Why Easily Locating Links Is Important

This post was written by Internet Marketing John on June 2, 2013
Posted Under: Website Usability

Easily locating links is important to the successful navigation of every website.

Easily Locating LinksOne of the main goals of website usability, specifically navigation, is the correct placement of internal links so readers can easily locate their position on your website or blog.

Without any links on your website, there would be no ability for readers to navigate and view other topics on your site.

For all practical purposes, your site would be a single web page, i.e. a dead site.

Webmasters will include links into every page of a website for cross referencing articles, changing topics, advertising and for basic  navigation to whatever area of the site or other sites they want their viewers to visit.

Links are as vital to your website and are just as important as your content.

Without them, it is not possible for visitors to your site to connect to any other document on your website or the web.

There are two types of links on a website.

Internal, for navigating within your website and external for navigating to other sites on the internet.

Internal Links:

Internal links function like tabs in a book.  Their main purpose is to connect other pages of your website together.

A book has an index for readers to navigate through it’s pages.  Like a book, your website also contains separate pages to navigate through.  These are called web pages.

The home page of your website functions like a book’s index.  Here your readers can choose which web “page” they want to look at by simply clicking on an internal link or tab.

External Links:

An external link connects a web page from your website to some other website’s web page on the internet.

It’s only function is to direct the reader to another outside “book” page or in the case of the Internet, to another website web page.

Without any external links, your website would be more or less isolated.

No Internet purchases could take place, no electronic billings could occur and no commerce or communication could exist.

Webmasters, since the inception of the internet, have been using a relatively standardized method of locating internal navigation links on web pages.

Internal links are almost always placed either in the left hand column or at the top of each web page, just below the header.

Research through the years has shown that these are the first areas on a web page that are immediately viewed by visitors.  Our eyes naturally go to these areas when we view a fresh web page.

Because these are the first places on a web page that your visitors check, Webmasters naturally designed web pages to prominently place their links in these areas and immediately capture the attention of their audience.

Internal links are occasionally placed at the bottom of a web page, however they are usually not as prominent.  This is done primarily to avoid design redundancy or as an alternate, backup link.

External links are also commonly placed in the right hand margins of some web designs and even in the content of the web page.

Most webmasters place external links in the content of web pages primarily for explanatory purposes, but also for advertising and as a reference to other outside web information.

Many webmasters believe that because our reading is performed from left to right, the right side of the web page should be allocated to external website links.

Regardless, easily locating links on the web page is standardized relative to these explanations.

The one exception is Google AdSense and other similar text advertisements where external links are often allocated to the center and/or right side of web pages.

Based on these general practices, easily locating links on your website should not be a problem for novice webmasters however, these are simply guidelines and not rules chiseled in granite for website designers.

Easily locating links is extremely important on your website however, so long as navigation is not impeded, deviations from so called “standard website design” can often create an interesting and unique surfing experience for your visitors.

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