Research Identifies These 4 Qualities of Great Link Text
Recent research by Nielsen Norman Group indicates that to get the most clicks, write specific links that set sincere expectations, are substantial enough to stand alone, and are as succinct as possible.
As people scan your site, they look for links to get them to the information you want. Keep these four elements in mind to create links.
- Specific: Make the link text specific, so the user knows exactly what they’ll get.
- Sincere: Link text must set expectations that will be instantly met when the user clicks. When links set expectations that aren’t met, the user’s trust in the site and the organization it represents is reduced.
- Substantial: Most users scan rather than read online. Links draw attention. The link text needs to give the user enough information to decide to click.
- Succinct: Get to the point as quickly as possible, to increase the likelihood that users will quickly understand the link.
A link’s primary purpose is to communicate to users what they’ll find when they click. Vague or repetitive language fails that purpose. “Learn more” and “Click here” are not effective links.
SEO Considerations for Links
SEO is also a consideration when creating links. Search engines use links as a signal of content quality.
Be sure to create external links to high quality sites that supplement your content. This helps people get to the content they want, and also signals to search engines that your content is part of valuable content within a topic area.
Also create internal links within your website. Links from one page to another help connect your content. They also signal the most important pages at your site. Several links equate to high content value.
Both internal and external links should use keywords as link text. Keywords indicate what the linked content is about. This helps people and search crawlers understand your content focus and expertise.