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How to hyperlink in Gmail

How to hyperlink in Gmail

6
min read

Do you ever want to email someone a link without including a super long, annoying URL in your message? That’s what hyperlinks are for. 

A hyperlink in a Gmail draft

A hyperlink includes anchor text or a graphic that contains a URL and directs you to a webpage when you click on it. 

You’ll typically recognize hyperlinks because they turn the “linkified” anchor text blue, although each site can specify the color of their hyperlinks. You’ll also find hyperlinks as images and buttons all over most websites (including several on this page).  

Adding hyperlinks to emails makes it easier for your recipients to understand and reach the web pages you want them to view. Since a hyperlink is a word or image, your recipient better understands what to expect when they click on it.

Use this guide to learn how to hyperlink in Gmail, plus how to track audience engagement with your links. 

How to hyperlink in Gmail on desktop 

Using the desktop version is your best option to include a hyperlink in Gmail. Follow these steps:

  1. Click “Compose” to start writing a new email in Gmail.
  2. Type out your message, including the text you want to hyperlink. 
  3. Highlight the text you want to act as the anchor text — the words your recipient clicks on to reach your included link.

highlight the text you want to linkify

In this example, “helpful article” will be the anchor text for the hyperlink. Choose a descriptive word or phrase that’s not too long (less than five words) so your audience knows in a split-second what the link is. 

  1. With your anchor text still highlighted, select the hyperlink button from the menu at the bottom of the screen.
  1. A new window pops up, allowing you to edit your link. The text you highlighted will appear in the “Text to display” box. You can edit it in this box if you want to use different anchor text. 
  1. Copy the URL of the page you want to send to your email recipient(s). Paste the URL in the second box labeled “To what URL should this link go?” 
  1. Check whether the link works properly by clicking “Test this link.” If everything looks good, click “OK” to create your hyperlink. 
  2. The anchor text in your email draft will now be blue and underlined, indicating that it’s an active hyperlink. Click on the text to change or remove the hyperlink or go to the link. 
preview your hyperlink
  1. Send your email as usual. Your recipients can click on the hyperlink to see the page you linked. 

How to hyperlink in the Gmail mobile app

If you want to add a hyperlink while using the Gmail mobile app on your phone or tablet, you have to use a somewhat convoluted workaround. 

For whatever reason, Google doesn’t currently include a dedicated hyperlink feature in the Gmail mobile app. Here’s hoping they’ll add that option in an update sometime soon.

Until then, follow these steps on how to hyperlink in Gmail on the mobile app:

  1. Open the Gmail mobile app and begin drafting a new email. 
  2. Copy the URL of the page you want to share and paste it at the end of the message. 
  1. Here’s where things get a little ridiculous — you have to close out of your email draft and go back into it to get the URL to hyperlink. Don’t worry; Gmail saves your drafts automatically, so everything you wrote will still be there when you open the draft again. 
  1. Now, type the words you want to use as anchor text somewhere within that hyperlinked URL.

 

In this example, we used “super interesting post.” Try to come up with descriptive anchor text that sounds more natural than that in your emails!

  1. Delete all of the hyperlinked text except the anchor text you just added. Now, you have your hyperlink — just in the wrong place.
  2. Cut and paste the hyperlink wherever you want it in your email. 

If this whole process sounds frustrating and unnecessarily time-consuming, that’s because it is. We recommend drafting emails with hyperlinks on your desktop to avoid the hassle. 

How to hyperlink an image

A hyperlink doesn’t necessarily have to be text — sometimes, hyperlinking an image is the better option. Including images in your emails is a great way to capture your audience’s attention. Turn pictures into clickable hyperlinks to redirect that attention toward the web pages you want your email recipients to visit. All they have to do is click on the images. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Gmail on your desktop and compose a new email. 
  2. Insert your image into the draft by copying and pasting it or using the “Insert photo” option.
  1. Click and drag over the image in your email draft to highlight it. Don’t simply click on the image to select it — that won’t work here. 
  2. Click the “Insert link” button at the bottom of the screen to add a hyperlink to the picture.
  1. Now, click on the image to view the hyperlink options. You’ll see that the link defaults to the image’s file name. Click “Change” to add a URL to the image. 
  1. Paste the URL of the web page you want your audience to view in the second box. Leave the “Text to display” box blank, and click “OK” to create your hyperlinked image.
  1. When you click on the image in your email draft, you’ll see the option to go to the link you included. Verify that everything looks correct and send your message.

When your recipients open the email, all they’ll have to do is click on the hyperlinked image to go to that link. 

How to add a hyperlink in your Gmail signature

If you have a link that you always want your email recipients to see (like a link to your company’s website, for instance), consider adding it to your Gmail signature. That way, the link will appear in all the emails you send alongside the rest of your email signature. 

  1. Start by logging into your Gmail account on your desktop and clicking the settings icon on the top right-hand side of the page. Then, click “See all settings.”
  1. In the General tab, scroll down until the Signature section of Settings. If you already have an email signature you want to add a hyperlink to, click the name of that signature. If not, click “Create new” to draft a new signature. 
  1. In the textbox, type the text you want to include in your email signature, including your desired anchor text for your hyperlink. Highlight this anchor text.
  1. Click the “Insert link” button in the toolbar and paste the URL of the page you want the hyperlink to take recipients to. Click “OK” to create the hyperlink.
  2. The email signature preview will update with the hyperlinked text. 
  1. If you’re happy with the signature, scroll down in Settings and click “Save Changes.”

Track when recipients open your email links with Streak

Including hyperlinks will elevate your emails and make them more professional, but with Gmail alone, you won’t know if your recipients actually open those links. Streak changes that with link tracking in Gmail.

Streak makes it possible to track when and how often your email recipients open the links you include. Just add a hyperlink to your email using any of the methods above to use this feature. Then, click on your hyperlink to pull up the menu. If you have the Streak extension installed (with a Solo plan or higher), you’ll see the option to track clicks on that link. Toggle this feature on or off for individual links here. 

With link tracking enabled, you can go back into any email thread and see if or when your recipient opened the included links.

Having this information is invaluable when you’re trying to determine how engaging and impactful your email messages are. Compare email views and link open rates to find winning messages.

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