Links & Navigation

Your links and navigation serve a very important function: to connect your users with the info they need. Web users are on a mission. By providing easy navigation choices and clear content links you set them up for success.

Keep your menus short.
Menus should be 8 items or less. Fewer choices allow the reader to follow a clear path to the information they need. Avoid the temptation to place too much in your menu - try organizing your menus by task, topic or audience.

Use straightforward wording in the navigation.
A clever but obscure link name can be confusing and even frustrating ... and may hurt your searchability. When possible, shorten your menu link text. Users should be able to glance at your menu and know which item to click. Creating menu links that are long and wordy will hinder this process.

Do not link to PDFs or other files directly in your menus.
If the content is appropriate to include in your menu, it's probably best to create it as page (or section of pages) in your site. If the content must remain as a PDF or other file type, try including it as a link within the content of a page, or perhaps in the right column.

Hyperlink phrases rather than single words.
Phrases are easier to spot. Avoid using "here" and "click here." Search engines key in on hyperlinked text, and as you can imagine, users are not searching for "click here."

Alert visitors when links will lead them to a document instead of a web page.
When linking to documents, indicate such after the link. For example, links to a PDF or Word document should appear like this: Sample Document (pdf) or Another Sample Document (docx). Whenever possible, convert documents to actual web pages (save as a PDF at the very least).