Why use meaningful link text?

The following video demonstrates the use of a screenreader when the user tabs from link to link.

Can you imagine the user experience if the link text was "click here " rather than meaningful text that informs the user of the nature of the link.



6.1 Link text of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 provides recommendations for making content more accessible. It was developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) who is an international community who work together to develop Web Standards.

1. In-text links

Link text does not need to use the target page or site’s exact heading. It should just indicate to the user where they are going and the sentence should explain why.

Example link text

  • View our latest short courses in the events calendar
  • Visit the example conference website
  • Learn more about the example program
  • Read the Example Annual Report
  • Discover more about our research
  • Study with us and enjoy world-class facilities  …
  • The example seminar series will focus on …
  • Find the advice you need at the example guide 
Top of page

2. Related links

If you want to include lots of links without interrupting the flow of the reader, cite them as a list at the bottom of the page under a heading such as ‘Related links’. 

Top of page

3. External links

You can provide context for users that the link goes to an external location by adding the class: link--external. This will add the external link icon to the end of the link.

Try to name the source you are linking to in your link text.

Do link out to the sites with which you have a relationship, such as research partners, and seek inbound links from them. Reciprocal links help define the relevancy, status and search rank of your content and theirs.

Top of page

4. New tab or window link

Avoid opening links in new tabs or windows as this will disorientate and annoy users. Let the user decided to open in a new tab or not. Exceptions are where context-sensitive help is required or the user may lose access to a session that requires a login. 

Top of page