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Links are navigation tools, and help people move around your site.

Placement of link text

Wherever possible, place links below the sentence or list they refer to.

Separating links from text means they are easier to select on mobile devices.

Opening links in a new tab or window

Do not set links to open in a new tab or window. However, there are some exceptions which need to be decided case by case. For example, sometimes forms will work better in a new tab so that people can see both the context and the form.

Using anchor links

Anchor links are links that take you to a different part of the page you’re on, or a section on different page.

Anchors OK?

Anchor links dos and don’ts

Linking to downloads

To meet NZ Government Web Usability Standard 3.1 you must include information about a download, including:

  • a meaningful name, usually the title of the document
  • file format, for example, PDF or JPG
  • file size, for example, 24KB or 3.1MB.

Include that information directly in the link text itself, or immediately before or after the link.

Preferred approach: Content tracking template (XLS 34KB).

Alternative approach: Content tracking template (XLS 34KB).

It’s useful to link to any plugins people need — but not a requirement.

NZ Government Web Usability Standard 3.1


The Readability Guidelines include detailed guidelines on the following topics:

  • Make link text meaningful.
  • Avoid mid-sentence links.
  • Front-load your link text.
  • Make call to action (CTA) links and button text specific.
  • Start CTA links and button text with a verb.
  • Make CTA links and button text 2 to 4 words.
  • Match the destination content.
  • Use sentence case.

Links in the Readability Guidelines

For guidance on making links accessible, see Links — Web Accessibility Guidance project — NZ Government.

Note: Screen reader users can call up a list of all links on a page. Each link is removed from its context, so it’s important to make the link text meaningful.

Utility links and page information

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