Writing links

Well-written links  help people find the content they are looking for; they can follow a link with confidence. Meaningful links make your content more accessible and help improve search engine rankings.

10 tips for web writers and editors

  1. Write clear, meaningful links
    Avoid ‘click here’, ‘read more’ and other generic links. Don’t use the URL as the link text.
  2. Use the right words
    Use words that users will strongly associate with the topic or function of the linked content.
  3. 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.
  4. Keep links concise
    Try to limit links to about 4 or 5 words. Avoid using whole sentences as a link.
  5. 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])
  6. Identify links to email addresses
    If a link activates an email program, use the email address as the link text.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Don’t repeat links
    Where possible, include the link only once. Avoid linking to different resources using the same link text.
  10. 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.