10 tips for web writers and editors
- Write clear, meaningful links
Avoid ‘click here’, ‘read more’ and other generic links. Don’t use the URL as the link text.
- Use the right words
Use words that users will strongly associate with the topic or function of the linked content.
- Start with the most meaningful words
Make links more visible and faster to identify by making sure the first two words carry most of the meaning.
- Keep links concise
Try to limit links to about 4 or 5 words. Avoid using whole sentences as a link.
- Identify links to documents
If a link opens a PDF document, say so and include the document size within the link text (e.g. Annual Report [PDF, 750 KB])
- Identify links to email addresses
If a link activates an email program, use the email address as the link text.
- Only include links to relevant resources
Don’t overwhelm users with too many choices. Only include links that are directly relevant to the page topic or user’s task.
- Don’t clutter text with links
Avoid embedding multiple links in a paragraph. Where possible, move links to a list below the relevant paragraph or section. Include links to references or background material at the end.
- Don’t repeat links
Where possible, include the link only once. Avoid linking to different resources using the same link text.
- Avoid opening links in new windows
Let users decide if they want to open a new window or tab. If you do force a window to open, warn the user within the link text.