Sunday, November 6, 2005

A HREF = Opportunity for Advertising

HREF is an attribute of the anchor A and specifies the URL targeted by the link, defining the anchor into a link.

As a webmaster, I have seen these words a million times. However, I never made the important connection that anchor text could be used to describe and promote the receiving web page as well as guide and help users of the originating web page.

Writers of web content should provide contextual clues as to the destination of any link on their site. Each anchor on your website is an opportunity to make your site more accessible and to enhance the value of your contextual links to other pages.

Using descriptive anchor text addresses the issue of accessibility. Most assistive devices like screen readers bypass traditional methods of navigation and go directly to the content and provide a list of hyperlinks on each page. Imagine you are surfing for information on a topic and you hear the anchor text, CLICK HERE, over 10 times on one page. Would this be helpful?

There is a bonus to adding descriptive key words to anchor text. The relevance of the page containing the anchor text is enhanced and the relevance of the target page in relationship to the keywords is enhanced as well. Use anchor text to provide contextual clues when linking to another site or to another page within your site.

Look at your web page or blog and note each anchor. Think of how you might edit each anchor to enhance the experience of visitors to your site as well as provide a link to more information.

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