Hyperlinks

Naming links

Use meaningful words in your link text to help readers (and search engines) locate information.

Avoid using "click here" to designate links. Visitors often skim Web sites for key words or phrases, and links that contain those words or phrases help them find information quickly. Search engines also take into account the use of key words and phrases in link text and use that information to help determine relevance for search results.

BadClick here for information on HTML.
Good: For information on HTML, see Learning HTML
BetterSee Learning HTML for more information.

Create hyperlinks that hint about the information they're leading to. Links should be appropriately descriptive of content so users know they are on the proper path to finding the information they're looking for. Ensure that descriptions explicitly describe what users will find at the destination. Also keep in mind that URLs used as hyperlinks can be convoluted and nonsensical to a screen reader.

Use straightforward wording. A clever, but somewhat obscure, link name can cause frustration and confusion.

When creating a link to a page, make it match the title of the page it's linking to. Clicking "Admission" should get you to a page titled "Admission"—not "Getting In" or "Forms & Applications." Content labels have more latitude but the relevance between the name of the hyperlink and the page it links to should be readily apparent.

Hyperlink phrases rather than words, whenever possible. Because users search for swaths of color, they'll find a hyperlink of two or more words more easily than a one-word link.

When linking to PDFs (or other external documents), signal that you're doing so. For example, it you're linking to a PDF, include "PDF" after the file name. PDF’s should be forms or similar type documents. They should never be used in place of content that should be treated as a web page.

Opening links in new tabs/windows

The default action of a hyperlink is to open the link in the same tab/window. Opening links in new tabs or windows is possible from the user's end by right clicking the mouse and designating the desired action. We do not specify targets for links since users are able to make that decision on their own.