Link building is a vital part of SEO. Building quality backlinks can help you gain higher search rankings, improve your domain authority, and improve traffic. But you can’t talk about link building without highlighting the importance of using effective anchor text. So, what is anchor text and what role does it play in SEO?
What Is Anchor Text?
Anchor text is the clickable text that is hyperlinked to a webpage or a website. It describes the web page or website it is linking to.
What Does Anchor Text Look Like?
Anchor text is text with an underline and by default blue in color (although the color of anchor text can be changed via HTML codes). This text is hyperlinked that directs to another web page. In HTML, the first part of the code is the URL, whereas the second part is the anchor text describing the link. Here’s what an anchor text code looks like:
<a href=”http://www.myexamplesite.com”>My Anchor Text</a>
How Anchor Text Impacts SEO
The anchor text on a website has a significant impact on its search engine ranking. Google uses these anchor texts to figure out what the page is related to and which keywords it should rank for.
In addition, anchor text provides clues about the targeted web page to the search engines. They help the search engines in indexing the page and rank them. Anchor text will send a subtle signal even if it isn’t clicked, meaning that the anchor text is backed by proof on the other site.
The use of anchor text with care will make your content more reader-friendly, which will boost the search rankings. Anchor text informs users of what to expect when they click the anchor text link. When scanning a page, it helps attract the reader’s eye across the page, allowing them to keep scrolling.
Types of Anchor Text
Using anchor text is not as simple as just highlighting and hyperlinking words. Before proceeding with an anchor text strategy, one must consider and thoroughly evaluate the various types of anchor text available.
1. Generic Anchor Text
Generic anchor text refers to the standard and common usage of simple text to link one web destination to another. ‘Click here’ or ‘visit this page’ are examples of generic anchor text. One should avoid using these generic anchor text; otherwise, the site users will be left guessing.
2. Exact Match
This type of anchor text uses the exact keyword targeted for the linked website as it is. Although earning some exact match anchors is significant, Google also monitors these links and can penalize the website for spam if there are too many.
3. Partial Match
This type of anchor text uses a part of the targeted website’s keyword. The focus is to create a readable anchor text using a variant of the keyword. These keywords can be used along with some other generic, stop words or random but related phrases.
Branded anchors use the company’s name or brand name as the text. This anchor text directly targets a website’s homepage or any other pillar page. Branded anchors are great in building recognition and a decent bet for not being flagged as spam.
5. Naked URLs
Naked URLs refer to raw anchor text containing the URL as it would appear in the browser. This does not contain any text but the link itself. Depending on the context, this type of anchor isn’t really user-friendly and is not helpful in most instances.
The alt text of an image linked to another website is the anchor text. Search engines use the alt text as an anchor text. Image anchors are beneficial since they diversify the anchor text profile. Also, they can improve the SEO for Google images.
7. Brand + Keywords
These types of anchor texts contain both the brand name as well as the targeted keyword. This combination of text will help to optimize for the keyword without appearing spammy to the search engines and Google while they also help to create brand awareness.
Anchors with non-specific or generic phrases are known as random anchor texts. They don’t have the desired keyword in them and not even any elements or variants of it. For instance, random anchor texts could be anything and subjective based on the target keywords for each page.
Anchor Text Best Practices
Anchor text aims to influence keyword rankings in order to increase a website’s traffic. Therefore, when it comes to the best practices to be followed for anchor text, maintain the same for anchor optimization and density.
1. Let the Anchor Text Naturally Flow into the Content
Never try to overload or force the anchor text, especially if it is not making sense to that particular website or web section. Include the anchor text in the content in a natural way. Stop terms like “the,” “is,” “and” are acceptable and will not change the context of the keyword.
2. Incorporate Anchor Text Variation
Always use a variety of anchor texts across the website, with an emphasis on branded anchors first. There is no set percentage ratio of using different anchors. Scan some of the top websites in your field to look at their outgoing and incoming anchors.
3. Powerful Backlinks with excellent Anchor Text
The importance of backlinks from high-quality websites cannot be overstated. This demonstrates your website’s reliability, and that other websites aren’t afraid to use your brand as a source. Furthermore, focus on creating good content & sharing it on websites important to your niche to get these backlinks. Don’t forget to provide the anchor text you want those websites to use.
4. Link Finest Pages to the Anchor Text
Always link a page of your website with the anchor text that goes deep into the topic rather than just linking the homepage or pillar page. Because after reading great content, the visitors will be enticed to explore the rest of the website and might make a purchase from you.
5. Link the Websites of Top Players in your Niche
Link out high-quality websites relevant to your business niche with your site using appropriate anchor texts. Sites with unique content, growing traffic, and renowned brands are among them. Keep a balance of anchor text variety, placement, relevance, and distribution.
6. Optimizing the Backlinks
Keep an eye on your backlinks to see how and where you can optimize them to improve the website’s performance. To begin with, you can use a free tool. Also, remember to not over-optimize with too many keywords in the anchor text.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Let’s address some of the most common questions about anchor text. Below are some frequently asked questions.
An anchor text is a clickable hyperlink text on a website that takes the user from that particular website to another. It basically anchors two separate web pages on the internet together.
2. How do I create an anchor text?
You can create anchor text in two ways. The first one is through your website’s content management system. For this, highlight the text which you want to link and then proceed towards the hyperlink option. Make sure to add the link to another web page in the hyperlink option. The second way is by adding an HTML code manually, just like the one shown earlier.
3. What is the most common type of anchor text?
The most commonly used anchor text in websites is the generic anchor. ‘Click here,’ ‘View more,’ ‘Read more,’ ‘Visit the page’ are some examples of generic anchor text.
4. Why is anchor text important to SEO?
Anchor texts make the site structure more apparent to the search engines, thereby being a critical SEO aspect. They assist search engines in ensuring that you are not engaged in spammy activities and help them in determining the linked website’s context.
5. Why is it a good idea to use meaningful anchor text?
A meaningful and relevant anchor text will spark good interest in the website users. This will help drive more traffic to the website and boost the SEO results. At the same time, a meaningless anchor text presents itself as an unworthy text to be crawled or clicked on. A visitor should have a solid reason to proceed towards another web page/website via an anchor text.
Anchor Text is an important element of your SEO strategy. However, you must be careful not to manipulate your anchor links. Google is smarter than you think and it can penalize you for unnatural links. Create anchor links that are helpful for your audience and good in Google’s eyes.