Accessibility Tip: Use descriptive link anchor texts

Last updated on January 01, 2022A11y issues

Anchor text and the text on buttons should be descriptive. This is so people know what they are clicking on.

Table of contents

Screen readers should also be able to read out the interactive elements and it be clear to the user what the button is for. If it just says “click here” or “read more”, they need the context (probably the previous paragraph) to understand what they would be clicking, but most users of screen readers would tab through between things such as links to navigate the page.

Avoid ‘read more’, ‘click here’ etc. Replace with more descriptive texts such as ‘See our about us story’, ‘Buy this tshirt’ etc. This also has SEO benefits.

If you really want a button that says “read more” then add text just for screen readers. For example:

    this assumes .sr-only is a class only for 
    screen readers, but hidden to normal users 
<a href="/about-us">
    Read more 
    <span class="sr-only">about our story</span>

Inaccessible example (not descriptive text)

<a href="/contact">Click here</a>
<a href="/contact">Contact us</a>
<a href="/contact">Read our contact details</a>

WCAG guidelines

Success Criterion 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context) (Level A): The purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone or from the link text together with its programmatically determined link context, except where the purpose of the link would be ambiguous to users in general.

Success Criterion 2.4.9 Link Purpose (Link Only) (Level AAA): A mechanism is available to allow the purpose of each link to be identified from link text alone, except where the purpose of the link would be ambiguous to users in general.

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