Helping users understand the destination of links is an important step towards increasing the usability and accessibility of a document.
Many screen readers including JAWS and VoiceOver give users the option to read just the links on the Webpage as demonstrated in the image below listing links from this page. As the list shows, link text which is meaningful out of context is more usable in a list.
Below are examples of inaccessible link text with more examples below. The main issue with the inaccessible links is that they do not clearly indicate a specific destination.
Unclear Link Text Examples
Usable Link Text Examples
These guidelines apply to links embedded within the text of a document or a Web page.
- Write links that make sense out of context. Use descriptive link text detailing the destination; not just “click here,” or other similar phrases.
Link text should be made up of phrases rather than single words, so that users with limited motor control will not have difficulty hitting links.
NOTE: Some search engines, such as Google, give higher rankings to sites that use “context-rich” text links.
- Maintain the standard that text links are underlined and are a different color value (lighter or darker) than the main text. This provision will help colorblind users find links more easily, and is good usability practice.
- If you use an image to create links, make sure the destination is included as an image ALT tag.