WAIT! Don't LEAVE Me!!

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WAIT! Don't LEAVE me!!

We work very hard to get eyeballs on our blog posts and web sites, so then why are you sending people away once you get them?? You are not intentionally doing this, but if you aren't aware, you might in fact be doing this.

Whenever you are creating a hyperlink, you have two choices for what will happen when a person clicks on that link. Your link will either (a) use the same browser tab, or (b) open up in a new browser tab. There are two choices and you are in control. But how do you know which choice is correct in each case?

Let's consider the posts in the diagram below. The colored dots are different hyperlinks you have on your posts. Some dots are YELLOW where you will want the link to open in a new tab. There's one link shown that is a GREEN dot, that should open up in the same tab. As you look at the illustration, see if you understand which choice is best (new tab or same tab). Below the illustration, let's discuss why.

Now let's look at these cases.

Case 1/New Tab: You have a bunch of  links on a page so people can go read more about any given item if they follow the link. In this first case, you have another post giving more detailed information on the subject. However, the person reading the initial page has probably not completed reading your post all the way to the bottom. In this case, send them to the additional page in a NEW tab. That way, if they head to the other page immediately, they can see your first page again later (since the tab was never closed). There was more good information on that original page that they might also want to see. If you don't leave the original tab open, you are depending on them to click the back button after leaving, which they may or may not do.

Case 2 & Case 3/New Tab: Consider links on a page will take them entirely away from your website. ALWAYS open links to sites that aren't yours in a new tab. You want them to be able to go get more details. But don't turn your assistance for them into a ticket to leave you entirely. As such you would be left to hope that they remember to return. It's better to not do that!

Case 4/Same Tab: The times that you want to open links in the same tab are when you are (a) sending them to another page on your own site and (b) they are ready to move on (but willing to stay with you) Navigation elements will open in the same tab (navigation elements are in the top menu and footer, or sidebar) or if you are giving them a link to related page(s) and the end of the post that they have just completed reading. In other words, they are done reading this page, what's next? Let your link open in the same tab.

Let's look at how to set link settings. The illustration below shows what it now looks like starting in WordPress v5 Gutenberg. You'll want to select the text that you want the link to anchor to then click the link button on the toolbar (or you can use the shortcut Ctrl+K/Command+K on Mac). After you set your link URL, you'll need to click the link settings button on the right to have the options flyout appear. Use the 'open in new tab' toggle to enable that option when required.

In ActiveRain, the technique is very similar. Select your anchor text, use the toolbar button for a link (or use the Ctrl+K/Command+K shortcut).  As shown in the illustration below, the target list will allow you to set the target as 'New window' when you need that option.


Adding hyperlinks on our pages is helpful as we can guide our visitors on to more pages where they can get their questions answered. However, we want to be aware and smart about when we are linking to other pages. Should we send them to a new tab, or should we use the same tab. After today, this answer should be clarified!

Working smarter with technology - Craig's Classroom gets you there!
What do you want to learn next? (link opens in same window) ---->   ; )

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

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  1. Peter Mohylsky, The Beach is closed but I am open. 02/16/2020 04:48 AM
  2. Roy Kelley 02/26/2020 01:00 AM
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Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Thanks for sharing!

Whenever you are creating a hyperlink, you have two choices for what will happen when a person clicks on that link. Your link will either (a) use the same browser tab, or (b) open up in a new browser tab. There are two choices and you are in control.

Feb 16, 2020 04:22 AM #6
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Great explanation, Craig. I do all my links in new windows even those that go to another page or site of mine (that way they are on my site twice). I know I prefer that when I'm clicking on links in someone else's site.

Feb 16, 2020 04:45 AM #7
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

This is great advice and I always prefer it when it opens up a new page when I click on a link, especially if I am not done reading the post.

Feb 16, 2020 05:58 AM #8
Mark and Laura Anderson
Realty Group - White Bear Lake, MN
Common Name - Uncommon Service

Whew, we've been doing it correctly all along.  Great information and a great reminder. Thank you so much! 

Feb 16, 2020 05:59 AM #9
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Teacher: You get an electronic apple for this....

Feb 16, 2020 08:17 AM #10
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

You make an excellent point about the importance of choosing the right box for opening new windows, rather than replacing our's, Craig.

Feb 16, 2020 08:58 AM #11
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

CONGRATULATIONS Craig, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Feb 16, 2020 08:58 AM #12
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

You're a brainiac!

Feb 16, 2020 10:04 AM #13
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Bookmarked for further reading into this article. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on links within an article and how they work for you as the article writer. Have a blessed day

Feb 16, 2020 10:44 AM #14
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I always choose "new tab" when I have the option to choose.

Feb 16, 2020 12:18 PM #15
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

This is a great explanation of why/when to use new/same tabs. I didn't know how to choose this in wordpress, so thank you!

Feb 17, 2020 05:54 AM #17
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

HI Craig - I get what you're saying, it just seems safer to always direct to a new tab. But I will consider more carefully in the future how I do them.

Feb 17, 2020 08:28 AM #18
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

As usual great advice, never thought of changing the links depending on where they are in the post if going to my own information. Good thought.

Feb 17, 2020 12:20 PM #19
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Minor detail and yet SO important. Keep those people on your site. Well done and congrats on the feature! Don't let those people get away! 

Feb 17, 2020 03:04 PM #20
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Craig:

Thanks for the link education. I've saved this to read and think about some more. So glad you are active again and sharing your wisdom!


Feb 17, 2020 09:19 PM #21
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

I'll avoid all the confusion and simply hire a professional webmaster, but, excellent illustrations.

Feb 17, 2020 10:42 PM #22
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Thanks for pointing this out, and I'm glad that the default here at AR is to open a new window or tab.

Feb 18, 2020 07:42 PM #23
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

What an informative post! You have so much knowledge on this! Thank you for sharing! Bookmarked!

Feb 19, 2020 12:29 AM #24
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and your advice.

Feb 22, 2020 10:18 AM #25
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

The smart way to link glad I stopped in 

Feb 23, 2020 01:33 PM #26
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Craig Daniels

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