Thursday, June 19, 2014

Everything Today’s Writer Needs to Know About Links

by Edie Melson  @EdieMelson

As a writer in the twenty-first century we need to know how to work with links. LINK is a slang term for HYPERLINK, and it refers to the URL of a specific web page. There is a hyperlink in the next paragraph. It’s there as an example and link back to this webpage. (Read on to find out why I included it.)

There are times you’ll need to insert a link into a document, provide a shortened link to use with social media, and decide which specific words to link in a blog post. Today I’ll cover everything today's writer needs to know about links.

Insert a link in Document
Of course, the easiest way to do this is to just copy the URL and paste it directly into the document. But this looks sloppy and it’s better to link specific words. Then when you click on them, they take the reader directly to the web page.

Microsoft Word:
  • Copy the URL you want to link to.
  • With the cursor, highlight the word or group of words you want to link.
  • Click on INSERT. (In older versions of Microsoft Word you’ll find the INSERT option under the Edit Window.)
  • Click on HYPERLINK.
  • Paste the link into the LINK TO window provided.

  • Copy the URL you want to link to.
  • With the cursor, highlight the word or group of words you want to link.
  • Click on INSERT.
  • Click on HYPERLINK.
  • Choose WEBPAGE.
  • Paste the link into the window provided.

How to Shorten a Link
There are lots of sites that will shorten links for you. If you use Hootsuite, when you paste the link into the ADD A LINK window, the program will shorten it automatically.

There are two sites that do the same thing, and they’re both free.

The first I recommend is Bitly. You can use this site without signing in or signing up for anything.

The other I recommend is Owly. This site requires you to sign in before you use it. But there is no charge.

Choose Which Words to Link Online
Here are some things you need to know to choose the right words to link. 
  • Including them will raise the search engine ranking of your post and subsequently, your site.
  • It’s a way to build credibility by linking to other sites you’ve written for.
  • It’s a way to utilize previous posts and get more traffic on your own blog.
  • They can give your readers more value by linking to valuable site that your readers may not have visited.  

I want to zero in on how hyperlinks can raise our search engine ranking.

Most people don’t know that the words hyperlinked in your post are also searchable by search engines. This means you need to choose the words you link carefully because you don’t want to waste them.

Now to the example of my hyperlink in the second paragraph. I linked the words, everything today's writer needs to know about links. I could have just said, I’ll cover everything in today’s post, and linked to today’s post.

I didn’t, because how often does someone search for the topic today’s post in a search engine?


That’s why I chose the words I did. This is a topic someone would type into a search engine. This will help the SEO of this particular post.

Now, this information should give you a head start when you work with hyperlinks. But there may be a specific question you have. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!




  1. The one I didn't know about was that you can grab part of another webpage and get the hyperlink. Edie, I ALWAYS learn something new from you! And yes, I shouted that. ;)

    1. Ane, Thank you for the shout out! I'm glad I was able to share something new. Thanks so much for stopping by, Blessings, E

  2. I'm waaaay behind on my reading Edie. This post is pure gold. Thanks for sharing it! VERY helpful.