Descriptive links provide users with proper context for links. In other words, they tell the user exactly where they will go if they click on a descriptive link. Good descriptive links will make sense if they are removed from the surrounding text. In contrast, non-descriptive link text is unclear or difficult to read where links lead and will not make sense if removed from surrounding text.
Descriptive link examples
These non-descriptive links both point to the same destination:
- Ambiguous version: Read More
- Long url: https://ndusbpos-my.sharepoint.com/:w:/r/personal/kristi_embry_ndus_edu/_layouts/15/Doc.aspx?sourcedoc=%7BE19F30C8-9FC9-42A9-A383-2635D3475F5F%7D&file=guide%20to%20descriptive%20links.docx&action=default&mobileredirect=true
This is a much better example of a descriptive link
There are a number of benefits to using descriptive links:
- Screen reader users navigate documents by either tabbing through links or bringing up a links list. This takes the links out of the context of the surrounding text.
- People using voice recognition can also use link text to jump directly to a specific link using speech.
- Making links descriptive ensures that everyone knows where a link will take them and can help everyone navigate documents more readily.
In many cases, the descriptive link text you need is already in your content. All you have to do is just emphasize it as a link. Avoid ambiguous language like “click here” or “read more.”
Use this: Learning how to write descriptive link text can be confusing, but you can learn more
by visiting our Guide to Writing Descriptive Links.
Avoid this: Learning how to write descriptive link text can be confusing, but you can learn more by clicking here.
To make sure you are emphasizing links properly, reserve underlining only for hyperlinks. To create emphasis, you should use bold and italics.