Adding links to autocomplete fields

How to link to other Mass.gov pages using autocomplete fields.

Before you start

If content already exists on Mass.gov, it's best to link to that content rather than recreate a similar version. This helps make sure that content is always up to date since it's the single source of truth. It also helps the content's Search Engine Optimization (SEO) since it's not competing with similar pages.

If the content is owned by another author, try reaching out to them if you need information updated or revised.

Overview

When referring to other Mass.gov pages, link to them by filling in the autocomplete fields with their page title instead of pasting the URL. This will prevent broken links if the page title ever changes.

Linking to a Mass.gov page

To link to a Mass.gov page:

  1. Begin typing the page title in the URL field.

  2. Select the page you want from the drop-down menu.

  3. Don’t add any link text unless you want something other than the page title to display.

Following these guidelines will prevent broken links and create relationship indicators, or breadcrumbs, on linked pages. This helps a user navigate seamlessly through related content while also improving your Findability score.

Note: Some autocomplete fields limit which types of Mass.gov pages can be linked there. The help text will note when these restrictions are in place. Don’t copy/paste a Mass.gov URL into these fields.

Linking to an external page

You can add links to external pages to most autocomplete fields, just remember to add descriptive link text.

To link to an external page:

  1. Paste the URL into the URL field.

  2. Add a title in the link text field. The text you enter here is what a user will see on the page, so it’s best to think of this as anchor text and be sure it represents the page it leads to.

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