Links are a central component of any website. Site visitors can be misled by link text that is too short, too cryptic, too confusing. If too little thought goes into the actual words that make up the links, visitors may miss links or may end up going to pages they never wanted to see.
Tell Your Vistors Where They're Going
Always describe where the link will take them. Don’t ever, ever, create link text that says “click here.”
Bad Link Text
“We can help you arrange accommodations for the annual meeting. To learn more about accommodations for this year’s annual meeting, click here.”
Good Link Text
“We can help you arrange accommodation for the annual meeting. Learn more about accommodations for this year’s annual meeting,” or
“We have arranged for discounted rooms with our annual meeting accommodation partners.”
Help Search Engines Help You
Google and Bing care deeply about links. In fact, they map out sites by following links around. But they also gather intelligence by inspecting link text. When a link doesn't describe where it's going, search engines don’t learn anything. So when a search engine sees “This is supported by professor Simpson’s theory of cognitive development mechanisms. Read more about professor Simpson’s theory,” it learns something about how your site is organized. When it reads “To read more about professor Simpson’s theory of cognitive development mechanisms, see http://yourgreatwebsite.org/cognition/features/drsimpsonscooltheory.aspx, not so much.
Best accessibility practices suggest that link text always be underlined. Why? Because some people are colorblind and can’t find links that are only indicated by text color.
If you’d like to arrange SEO or Writing for the Web training for your organization, let us know. Our courses are fun, engaging and hands-on.