadows the purpose of it all. I’ve got some work to do. Great podcast!

  • http://www.rocketcases.com Skye

    A good tip for those without some type of WP Plugin to track 404s is to use Google Analytics (GA) and a special hack for 404 logging.

    Add this:

    _gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/404.html?page=’ + document.location.pathname + document.location.search + ‘&from=’ + document.referrer]);

    below your GA code on your 404 page. Can also search “google analytics 404 logging”.

    Now when you’re looking at your GA stats just go to your page report and search for 404.html. This will pull any 404 errors and show you the exact URLs which caused the error so you can easily fix them. I find this much easier than trying to remember to log into GWT (Google Webmaster Tools) and checking there.

    For testing color, call to action strategies, use GA Experiments to A/B test different versions of the same page at the same time. It’s free but there is also other paid services out there as well.

    If anyone has any questions about these tips, you can contact me on twitter @skyechilton.

  • http://www4hours1000places.com Raffael Schulz

    Regarding the Broken Link Checker: Awesome tool! However, it does consume A LOT of resources and slows down the website quite a bit. I suggest using the plugin and deactivating it if not actively used. Just activate it once every month or so to find the broken links and deactivate it afterwards.

  • http://www.creativethirst.com/blog Bobby Hewitt

    Thanks for the in-depth analysis on The Click, 36 minutes on what many marketers don’t even think about but is so vitally important to conversion. And thank you for committing more to podcast on a weekly basis, you’ve inspired me to start up my podcast again after pod fading at 50 episodes or so.

    I posted a few things that you missed about the click over on my blog, here’s the link for you to check out.


  • http://www.auroraitpros.com James Petryka

    Great information Pat. It sounds like you’ve spent a lot of time figuring this stuff out.

  • http://www.empowernetwork.com/charleskrivers/ Charles

    Hey Pat,

    This was my first podcast I listened too and I’ve been hooked. Your philosphy for building an online business is different than what we typically hear in this industry. Thanks for all you do, I looked forward reading more from you, as I go from failing to succeeding internet business.

  • http://gottahaveitproductreviews.com/2013/01/09/all-about-gotta-have-it-product-reviews/ John J. Ziemba

    Hey Pat:

    I’ve just finished listening to and making note on this podcast, which means that in the past 2 weeks, I’ve listened to and taken notes on all but 2 of your previous podcasts. Why? Cause each one offers a great deal of useful information from someone who has “been there, done that.”

    I’m also an internet marketer. And I’m revising my strategy, to make my sites more reader-firnedly. i come from the world of sales where hard sell was the operative word. I’ve been at internet marketing awhile now and have not had great success, Mostly because I used the hard sell appraoch. So I’m toning down the hard sell and using the soft sell aproach, kinda klike the way you do. And while I may not be an exact clone, I will be using a great deal of the information you present here in your podcasts and your blog.

    Since I’ve had to resivse nearly everything, I created what I call my Master’s Degree Internet Marketing Program. I take quaity information I gain from sites like yours, put in files covering areas like email, podcats, word press, writing, etc and implement it. Using this method is a heck of a lot easier to find the infomration I need instead of searching thru 50+ transcripts.

    Speaking of transscripts, I find these really useful. I usualy listen to a podcast first before I read comments and study the transcript. I gain a lot more from hearing them, then getting into the written versions. So don’t ever stop providing transcripts. It’s a dynamite technique.

    And I gotta tell you, I always gain some knowledge from each of your podcasts. Some more than others. But all of them are valuable. It is your no BS transparency that I especially like. In the past I’ve studied the IM guys whose appraoch was to ram down sales thru email, podcast sales pitches and their blogs. It’s taken me awhile to grasp the direction I now want to go, but I’m there now.

    And I have you to thank for a lot of this.

    Don’t stop what you do. Keep revealing what you learn and pass it on to us readers. You do a service that has high value.
    ince I’ll implementing your knowledge into my sites, I think that 2013 is going to be a very good year.

    Thanks Again

  • http://www.homemadehardcider.com Jason

    I really liked the change up on this episode. I never really gave the idea of the purpose of each click much thought and I can see where I need to go back to some of my sites and change some things around. I can see where I was give mixed signals to people about how they should do ( or what I wanted them to do)

    I would like to see more episodes like this!

  • http://thecrunchycoach.com Emily

    I have been a bad, lazy girl. I have not been checking the “Open in new window” box when I put a link in a post. I shall from this day forward (assuming it is a “Level 1” link, anyway).

    Thanks for the reminder, Pat, and the entire epi was very helpful. Feel free to do more “micro” topics. :)

  • http://www.hdwallpapersimages.com Ameet Kaur

    Excellent post. I am agree with your all points.

  • http://www.thetopblogger.com Taswir Haider

    Great post and I loved the podcast. Learned some good tips on when to use an aggressive “click here” link or a passive one.

  • http://www.webthesmartway.com Siegfried

    excellent podcast pat, and I like archery too 😉


    Hi Pat:
    At first I was like, I’m not gonna waste time reading about clicks (I preffer that to listening so thanks for providing transcripts) , but then I found those usefeull tips like the 404 redesign which is a simple and great idea

    thanks for your help


  • http://onlinegeldguru.de/ Geldguru

    I think that your blog is a great addition! And this post make a further motivation. Thank you and do good work. Greetings from Germany

  • Karl Kranich

    Pat, I love your podcast! I’m listening from the beginning, so that’s why I’m at session 54 today. By the way, the plural of “Call to Action” is “Calls to Action”, not “Call to Actions”. Keep up the great work!