How to Write Better Links
As web users, we are task-oriented and want to accomplish our tasks quickly. Deciding which link to click on requires us to think—something we don’t want to do much of.
For every page we land on, we must review and compare the various choices before deciding which link will help us complete our task the fastest. This process can be tiring and frustrating if it’s not immediately clear.
Good link text is crucial for helping people quickly and accurately predict what they’ll get before they click. Here are five tips for creating useful link text:
1. Use brief, meaningful words and phrases
It is essential that people can quickly understand where they will go if they click on your link. Use descriptive language that carries meaning.
2. Clever text doesn’t work
Avoid using made up words and phrases because people tend to skip over them if they don’t immediately understand them.
3. Don’t use “click here”
Those two words carry no meaning. I don’t want to have to read the whole sentence to understand what I’m going to get if I click on that link.
4. Use words your visitor uses
It is important to use words that your visitors can relate to. What do they care about? What are they trying to accomplish? What words would they use to describe what they are looking for?
5. Use keywords
Help your content rank well with the search engines by including keywords in your links. But remember, humans first and search engines second.
Emily Amos of Word Savvy is a Halifax-based copywriter and web content strategist.