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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. They drive clicks 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, of 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 "Expert review" or "User testing" 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 "User testing" helps that page score better for the words "user testing".
  • 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.

2. Tips

  • 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.

3. Examples

Meaningless link

Better: "Find an Invisalign doctor near you."

Meaningless link

Better: Leave out the "More" link and simply make the title clickable.

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