Comprehensive link text refers to the wording used when creating a link. Link text should always be short and concise, and should be unique to the page.
- Link Description: Link text must always properly describe the purpose of the link and tell a user exactly where the link will take them. If a link is not descriptive enough, users may not use the link or may use the wrong link when attempting to find information. Links such as “click here” and “more information” and "read more" should not be used because they do not provide enough information about a link and when used out of context, may make it difficult for users to understand the link purpose.
- Unique link text: Each link on the page should be unique unless the links are leading to the same page.
- Do not use the same link text to refer to different resources:Links should never have the same link text if the links go to different pages.
- Do not use different link text to refer to the same resource: Do not provide two or more links that have different link text but will lead to the same page.
Why is Comprehensive Link Text important?
It is important to provide comprehensive link text to ensure a user knows the intent of the link and do not become confused about where the link will lead them. Comprehensive link text will maximize the readability of a page and make it easier for users to find information. When using non-descriptive link text such as "click here" and "read more," it will become difficult for users to truly know the intent of the link unless they understand the context around it. This can, in particular, be a problem for assistive technology users who will typically navigate through a list of links. Therefore having to navigate through various links that indicate "click here" or "read more" will be confusing to assistive technology users.
In addition to non-descriptive links, a common accessibility barrier occurs when the same link text is used for links that go to different places and when different link text is used for links that go to the same place. Such links will be misleading to users who will be expecting the link text to go to a particular place. Ultimately comprehensive link text is critical to ensure users fully understand the intent of the link and to avoid any confusion that can create barriers for users to obtain information.