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Link text copywriting tips


Writing effective link texts is vital for user engagement, accessibility, and SEO. Learn best practices to create clear, concise, descriptive, and contextual link texts, enhancing the overall user experience.

Introduction #

Link texts, which qualify as microcopy, are the unsung heroes of web content. Whether you are a web developer, content creator, or digital marketer, understanding how to write good link texts is a fundamental skill for enhancing the user experience and accessibility of your website.

In this guide, we will delve into best practices and tips for creating link texts that excel in all these areas.

Link texts, also known as anchor text or hyperlink text, are the visible, clickable words or phrases within a hyperlink, also text link, that connect one web page, within the same website or to external sites, to another. They are fundamental to the structure and functionality of the World Wide Web.

The quality of link texts can greatly impact usability and user experience. Well-crafted link texts should be clear, concise, and descriptive, helping users understand where the link will take them, without visiting the linked document.

Navigating a website becomes smoother when link texts are intuitive, ensuring that users can find the information they seek with ease. This helps improving the user’s satisfaction and interaction with the site.

In terms of accessibility, it’s crucial that link texts are meaningful and informative about the linked document, especially if they are placed out of context.

Screen readers and other assistive technologies rely on these texts to convey the purpose and destination of links to users with visual impairments. Therefore, meaningful link texts are essential for making the web more inclusive and accessible to a wider audience.

Link texts are significant for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engines and other Web robots use them to better identify the content, context and relevance of web pages.

Optimizing your link texts with relevant keywords and context can improve your website’s search engine ranking, driving more organic traffic to your site.

Avoid over-optimization. The golden rule is: Always optimize for users first and search engines second.

Link texts should be:

Descriptive and contextual #

Effective link texts should be descriptive and provide context about the linked page, so users understand where the link will take them.

<a href="/career/">Job vacancies</a>

Concise #

Keep link texts concise to maintain user engagement and readability. Ensure link texts work well on mobile devices, where screen space is limited.

<a href="/leather-shoes/">Leather shoes</a>

Meaningful and informative #

Good link texts are informative about the linked document. This is especially important, if they are placed out of context.

<a href="/contact/">Contact us</a>

Unique where possible #

If multiple links in a document have identical or very similar link texts, users may have difficulty distinguishing them.

<a href="/press/">Press releases</a>

Consistent capitalization #

Using consistent capitalization in link texts aids readability and contributes to a polished appearance of the interface. Stick to a specific style, such as sentence case (e.g. Sign up) or title case (e.g. Sign Up).

<a href="/sign-up">Sign up</a>

Link texts should not be:

Non-descriptive #

Link texts like “Click here” or “More” provide no context about the linked content. Users should know where the link will take them without clicking.

<a href="/career/">Learn more</a>

Non-unique #

Avoid using the same link text for multiple links on the same page. Each link should have a distinct and relevant description. Stay away from boilerplate text.

<a href="/contact/">Click here</a>

Long and confusing #

Overly long link texts can be overwhelming and confusing. Keep link texts concise and to the point to maintain clarity.

<a href="/products/">Products, Team and Contact</a>

Raw URLs (e.g., as link texts is uninformative and unattractive. Use descriptive text that summarizes the content.

<a href=""></a>

Using icons as link text is problematic because it lacks clarity and accessibility, making it difficult for users to understand the purpose and destination of the link, particularly for those with disabilities or varying interpretations of the icons.

<a href="/search/">🔍</a>

Keyword stuffing #

Excessive use of keywords in link texts, with the sole intent of improving SEO, is considered a bad practice. Link texts should sound natural and provide value to users.

<a href="/shoes/">affordable and cheap shoes</a>

Using “click” terminology #

Phrases like “Click here” or “Click to read” are outdated and unnecessary. Users know how to interact with links. Focus on the content’s purpose instead.

<a href="/contact/">Click here</a>

Inconsistent capitalization #

Avoid inconsistent capitalization in link texts. Stick to a specific style, such as sentence case or title case, for a polished appearance.

<a href="">GOOGLE Home page</a>

FAQ's #

Most common questions and brief, easy-to-understand answers on the topic:

What is the purpose of link texts?

Link texts serve to describe and label hyperlinks, guiding users to other web pages and aiding in navigation.

Why are descriptive link texts important?

Descriptive link texts provide context and help users understand the content of the linked page, improving user experience and accessibility.

How long should link text be?

Keep link text concise and relevant. Aim for one single word or a few words that accurately describe the linked content. Avoid lengthy phrases to maintain clarity and user experience.

How can you make link text more user-friendly?

Ensure that anchor text is relevant to the linked content and provides a clear indication of what users can expect. For call to actions (CTA's), use language that encourages clicks. Using action verbs or creating a sense of curiosity can make a link more appealing.

What role does context play in choosing link text?

Context is crucial. link text should seamlessly fit within the surrounding content. Ensure that the chosen text makes sense within the sentence, paragraph, section, etc. where the link is placed. For links placed outside of context, make sure the link text provides context about the content of the linked document. Avoid generic phrases like "click here"

How does link text impact user engagement?

Users are more likely to engage with links that align with their interests or needs. Relevant link text enhances user experience by providing clear expectations about the linked content.

How can link text contribute to a better user experience?

link texts guide users to relevant content. Choosing clear, concise, and descriptive text improves navigation. By giving users a clear understanding of what to expect from the linked content, the user experience improves by setting and meeting expectations and achieving overall satisfaction.

How can link text be optimized for a diverse audience?

Optimize for diversity by using inclusive language and avoiding jargon. Ensure that link text is understandable and relatable to a wide range of users.

Why is using jargon in UX copywriting bad?

Generally, jargon refers to the technical language used in a particular profession or field. Using jargon in UX copywriting has several disadvantages: it can be exclusive and leave people out, it can cause suspicion if used excessively, and it can be confusing to non-native speakers.

What is the importance of link texts in SEO?

link text are important for SEO they provide context to search engines about the content of the linked document. Relevant and descriptive link text helps search engines understand the topic and may improve the linked document's ranking for related keywords. Always optimize for users first and search engines second

Is it necessary for link texts to be unique?

Yes, link texts should be unique to help users and robots distinguish between different links and linked documents. This provides clarity.

Are there character limits for link texts?

While there's no strict technical character limit, it's best to keep link texts as concise as possible yet descriptive as needed, to maintain user-friendliness.

Can I use icons as link texts?

Icons alone are not recommended as link texts because they lack clarity and can be confusing. Descriptive text should accompany icons for better understanding.

What are the best practices for creating link texts for mobile devices?

Link texts on mobile should be concise, easy to tap, and not rely on hover interactions. They should also provide clear and direct descriptions of the linked document.

How can I test the accessibility of my link texts?

There are various online tools and screen reader software that can help you assess the accessibility of your link texts.

Further readings #

Sources and recommended, further resources on the topic:


Jonas Jared Jacek • J15k

Jonas Jared Jacek (J15k)

Jonas works as project manager, web designer and developer since 2001. On top of that, his areas of expertise are in user experience, accessibility, internationalization, and domain names. See:


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“Many of our sentences could be improved by cutting them shorter. Out with the semicolons, in with the periods. Don't write one long sentence if you can say the same thing in two short ones.”

Rosalie Stemer, Editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, teaches copy editing at BerkeleyMathematical Writing - Seminar in Analysis, - UX quotes