To put it in simple words, an anchor text is any clickable text that sends you to a different web page on the same website or another website. Optimizing anchor text is of utmost importance for better Search engine ranking. In this post, let us learn more about anchor text, types of anchor texts, ways to optimize anchor texts, etc.

What Is Anchor Text?

In a hyperlink, the visible text is the anchor text. Navigating from one website to other websites or web pages becomes easy due to Anchor text. Anchor text is the connector between two separate web pages or websites.

It stands out differently from other texts. Underlined anchor text standard color is blue. What if you want to change the color? You can do that too through HTML code.

Anchor text is regarded as a ranking element. It helps to improve the website user experience. It gives the website a very good idea about the relevant anchor text links. For On-Page SEO, keyword-rich anchors help in optimizing the content.

Internal and External Links

The links that connect different pages on your website are called internal links. They enhance your website in many ways.

Internal links enhance the usability and navigation of the site. They play an important role in helping search engines to find, index, and understand your website content.

External links point the users to a different site from the source website. Keeping track of external links becomes difficult as the site owner gets to decide which third-party sites to connect with.

Nothing is impossible. You can manipulate external anchor links to manage your external links using link-building strategies. For creating an excellent anchor text profile, using both internal and external links are valuable.

Let’s learn more about the different processes. When you build links through guest posts on other sites, etc., it is called link building. The process of creating internal links is called internal linking.

Types of Anchor Text

There are different types of anchor text. Let’s discuss them in detail.

Exact-Match Anchor Text

The word itself tells us that the anchor text is the exact same as the term that matches the page that you want to link.

After doing Keyword Research, you will get to know target keywords and you will rank for those keywords. The exact match anchor text is the target keyword.

For example, I want to get a page that ranks the product summer tops.

An exact match anchor for my page on Summer tops would be, “Summer Tops”

Partial-Match Anchor Text

You collaborate the target keyword with other keywords while using partial match anchor text. It is very closely related to exact match anchor text.

It consists of a primary keyword but also consists of more words placed before or after it. Partial match anchor text is also called Long-tail anchor text.

So, if my primary word is “beautiful dresses”. I would use the same URL which points towards the “beautiful dresses” page, but the anchor tag would be “cheap beautiful dresses,” “beautiful dresses for sale” or “beautiful dresses for girls”.

The primary keyword is beautiful dresses, here you can see a variation, and this anchor text becomes a partial match.

Branded-Anchor Text

When you use your brand or company name as a keyword you want to rank, it is called Branded-Anchor Text.

The URL will be the same and I will rank number 1 on Google for “beautiful dresses.”

I will use a branded anchor text ” Zara”. I am linking to the same document but the anchor text here is “Zara”.

Image Anchor

We can compare the CTA. In this case, we will use an anchor text.

If the image is hyperlinked, search engine crawlers will find an alt tag instead of an anchor text.

Alt tag shows what exactly the image is about to the search engines.

For example: On my site, if I wish to link a page, let us consider “Zara.com/beautiful dresses”. I have some pictures of blue beautiful dresses (“Zara.gif”). Blue Beautiful dresses will be the alt tag.

Naked URLs

If the anchor text does not consist of any exact keyword match, partial match, brand name, etc. Then they are called naked link anchors.

“Zara/beautiful-dresses” is the URL and the anchor text is the same as the URL.

Certain websites do not allow an anchor text and they compel you to use a naked URL. You must be familiar with YouTube. In the YouTube descriptions, only naked anchor text is allowed. Make sure you remember this.

Generic Anchor Text

In generic anchor text, the text and the anchor text are completely unrelated. You must have seen “click here,” “learn more” more often, right? It is a type of generic anchor text.

If you are creating an account on a website. Anchor texts like “visit website” or “sign up” can be seen.

Natural Anchor Text Vs. Unnatural Anchor Text

The anchor text is regarded as “natural,” if it isn’t a commercial keyword term.

You might have come across various terms such as:

  • “Visit Us”
  • “Click Here”
  • “Know More”
  • “See More”
  • “Visit this website!”
  • “Contact Us”

All these terms are examples of natural anchor text. This anchor text provides more information and hence the user should not hesitate to click on this link.

