Do You Care More About SEO or UX?
Links Matter for the User (Who is Kinda Super Important)
Understanding Exact Match Linking
When I teach digital writing workshops, I used to teach that this concept, called Exact Match, was incredibly important for SEO. And back in the day, it was; particularly if you used keywords in your page titles (you should still do that). But like so many other things in SEO, Google found that webmasters were abusing Exact Match for external links. So they discontinued using this factor in their ranking algorithm.
However, from an internal perspective, this is the absolute right way to write links on your web pages. Think about it from the perspective of your customer: That person wants to know what’s on the other side of the jump, especially in a mobile situation. Writing links in this manner creates clean and easy to read content—something we know Google prefers. When you jump people using nicely flowing call-to-action links, you make it crystal clear where the user is headed.
Exceptions for Usability
Sometimes it may not make sense to use the page title of the page you are referring users to because it’s too long and unwieldy—like the name of a blog title. In those cases, I think it’s okay to depart from this style—but do use some words that are going to make sense to the person reading, so they can decide if they want to follow the link.
You can learn more about how to create findable, readable, understandable, actionable and shareable content by inviting us to teach a digital writing workshop at your company. The workshops are personalized, using your content as examples. Check out our digital writing workshops.