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Learning Centre

Accessible Hyperlinks

There are some accessibility considerations to keep in mind when inserting hyperlinks. It is also very important to create hyperlinks that offer simple and intuitive navigation. Follow these rules to create easy-to-navigate and effective hyperlinks.

Make clear hyperlinks

When writing the text for a hyperlink, ensure you provide a description of where the link will take the visitor. Hyperlink text should be able to stand on its own and state exactly where it links to without any other context. The words that you choose for your hyperlink should tell the user exactly where they will be taken without having to read any other text around the link.

For example, if your hyperlink takes the visitor to a soccer registration form:

  • An accessible hyperlink might say: “Soccer Registration form”
  • An inaccessible hyperlink might say: “Click here”

“Click here” is the most often used hyperlink and it is not accessible nor does it explain where a user will be taken or why they should click on it. Site visitors using assistive devices will likely only hear the linked words, which means they will only have access to the words “click here,” which does not tell them where they will be taken or why.

Avoid repetitive hyperlink text

You should avoid repeating the same hyperlink text multiple times on the same page. For example, if you create a hyperlink that says “read more” in more than one place, this will be confusing and less accessible when scanning the content. “Read more” on its own is much like “click here” in that it doesn't tell users where they will be taken at a glance. Choose words that are more descriptive and keep your link text unique throughout your page.

Don't hyperlink a URL

This means that you should not use a complete web address as content on your page, which can often be very long, e.g.

Screen readers will read aloud every single character in the URL address, so using the example above, this can take a long time and in many instances won't provide a clear description of where the hyperlink will take the visitor. Even if you have a friendly URL (such as the one above), it is not an accessible way to guide your user. Instead, choose text that describes where you want them to go, e.g. Visit the GHD Digital Resource Centre for more information.

Test your links

Always test your hyperlinks. Links that don't work are a leading cause of lost traffic on the web.