Hyperlinks are an important aspect of content creation, copywriting, and website management. Hyperlinks work by providing additional information to the reader, promoting a company or product, and driving traffic to a particular website. Therefore, knowing when and how to use hyperlinks properly is an equally important skill for a Writer to master. Before writing your next assignment, read on in order to ensure that your hyperlinks are formatted correctly and are appropriate for your content:
What are Hyperlinks?
First, understanding what a hyperlink is and why a hyperlink is important is crucial. A hyperlink has two parts: the URL address, i.e., www[dot]hyperlink[com], and the word or phrase that, when clicked, will lead the reader to that web address. Hyperlinks are most commonly used to navigate or browse a website. In writing, however, hyperlinks are most commonly used to direct Internet traffic to a particular company’s website, increasing the number of views that website receives. Hyperlinks can also be a great resource for providing more information to the reader, or by linking research articles or studies to give credibility to statements within text.
A hyperlink is appropriate when a) it’s requested by the User for whom you’re creating content, b) is necessary for providing more information for the reader, c) you’re citing an online source within the text, or d) you’re promoting a particular site, business, or product.
Choosing Great Text
Linking the necessary website to the appropriate text is critical when using hyperlinks. Take the following sentence: “If you need to order a delicious cake, Mrs Smith’s online bakery is worth the visit.” Before linking this text, know that the text you choose to link to should always describe what it is you’re directing the reader to. For example, you don’t want to link the words “worth the visit,” because those words alone have nothing to do with ordering cake. On the same note, you wouldn’t want to link “if you need to order,” or “Mrs Smith’s,” because those words alone don’t give the reader enough information about what you want them to do. Rather, choose the word or set of words that outline exactly what the reader will see when they click the link. In this case, you want the reader to order a cake online from Mrs Smith’s bakery—therefore, the words “Mrs Smith’s online bakery” would be the appropriate phrase to hyperlink. You also have to option of hyperlinking the phrase, “If you need to order a delicious cake…” Both sets of text would be appropriate in this case.
Do Not “Click Here”
In addition to choosing specific text that lays out exactly what the reader will be doing, you also want to make sure you avoid words such as “here” or “click here” when setting up hyperlinks. Using the same sentence as above, your hyperlink should not read, “If you need to order a delicious cake, click here to visit Mrs Smith’s online bakery.” Additionally, “You can visit Mrs Smith’s online bakery to order a delicious cake here,” is also not appropriate. Again, always link your key words and relevant phrases, not arbitrary words or random sets of words.
Embedding the link into a call to action phrase rather than offering a simple verb or verb phase will give readers a connection to the piece, rather than have them feel as if they are merely being pandered to purchase an item. Linking to specific key phrases also helps improve SEO results.
Does it Work?
Once you’ve chosen the perfect website and text in which to embed your hyperlink, it’s important to make sure that it actually works! Verify that the link is correct by typing it into your browser before linking it to text, and update the URL if need be. Once you’ve hyperlinked, double check its functionality by clicking on the link within the text. Broken links or incorrect URL addresses don’t serve a purpose and are frustrating to the reader—check and double check to ensure that your writing and your links are efficient and are accomplishing exactly what it is they’re supposed to.
If you have any questions regarding how to incorporate hyperlinks into a content piece, contact your User and be sure you are embedding them correctly and linking them into the correct keywords or phrases. If you are unfamiliar with embedding hyperlinks, there are a variety of tutorials available online that can teach you how to use hyperlinks with your particular word processor.