Meaningful Links

Links should make sense. Link titles should tell where they will take users, and visitors should be able to understand links without reading any other text.

Clear, specific link titles are especially important for those using assistive devices such as screen readers. These devices can jump directly from link to link.

Screen reader users often pull out a list of links without context to determine where to go next. For these users, a link titled "Click here" or "Read more" is not helpful.

Best Practices

  • Provide clear, meaningful links that describe their purpose.
  • Link text should not include URLs.
  • In links, don't use the word "link" or other uninformative phrases, such as "Click here" or "Learn more."
  • Links should not be capitalized. Screen readers read capitalized text letter by letter. 
  • Tell visitors before they open a link to a document that will download. Use, for example, the link title "2021 Annual Report (PDF)." Note that all documents must be accessible before they are put online. 
  • Never underline text that is not part of a link.
  • Be mindful when using images as links. Give the image alt text telling screen readers where the link will take users.
  • Pages should not have links that go to the same page next to each other. If a linked image and a text link that go to the same page are next to each other, the image needs an empty alt attribute in most cases. Note that to add an empty alt tag attribute on a Digital Commons site, select the "Decorative Image" checkbox when uploading the image.