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Here at EC, we’re always exploring the web to see the good and the bad of UX design. By doing this, you can learn a great deal about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to a website’s user experience.
Putting our hobby into...
8th January 2018 / 4 minute read
Website links (hyperlinks & anchor texts) are most associated with being a method for improving your SEO through link building. It’s a common SEO practice to build a site architecture through increasing your links to specific site pages across your site.
However, we’re not focussing on SEO, we’re looking at how hyperlinking can help to improve the usability on your website.
By adding links throughout your website, you can help users to navigate around your website easily to find a solution to their requirements.
You’ve spent a lot of time building substance on your website, so why not utilise it? By continuously adding new content to your website, you can link back to old content if it is beneficial to what you’re referring to.
By implementing usable links, you can help your users to achieve their objective. There’s nothing more satisfying for site users than finding what they need!
Linking is one thing, but linking properly is another. There is method to adding web links to your website.
Goal achievement for a user on a website is pivotal. If they can find what they need on your website, it will increase the prospect that they’ll return to your site again in the future or recommend to peers.
Your links should be:
Blue – even to an untrained eye, blue text always means that it’s a linked piece of text. If all the text is the same colour, it will be almost impossible for a user to locate the link. If you don’t like blue then you can use other colours too.
Underlined – text which is underlined is a standard model for a clickable piece of text. Combine this with blue text and you have a clear, clickable piece of text.
Highlighted or change colour when hovered on – when a user hovers over a linked piece of text, making it change colour is an effective visual cue for clickability.
These are the standards for how a link should look visually, but there are other techniques which are worth noting when it comes to linking.
Using ‘click here’ as your anchor text is very easy, but it’s not effective.
Firstly, users no longer ‘click’, it’s an outdated expression. Another negative connotation is that it can come across bossy. Your users should decide where they’re navigating – you’re there to guide them, not boss them around!
There can also be security concerns with ‘click here’. Some people may not want to take the risk of following the link.
There are many things you can write instead of ‘click here’. Nouns are a good text to link – the name of a blog or a service you provide are classic examples. E.g., ‘SEO services.’
You could even throw in a verb like ‘Download our free GDPR Compliancy Checklist’.
As long as your link text is specific about what it’s actually linking to, it will receive more clicks and be of more use to your users.
Removing your use of ‘click here’ is an immediate and effective way to improve your site’s user experience. It’s all about making your hyperlinks expressive, clear and simple.
Although we said this isn’t about SEO at the start, it can in fact help your SEO with descriptive texts which guide people to important locations.