Using long link text

It’s a proven fact that Web users like long link text — links that are more than just a single word and actually describe where the link takes you. Usability testing shows that long link text makes it much easier for visitors to find their way around a site. It’s not surprising, if you think about it; a long link provides more information to visitors about where a link will take them.

Unfortunately, many designers feel constrained by design considerations, forcing all navigation links, for instance, to conform to a particular size. You often see buttons that have enough room for only ten or so characters, forcing the designer to think about how to say complicated things in one or two words.

Long links that explain what the referenced page is about are a great thing, not only for visitors, but also for search engines. By using keywords in the links, you’re telling the search engines what the referenced pages are about.

You also have a problem if all the links on your site are on image buttons. Search engines can’t read images, so image buttons provide no information about the referenced page. You can’t beat a well-keyworded text link for passing information about the target page to the search engines.

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