Helping users understand the destination of links is an important step towards increasing the usability and accessibility of a web page. While screen readers can read a full page to a user, screen reader users may prefer to instead listen to a list of links. In that case, a screen reader may only read the link text and not the surrounding text. So the link text needs to be descriptive of where the link goes.
Speech recognition software allows a user to avoid using a mouse. Users can speak the text of the link that they would like to follow. So link text should be concise. Don't link entire sentences. A longer link is more likely to break across lines on the webpage or document, making it look like two links which may confuse users.
Descriptive Link Text
Focus links on the topic, not on the action. Instead of focusing on the action — aka “click here” or “read more” — focus on the topic. Don’t tell web visitors to click; tell them what they’ll find if they do click.
Avoid Repetitious Link Text
Multiple occurrences of the same link text in the content of a page is also not a good user experience especially if the links point to different sources. A page with multiple links called "watch video" or "learn more" leaves the screen reader user to revert to having the whole page read to them word for word and then guessing at the order of the links as to which one will deliver the content they want.
Related: Button Accessibility Shortcode
Links opening within the same tab is the default behavior and the most accessible. It is better not to open new windows and tabs since they can be disorienting for people, especially people who have difficulty perceiving visual content or are on a mobile device. Using a new browser window is a little disrespectful to web users. If they want a new window, they may right click on the link which gives users multiple options such as open the link in a new tab, window, open in a private browsing window or copy link.
Related: Link to Other Pages & Content
For hands-on training, you can sign up for one of our Web Express Core sessions we cover all the basic accessibility topics as users learn the basics of Web Express.