What’s The Best Way to Manage Links On Your Website?

March 16, 2015 |   3 minute read

What’s The Best Way to Manage Links On Your Website?


Your website design is all about creating a positive user experience. And keeping users on your site is important to the sales cycle. Congratulations if you’ve already put the effort into writing content that clearly speaks to your target audience. Benefit driven copy – including dynamic linking to more information – helps engage your users. They’ll understand what you’re saying and can easily learn more about topics that interest them (pssst if you haven’t done this yet, get started here and congratulations on taking the first step).

Let Your Users Choose How They’ll Navigate Your Website

So we’ve said it’s good website copywriting practice to include content links within the text to lead the users to more information and keep them interested in your site. However, you want to avoid losing your audience because of web development decisions – like how the links are opened – that can frustrate your users and make them want to move on.

Once you’ve planned your links on your website, you need to decide if they’ll open in the existing tab or in new windows. While there’s not a lot of information leading to a definitive answer for which way is best, here are 3 common practices:

  • If internal links (those staying on your website) open in the existing tab, users can use the back button to return to previous content.
  • If external links (those heading to someone else’s website) open in a new window you won’t interrupt the action on your own site.
  • You can also give users the option to decide how they’ll open the links, because the savvy online navigators will know how they want links to appear and can manage it on their own.

When you are planning your website content let your web designer know how you’ve decided to handle internal and external links. If you don’t, the default coding might not give you what you want. (Code that automatically opens links in a new window disables the back button taking the choice away from your user). Avoid forcing them to follow navigation features implemented by you.

Here’s 3 More Reasons To Be Conscious of How You Manage Your Links on Your Website

  1. Accurate Analytics - To accurately track visitor numbers and popular pages on your site you want to avoid forced new window openings that will skew the results.
  2. Link Fatigue – There is no magic number of links you should include in your website copy but be aware of why you’re adding a link and whether or not it enhances the user’s experience.
  3. Good SEO – You don’t want to be caught padding your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings with inauthentic reposts and purchased backlinks. Make your links truly useful and your content worth sharing to achieve online credibility.

Looking for feedback about what you’re doing right on your website and how you can improve it? A Tangible Words website content audit and consultation can help you ensure that your website is working for you.

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