Monday, February 18, 2019

What to write instead of “click here”

circular void sign with click here

Use the name of the destination page.

When you do, it gives your readers confidence that they have arrived on the page they intended to reach, and haven’t gotten lost by accidentally clicking something else.

Does the link name make sense out of context?

Using descriptive link text that makes sense out of context is the easiest way to make your content accessible and improve the readability for everyone. Sighted users scan web pages and email messages for linked text, as do adaptive-technology users. Screen readers will announce the link name when prompted. Imagine what it’s like to hear "click here, click here, click here" instead of "event RSVP, training sign-up form, or grant application form?"

“Reading from computer screens is tiring for the eyes and about 25 percent slower than reading from paper.”

Writing descriptive links takes practice.

The better you get at naming links properly, the easier it will be for all your readers to scan your content to find what they are looking for. You are bombarded with bad examples all the time since everyone uses “click here” or “this link” or “download” including the New York Times, Google, Star Tribune, and people who send email messages to you.

Google Search loves links.

Give your links descriptive names and help your readers locate your RSVP form, scholarship
application, workshop signup or email address so people can find doing a Google search.
You’ll get a lot of hits when searching for “click here” but then you’ll have to read the text before and
after the words click here to figure out which link to follow.

Link naming best practices

  • Link titles should make sense out of context.
  • Link to nouns.
  • Don’t use the word “link” in your links.
  • Avoid using URLs as link text.
  • Link to specifics. Let your reader know when the link goes to a PDF, Word Doc, Audio File, or Google Doc by adding (PDF), (docx), (WAV), (gdoc).
  • Don't break the back button by opening links to a new tab or page.
  • Be mindful when using--or overusing--anchor links: “Jump to” or “Back to top”
  • Reserve underline for links. People expect that underlined text to be clickable.
  • Eliminate broken or empty links.
  • Don’t use the same link title to go to different pages.
  • Don’t use different link titles to go to the same page.

Samples of what NOT to say.

22nd Anniversary of the Publication of The Philosopher's Stone Event
Tuesday, March 26, 11:20 a.m.– 1 p.m.
Click here to RSVP

21st Anniversary of the publication of The Chamber of Secrets Event
Thursday, March 14, 11:20 a.m.–1 p.m.
Click here to RSVP

Samples of what to say INSTEAD.

20th Anniversary of the Publication The Prisoner of Azkaban Event
Wednesday, April 3, 11:20 a.m.–1 p.m.

19th Anniversary of the Publication of The Goblet of Fire Event
Monday, April 15, 11:20 a.m.–1 p.m.