Writing Accessible Link Text
The more straightforward and distinct you can make your links, the easier it will be for everyone to interact with your content.
Be specific and action-oriented.
Your link text should describe exactly what will happen when someone clicks that link.
Do this: Replace any vague link text with text that’s clear about the link destination. For
example, "Accessibility Guides & Tutorials" or "View Calendar" describe exactly where
the link goes and what someone will find when they get there.
Not that: Generic text like “Click Here” or “Learn More” is too vague because it doesn't describe the link's destination.
Links should make sense out of context.
A screen reader can sort links in order of appearance or alphabetically, so links shouldn't rely on other text around them to make sense.
Do this: Use words that say exactly what will happen when someone clicks the link. For example,
"Read Accessibility Report" can be understood without any other words to give it context.
Not that: Multiple links on the same screen that use the exact same words are confusing, especially when read by a screen reader out of context. For example, "Read More" says very little out of context about where a link goes, particularly if there are multiple links on the page that all say "Read More."
Don't include the word "link" in the link text.
Screen readers announce a link by saying "link" or "clickable graphic."
Do this: Only describe the link destination.
Not that: Neither text nor image links need to say "link" or "link to." This will make screen readers say, repetitively, "link link to..."
Put clarifying and key words first.
It will take everyone interacting with your digital content longer to find and act on the right link if you use the same phrase at the beginning of multiple links or if you place important keywords at the end of link text.
Do this: Identify what is unique and specific about the link at the front: "March Agenda,"
Not that: Avoid using the same phrase for multiple links: "Agenda for March," "Agenda for April."
Use common phrases and keep the text brief.
Avoid longer or less intuitive phrases that may make it more difficult for users to find what they're looking for, especially if links are sorted alphabetically.
Do this: Use the words people will be expecting and be concise, like "Contact us."
Not that: Don't get clever or use too many words, like "You can contact us" or "Send smoke signals."
Avoid linking to documents and provide the information as text on the screen when possible.
Linking to a PDF is easy, but it's much more user-friendly and accessibility compliant to put information directly on the screen rather than in a linked document.
Do this: If you must link to a file or document, indicate that is where the link will go in
your link text: "Download Brochure," "Open Guide in Google Docs."
Not that: Don't send users out to documents when you can put the information directly on the screen.
If you're working on an sc.edu site in the OU Campus content management system, learn some special considerations for working with multipurpose lists.