Use concise text that describes where a person will go or what content will load when they activate a link. The best option for text is to match the destination page’s name whenever possible.
People using screen readers may have turned on a setting to scan links only. People with no visual impairment, too, may want to give the page a visual scan, looking for an actionable keyword that relates to their task at hand. Link labels like “click here,” “more”, or the URL itself, provide no context or meaning.
Avoid “click here,” “here,” “click,” “continue,” “learn more,” or “more” text. Also avoid, when possible, the use of able-ist language, e.g. “View all databases,” “See all journals”.
Don’t link to an entire sentence, only that which most closely describes the content at the link destination.
“Click here for more info.” (no)
“More information on the events page.” (better)
“Events & workshops lists more event details.” (yes)
The text must be able to stand alone without much context yet be brief. Link tips from NNgroup:
- Specific: communicate what users will find (not vague)
- Sincere: a link is a promise (labels set expectations)
- Substantial: scan vs. read online, so links must stand alone
- Succinct: don’t waste words, “front load” links (1st 2 words)
Do not link terminal punctuation.
When linking to a specific file format, include the format parenthetically after the text. (e.g. Welcome brochure (PDF))
The text of the URL is not the URL itself or include the word “link” (e.g. not
<a href="https://www.lib.umn.edu">https://www.lib.umn.edu</a>; “libraries website link” should be “University Libraries” so it’s long enough but not irrelevant or redundant).
If the anchor contains an icon or image, the icon or image must be accompanied by text that is at minimum accessible to screen readers but preferably visible for all people.
An anchor may wrap around multiple objects including block level elements.
Use strong verbs that encourage action for buttons. Avoid the verb “Submit,” which may be emotionally triggering; instead, use more relevant verbs such as “Done,” “Register,” or “Request”.
Also avoid when possible the use of able-ist language, such as “View” and “See,” or specific input methods such as “Tap,” and “Click”.
“Click to submit form” (no)