If you remember Netscape, this article may be for you! Back in the early days of the internet, people were learning what a navigator was and how to use it. At that time, we had to be very explicit with links (called “hyperlinks” back then), and tell people to “click here.” 25+ years on, if you haven’t stopped with the “click here” links, it’s time.
Why should you write better link text than “click here”?
After all, you do want them to click on the link. Will they click if you don’t tell them where to click?
Yes, don’t worry! These are the immediate benefits to using better, more descriptive link text on your website.
- It’s easier for a reader to understand the purpose of the link with descriptive link text.
When a user visits your site, you want to provide relevant information. So go ahead and tell the user what your link is for.
- Improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
While you may want to hire an SEO specialist to make sure your site is doing its best to reach your audience, there are some steps you can take to improve your website’s search engine rankings on your own. One way to improve your Google rankings is by using appropriate text for links.
- Better Website Accessibility.
Accessibility means making your website available to all. You want your entire audience to be able to use your website easily. One simple improvement you can make is by using meaningful text in your links. This allows visitors using screen readers to understand what the purpose of your link is.
- It’s not 1995 anymore.
In the early days of the internet, we had to teach people what links were and how to use them. Now, people have been using the internet for 25 or more years, and they know what to do with a link. So instead of telling them what to do, tell them what the linked content contains or why you are linking to it. This enhances the user experience for everyone.
How can I write better link text?
Describe the purpose of your link. Explain to the user what he can expect to find when he clicks on the link.
For example, instead of:
To see our board members, click here.
This indicates to the user that when she clicks on the link, she’ll find more details about your organization’s board members.
It’s also a good idea to make the links a different color from the rest of your text, or to underline them so they stand out and readers can see your links at a glance.
Looking for other small improvements that can make a big impact on your website?
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