How to optimize internal links


    How to optimize internal links

  • 1 Links need to stand out visually

    Users don't read on the web; they scan and skim the content. Hyperlinks draw their attention, just like bold text does.

  • 2 Links need to be meaningful

    In order for links to be helpful, they have to be meaningful. Links must have good information scent; they should clearly explain where they will lead.

  • 3 Link targets shouldn't depend on surrounding text

    Users should be able to identify exactly where the link will lead without the need to read the surrounding text. This frustrates users and requires more effort, mental processing and eye movement.

  • 4 Meaningful links are optimal for visually impaired users

    Visually impaired users can tab through the website's links to find a link they want to visit. Non-descriptive links will force them to read the entire page word by word to find the link they need.

  • 5 Avoid using non-descriptive words for links on their own

    Non-descriptive words shouldn't be turned into links standing on their own. Such words are 'read more', 'here', 'click here', 'more'... etc.

  • 6 Use blue color for unvisited links

    Users prefer blue as a color for unvisited links and prefer to have that color change if they already visited the link.

  • 7 Meaningful links boost SEO

    Links with meaningful texts are used by search engines as a clue description to what the target page is about. Meaningful texts thus boost the site's SEO and make it rank better.

  • 8 Link titles should answer the question 'what do I get by clicking this'

    All links on a website should answer the question, 'what do I get by clicking this?' If the links lead to a PDF document, it should state so in a parentheses or display it visually as an icon.

  • 9 Links should be unique

    Users were most satisfied with links that were unique and didn't repeat themselves through the page's content. When they see a link with the same title of a page they visited, they assume they already visited it and don't see it as a different page.

  • 10 Links should be descriptive and concise or short for online encyclopedias

    Links can have as many descriptive words as they need so they explain where they lead, but effort should be put into making them concise so the description doesn't drag on. Short 1 or 2 word links are most appropriate for online encyclopedias where the word leads to the article of the same title.

  • 11 Best links start with the most important words

    Frontloading the link's name helps users scan the page faster. An eye-tracking study showed users mostly look at the first 2 words of a link.