How and why to use descriptive link language

Posted on Jul 20, 2016 in Communications, Guest blog

You’d think that people would know better by now than to use “Click here” for links. It’s not like they haven’t been told.

But I still see it on all the sites, all the time–commercial, entertainment, news, and–even considering Section 508–government sites of all kinds, federal, state, and city.

Twitter click here 508So I’m taking this opportunity to show you why it’s wrong.

If you use “click here” for links, this is what people who use assistive devices to access websites see:

Yep. Just a giant list of click heres. No help when it comes to deciding which links to follow.

What one would you choose first? How would you keep them all straight? You couldn’t.

How to Fix

So how do you fix these click heres?

It’s easy.

Let’s say you have a sentence:

You can do it a couple of ways:

  • Get a copy of our Authorized GSA Schedule Government Pricelist
  • Get our Authorized GSA Schedule Government Pricelist

Although I don’t know why there’d be an unauthorized pricelist, so maybe even

  • Use our GSA Schedule Government Pricelist

Or even

  • GSA Schedule Government Pricelist

Check your style guide to see if there’s anything else you should do (symbols, URL/not URL, etc.)

Resources

Want more help in fixing link language?

 

K. SpiveyAbout the author:  Katherine Spivey is co-chair of the Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) and the General Service Administration’s Plain Language Launcher. She is also a plain language trainer, frequently featured on Digital Gov University.

This post was originally published on GovLoop.com.

 

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