How to point out links

While your site visitors are in a searching mood they will click on the first link that looks plausible. A link is like a promise. The site visitor must be able to predict a link’s destination. He expects that the information appearing on the site will fit the link he clicked.

Do’s

  • Colour and underline the link text.
  • Unvisited links should be blue. Visited links should be purple. If you plan to use other colours use a bright, vivid colour for the unvisited link and a weaker variant or shade of the same colour for the visited link.
  • Put the most important keyword into the first 11 characters of the link.
  • Keep your links short (2-5 words).
  • Use descriptive links that are meaningful to your users.
  • Turn relevant words or a phrase within the text into links.
  • Write informative links that explain what kind of information is waiting behind the click.
  • Use an active phrase for an active link: “Sign up now”, “Go to the shop”, “Search for articles”.
  • Indicate if the link is linking to a PDF file or launching an audio or video player.

Don’ts

  • Don’t use verb phrases in links. (You can click here to get more information about…)
  • Don’t use single nouns for links.
  • Don’t promise too much.
  • Don’t colour text when it’s not a link.
  • Avoid generic instructions, such as: read more, click here, go.
  • Don’t underline text that is not a link.
  • Don’t create additional links if the word is already used within the text.
  • Don’t add visual effects when the cursor hovers over a link.

Related links

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