What do you need to know about anchor links?

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Am anchor link is a link that allows the user to springboard to a particular point on a page. Crucially, it saves the reader time because they don’t need to scroll, and it makes navigation that bit simpler. They are about providing good usability.

You can read more about links at W3.

When to use anchor links

Attractive design is fantastic but utterly pointless if your reader is left confused and overwhelmed and unable to find the information they seek. We live in a world where time is of the essence. When we search a site for information, we skim and pick out the essentials from a mass of beautifully written but non-essential text. A well-written site has bite-sized, manageable chunks of information. An anchor link will take people straight to a specific chunk of text. See it as an aid to managing the content for the reader. Anchor links help enormously, and your reader will appreciate them and be more likely to stay on your site.

How to create an anchor link

The anchor

In the HTML of a page, the anchor will be wrapped in an anchor tag. Place it just before the point where you wish to place the shortcut. The anchor text will be relevant to the page to which you are placing the shortcut.

The link

If linking to an area on the same page, say from the top to the bottom, you can simply position the anchor text in a standard ahref tag and then wrap it around the words you wish to hyperlink. These words will be visibly hyperlinked to the top or bottom of the page depending on how you set it up.

If your aim is to create a shortcut on a different page, you will need to drop this page’s URL and the anchor into the ahref tag. These words will be visibly hyperlinked to the original page.

Broken links are very frustrating for the reader. Build them well, check that they work and maintain them. Professional SEO services are invaluable, such as those from sites like https://www.elevateuk.com/seo-services/.

Too much of a good thing

Links serve a very important purpose. They help to organise text, which in turn eases navigation, but keep in mind that overuse can have the opposite effect.

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