Creating useful links in your article is a great way to refer readers to additional sources and relevant content.
But the way you link has a lot to do with how likely your reader is to click on it.
Let’s take a look at an example
In this post, Germaximus has done something really smart – he’s made a reference to a topic that is covered elsewhere on the site, and he’s linking to the post. That’s great, because it gives interested readers a chance to learn more.
Using links is a good start, but we can make this more awesome. Roll with me here.
Here’s a better way to format links
Here’s the way we edited this post to create a more compelling link for readers.
Step 1: Select the URL (the web address for your link.)
Step 2: Remove and copy the link. Hit “CTRL+X” or right click and select “Cut.”
Step 3: Select the text that is relevant to the link. In this case, the link leads to a post written about game prices and buying, so we selected part of a sentence that made sense.
You can select link text that *doesn’t* make sense, but we strongly recommend against it. It mostly makes readers annoyed.
Advanced Tip: How to choose good link text
The trick to linking the right text is to read the link text and ask yourself ‘if that’s all I read – would I click it?’
For instance, “Ninjas are the ultimate paradox” is much more likely to get clicked than an identical link that says “Click here.”
Same link, way different results.
Many times you’ll see people use “Click Here!” or something similar for link text. That isn’t the best way to link because readers often scan, and the change in color grabs their attention. That’s a golden opportunity to catch their eye, and click here is much more likely to make them take a nap or keep skimming than click.
Step 4: Select the Link Icon. Okay – you’ve selected your relevant, attention-grabbing text. Now you want to select the Link Icon in your post tools – it’s on the far left, and when you hover over it, it says “Insert/Edit Link.”
Yep that’s the one. Go ahead, click it!
Step 5: Fill out your link info. You’ve come this far in the process of making a sweet, user friendly link. Don’t quit now! Paste the URL you’ve been saving up since Step 2 into the “Link URL” field. Leave the “Target” menu alone, it’s all set. Then click the “Title” field and add a few words about the link. Search engines like Google use what you add to title when they describe what the link leads to, so it’s pretty important. Forget “Class” – you’ve already got plenty of that and can leave it be.
That was a joke – because you’re classy. But seriously, you don’t need to fill it out.
Step 6: Hit the green “Insert” button.
Voilà! Link has been made irresistible to readers, and your article has been made a bit more awesome. Nicely done.