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Building Better Links in Web Design

The importance of links in a web page should be obvious to any designer, whether experienced or not. Your clients will undoubtedly request that links be placed in the sites you create for them and your web design company will ensure that you do so. Designers must not forget that the overall content of a site is not limited to the text, but includes images, links and all the other relevant components of a properly designed web page.

In Web Design Links Reinforce Scannability

Online visitors to a site are almost always drawn first to images. Links are the next thing that they notice, because they are always underlined and coloured differently from the rest of the text. Your web design company is likely to instruct you to make sure that links included in each web page catch the attention of viewers. Links, in addition to good textual content, will allow readers to scan through your web page quickly. Links will only do this effectively if they are well-worded and have some relevance to the content of the rest of the web site. Your web design company will probably make an effort to emphasize the need for this.

Web design Tip #1: Links on Your Home Page

A good web site should always contain links to all the other parts of the site on its home page, unless the entire site consists of only a single page. Most visitors to the site are likely to simply scan through the content of the home page, so it is important to ensure that the text of each link clearly describes the part of the site that it links to. Your links must also stand out, so avoid having a home page comprised solely of links and no other text. Link titles should also be plain and straightforward, giving readers a very clear description of where the link will lead. Your web design company will undoubtedly be happy if you also include links to other general pages found on your website.

Web design Tip #2: General to Specific is the Way to Go

Online users who are trying to find specific information will generally follow the same sort of search pattern – they will start their search with general terms that will get more and more specific as they discover new information. Links should operate on the same logic, leading the viewer from each page to a page that has slightly more specific information than the previous one, and so on, allowing viewers to slowly refine their search.

Web design Tip #3: How to Write Links and Setting Them

Some good guidelines to follow when creating links are shown below.

• The log files of your website will contain information regarding the most common search terms used by visitors to your site. Try to identify these terms and include them in your web pages as links to the other parts of your site.

• You should ensure that links lead to the pages that they are supposed, and not elsewhere. Links that do not lead readers to the pages that they expect to visit do not form a very good impression of your client or your web design company and this will not be good for your reputation as a designer. Readers who feel that they have been tricked will likely leave the site and not come back again.

• Make the text of your links clear and concise. And if they state that they link to something such as an e-book, phrase them such that there is no mistaking where the link should lead. “This e-book…” is a good example of a link that should lead to an e-book, and not some other web page.

• Links should always serve a clear purpose. If you have included a link in a web page and are unable to clearly define the purpose of the link, then it should be removed. Always keep in mind that the purpose of your web design company is to provide services to both your clients and readers so make sure you only include links that are important.

Both your web design company and your clients will definitely appreciate it if you take the effort to make sure that links are as effective and well-integrated into the website content as possible. The text that surrounds a link should contain relevant and useful information, and the link itself should be related to the surrounding text, and be very clear in its purpose. If a link is going to direct readers to another page composed entirely of other links, then the first link should clearly state that it leads to a another page full of links.