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Creating Better Links


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Links are a very important part of a Custom Web Design Web page. But when most people think of Web pages, they think of the content as the text that is written on the page. In many eye tracking studies, it has been shown that people viewing Web pages are drawn to images. But their eyes are also drawn to links. This is because, in most Web pages, links are underlined and in a different color than the surrounding text. They stand out.


When your readers come to a Web page, they are trying to learn something or be entertained. But because most people don't read Web pages, then scan them. Good Web writing takes this into account, and makes the pages as scannable as possible. Because they stand out, links make a Web page more scannable. But you should make sure that the links you're using link to something related to the linked text.


Unless your site is only 1 page, your home page will have links to other parts of your site. And most people will scan your home page more than they will read it, so you want to make the links as self-explanatory as possible. For links off your home page I recommend: Avoid having a home page that is 100% links. This defeats the purpose of scan ability as the links no longer stand out, Make the links pragmatic titles, not fancy. Don't make your readers guess where the link will go, Link to general pages that also have lots of links and Make Your Links Order from General to Specific.


When searching for information, people tend to start general and get more specific as they start narrowing down their search. Think of your links as a funnel. You start with a very general category at the top that gets narrower and narrower as your readers find what they are looking for. Review your log files to see what people are searching for. The most commonly used words should be links to other parts of your site. Verify your links go where you imply they will go. Readers searching for information will leave immediately if they think your links lie. Write clear links. If the link text reads "this book..." the link should go to a book, not a bookstore or the author's biography. Don't play games with your links. Use straightforward language, and put links in that are useful to customers, not just for the sake of a link. Create links that go to content rather than just lists of more links. If you're sending your readers to a list of links, add explanatory content to the page. And, make sure that the link pointing to the page explains that they'll get a list of more links.

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