Meaningful links: a must
For over 10 years now, usability experts have been saying links need to be meaningful. Meaningful links help surfers to scan a page, drive clicking behaviour and enhance conversion rates.
And yet, websites and blogs are still littered with “Click here” and “Read more” links. Here’s a little reminder, and a few examples, why meaningful links are so important.
1. Why meaningful links?
- Links stand out
Because links are underlined and a different colour, they stand out. They’re like little anchors for the eye. If our brain registers things like “Click here” and “Read more“, that’s not very helpful. Links like “Usability workshop” or “One-day user test” are far more useful. Surfers know what to expect when they click these links.
- Google likes meaningful links
When indexing pages Google not only takes into account the words on the page itself but also the words in the links to that page. A link to a “Usability workshop” helps that page score better for the words “usability” and “workshop”.
- Visually impaired users
Visually impaired users also scan web pages. Not with their eyes but by jumping from link to link with special software. The links appear on the braille reader or are read out. No prizes for guessing which sort of links they prefer.
- Avoid links that only say “Click here”, “Read more” or similar things.
- Make sure a link says something about the page it refers to.
- Titles of articles on home- and overview pages should be clickable. That way, you don’t even need a “Read more” link at the end.
- Put the most important words first, to play into surfers’ scanning behaviour.
Better: “Find an Invisalign doctor near you.”
Better: Leave out the “More” link and simply make the title clickable.