Hyperlinks are words on a web page that link to other pages or websites. When creating hyperlink names, select text that accurately describes the destination page. For example, if you wish to direct your reader to the University of Pittsburgh home page, you might do so in a sentence like this: “For more information, please refer to the University of Pittsburgh home page.” Or you might write, “The University of Pittsburgh home page contains further information.”
Examples such as these convey immediate meaning to readers skimming the page for links. Even screen reader users may jump from link to link as a way of familiarizing themselves with the page. To facilitate this kind of skimming by all readers, avoid link names such as “click here” or “use this link.” When phrases like these are used, additional context is required in order to accurately convey destination information to any reader.
Hyperlink names have a high impact for several reasons: They are the primary means by which a website user internally navigates within the site and externally moves beyond that site to other pages. They also help readers orient themselves to the page’s highlights.
The effort required to implement accessible hyperlinks is low because doing so takes very little time and does not require a great deal of technical expertise. For example, if you are creating an MS Word document, you can add a hyperlink by using the MS Word Hyperlink function. Or, if you are working in CourseWeb, you can create a hyperlink with the Blackboard Hyperlink function.
This sentence provides a good example of a hyperlink name: “Read a transcript of the Declaration of Independence.”
This sentence provides a poor example of a hyperlink name: “Click here to read a transcript of the Declaration of Independence.”
- Find out more about hyperlink accessibility in the WebAIM article on Links and Hypertext.