We use a lot of links in our writing, which is to be expected. But it’s important we’re formatting them consistently and in the most accessible way for our users.
Whenever you’re including a link in a sentence or paragraph, don’t just add the URL and call it good. Create an in-line link over the phrase that makes the most sense. Use as many words as you need to accurately describe what’s being referenced, while still being concise. Your linked text should tell the reader exactly where that link will take them and should make sense without the surrounding copy.
You may need to restructure a sentence to craft the best link text possible. Include relevant keywords, preferably at the beginning of the link. This helps a reader scan the page and find what they’re looking for. Search engines also use link text as a cue for meaning and relevance. Linking a keyword or the name of the destination page will help Google understand what that destination page is about, and increase its ranking.
And don’t rely on general location words, like “here” or “there,” or on actions like “click here.” Maybe your reader is looking at your copy on their phone or using an assistive device such as a screen reader — they won’t be “clicking” anything. Leaving those words out is better for accessibility. And while we’re at it, don’t include end punctuation in your in-line link.
Short for “calls to action,” these are the designed buttons we include in emails, landing pages, social ads and in product. They’re like a pumped up version of an in-line link and are used to draw the reader’s attention. They also have a few more format restrictions:
- Short (two to three words)
- Action-oriented (start with verbs most often)
- Avoid pronouns
- No punctuation
Similar to how we write in-line links, you should give the reader an expectation of where that CTA will take them. It’s better to be specific than misleading or vague. Stick to our preferred words for CTAs to keep them consistent.
Make sure your content flows naturally. If you asked a question in the title, the CTA should answer that question.
We cover CTA capitalization in another section, so be sure to refer to it with any questions. TL;DR: we use title case.