Ask most people what they think of when you mention the term website, and most people will say text or content and graphics. But links or “hyperlinks” are also an integral part of making a site easy to navigate and attract readers and customers. Everyone knows “a picture is worth a thousand words”, but an image that is also a link is worth even more. Here are some of the ways different types of links can enhance and improve your webpage.
Most first-time visitors come to a website either to learn something or for entertainment. In order to capitalize on this, you need to have pages that are written so people can easily scan them. Just like almost no one reads a magazine cover to cover, no one reads a web page. Instead, people scan them both; reading what looks interesting and skipping over the rest. With this in mind, how does your webpage scan? Is the important web content skipped over?
Links can be noticeable by being a different color and underlined if they are text, or interesting images if they are graphics. People’s eyes will be drawn to them because they will stand out from other content on your site. Different, in this case, is good. An example of this is About.com. When you read an article on About, they will oftentimes choose words from the article, relevant to the topic, and make them into advertising links. For example, an article about the “10 Best Handbags for Summer” also includes ten images of bags with links to purchase them. This makes the article not only informative to the casual reader; it is also helpful for drawing in website revenue for the company.
“Unless your site is only one page, your home page will have links to other parts of your site.” Since people are probably not reading your front page, making those links as self-explanatory as possible is a must. For example, pictures of your products if applicable are a great way to link to them without needing much explanation. Avoid having an abundance of links though, as you want them to stand out and only a minority is conspicuous. The best links will be clear to your reader. For example an image of a handbag that leads you to a shoe boutique is not a helpful or clear link. Textual links should not lead to pages of more links unless you clearly say so, i.e. “more resources”.
Do you agree or disagree? Perhaps, I missed something? Either way, I would just love to hear what your thoughts are on this topic… just let me know your alive!