Brand anchor texts can be regarded as a natural anchor texts for link building. While shopping for any product online, you may have seen some phrases with a hyperlink like the following:

“Visit ABC.com for more information.”

Click on “XYZ.com to know more.”

“Check out TheStore.com for the product.”

It is the real way to encourage users so that they visit web pages relevant to their search query.

What is unnatural anchor text? One way anchor text backlinks, excessive anchor text are termed as unnatural anchor text.

Penguin algorithm and other advanced technologies identify websites whose anchors are solely affecting the SERP rankings.

Search engines find unusual and exact match anchor text. Search engines notice that the information is not beneficial to the readers but is used to optimize the site. As a result, Google penalizes both the linking site and the linked site.

How to Optimize Anchor Text for SEO?

Anchor text optimization is important for getting effective results. The BERT update! Google releases it in October 2019, it utilizes natural language processing in order to rank websites. Is it something relevant to the Anchor text? Well, we cannot be 100% sure as Google’s algorithm keeps on changing and is secured completely. Google pays attention to the context around anchors. Google crawlers scan and even consider the words or sentences around the anchor text. Google makes it a priority to give a good user experience and answer all the search queries. Marketer and Google are similar in this way then! Optimizing anchor text creates better results for all.

Use Relevant Anchor Words

Relevancy is essential. It may look spammy if you over-optimize exact match anchors.

Google uses anchor text as a medium to understand the information of the web pages and decides how important are they to rank. Use anchor texts relevant to your link, after all a positive reader experience is crucial.

If you choose any random words just for the variations, it may seem like clickbait, and readers may not attract more readers.

Segregate Different Types of Anchor Text Wisely

Being random can be good for anchor texts. You may want to go for 30% to 40% branded anchors or partial match anchor text, 20% to 40% of naked, random, exact match, generic, etc.

Check out the top sites in your niche. You can get an idea of outgoing and incoming anchor texts.

Keep Your Eyes On Surrounding Text

Google’s algorithm tweaks in accordance with natural human language and the surrounding context. If you want to read a cake recipe, you will look at the anchor text just to decide whether to click or not. At the same time, you will read the sentences or paragraphs under the hyperlink, isn’t it?

It is seen that many marketers forget to include an entire sentence in the anchor text. However, it is worth adding it. The Google bots scan the anchor text as well as the complete sentence.

Avoid using the same anchor words in the body although you are linking to several websites every time. This is considered over-optimization and you can get penalized.

Don’t Forget Your Image Alt Tags

There are a few reasons why Image ALT tags are important. They function as anchor text. They help visually impaired readers to understand the image.

Google bots get to know about the image. Image ALT tags are very much descriptive and natural. Google caught keyword stuffing, hence keeping the keywords very minimum.

Engage in Guest Blogging

Some consider guest blogging as an aspect of an anchor and link-building strategy. Guest Blogging should not be done to stuff keywords and backlinks.

On the other side, a proven way to enhance anchors and SEO is to guest blog from websites with relevancy and high authority. Focus on authoritative sites relatable to your industry only.

Why Care About it?

Determining relevance is possible with the use of Anchor text. Suppose, if your website is frequently getting links with high quality containing anchor text “skincare product”. Google is going to assume that your site is about skincare products. Previously to rank a particular website, you have to deliver a lot of links with exact match keywords that you wish to rank. Then came the Penguin Came.

The Penguin algorithm was started on April 24, 2012. It targets backlink manipulation. The Penguin Came looks down upon the link quality and the anchor text pointing to your site. There are chances of your website getting penalized if the anchor text distribution is not realistic.Including anchor text in the URL give a rise to the rankings, but if you overdo it, it may lead to the downfall of your website.

Conclusion

Never miss out on anchor text. You can’t even imagine how anchor text can make wonders. Anchor text is one of the aspects good for SEO’s health. Use different types of anchor text according to your need but do not overuse it. Develop your link building strategy while keeping the best anchor text practices.