How important are Hyperlinks, Really?

Hyperlinks are the individual strands that create the web. Without links the web would most likely not exist, if it did you definitely would not want to spend much time surfing it. With a simple < a > tag you can connect any other website, blog, web page, song, or file anywhere in the world directly to your page. What amazing power such a simple web element allows you to possess.

In order to truly embrace the full power of a hyperlink you must insure that it is properly designed, formed, and maintained.

Designing Links
Hyperlinks need to stand out yet not be annoying. The text and/or images that make up a link need to easily be understood while stating hey I am a link and you need to “CLICK ME.” Depending on the theme or layout of your site creating efficient link designs can be done through an infinite combination of fonts, text-sizes, text-spacing, images and/or background colors.
Forming Links
Most developers hardly even think about the links they are creating while developing the multiple pages that makeup a site. Yet these links are the single most important element on the site. Without effective links the users will never make it where you need them to go. For example an ecommerce site will NOT be nearly as successful if the users have a hard time finding the “Checkout” or the “Add to Cart” links.
One of the most overlooked aspects of an < a > tag is the title property. A title property can be added to almost any HTML element but it can be especially important for a hyperlink. A title property is used by most browsers to create tool tips which provide additional extremely valuable real-estate that would simply not exist otherwise.

Maintaining Links
The main statistic used by web developers is the Average Visit Duration and the reason for this is simple. The longer the visitor is on the site the more interested they are in your content. The more interested they are in your content, the more likely they are to spend money with you, come back again, and tell others about your site. Simply checking all the links on your site is an easy way to insure that you are not losing traffic because of a link, or worse yet several links that do not go to the same place they used to.
How long are you willing to browse a strange site with poor link quality?


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