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What is Anchor Text in SEO with Example

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Anchor texts have gained much relevance when it comes to the process of improving search engine optimization. This article covers the important aspects related to anchor text in detail. Ready to explore and learn?

 

Anchor Text Meaning in SEO

Anchor text is the visible and clickable text in a hyperlink that links a webpage to another webpage. As per SEO best practices anchor text should be an integral part of your SEO strategy.

For the best SEO results, the Anchor text should also be relevant to the page you’re linking to, rather than a generic text.

On general sense, Achor Text is characterised by the blue, underlined text links on a webpage. This is the most common web standard, although it is possible to change the colour and underlining through HTML code.

What is anchor text on a website?

Anchor text is the visible and clickable text in a hyperlink. It is used to link one web page to another and it usually appears as a blue underlined text. It is also known as link label, link text or link title. Anchor texts are, basically, keywords that lead us to the content of the targeted site. it provides information about the link’s destination.

anchor text example
Anchor Text Example

Here is an example of an anchor text.

<a href= “http://www.example.com ”>cheap cake<a>

Here ‘cheap cake’ is the anchor text for the link.

Anchor element “a”

An anchor element tag is the letter “a” surrounded by angle brackets. <a>

Both the opening and closing content is required. The content between the anchor tags makes up the anchor source.

Types of anchor text

There are many anchor text types or variations. Following is a brief description about each one of them.

1) Exact match –

Anchor text is the exact keyword or phrase that a page wants to target. For example, suppose you are Bakers.com, and you sell cakes. You are trying to get a ranking for the keyword “cheap cakes.” So, when you set up your anchors, an exact match anchor would be “cheap cakes”.

2) Phrase match –

anchor text contains the keyword for which a page wants to rank. For example, “best cheap cakes”.

3) Partial match –

Anchor text has all the words but not in the form of an exact phrase. It has the primary keywords, but there’s little variation as well. So, your anchor would be something like “cheap de la cakes”.

4) Branded –

Anchor text is the name of a page’s brand and is totally unrelated to the keywords that the page is trying to rank for. In your case, the branded anchor would be “Bakers”.

5) Naked URL –

Anchor text is totally raw and the same as it would appear in a browser. These are naked link anchors. It’s just the URL. Example, “bakers.com/cheap-cakes”.

6) Random –

Anchor text is a generic and unspecific phrase which lacks the keyword. It is completely unrelated to the page you’re linking to. For example, using phrases like “click here”, “visit website” etc.

7) Image links –

Anchor text is an image which works as a link. There’s an alt tag. Suppose you have a picture of a vanilla Bakers cake. The alt tag that you will use will be “vanilla Bakers cake”.

Importance of Anchor Text in SEO

Anchor text plays an important role in influencing your ranking. It gives a strong idea to the search engines as well as your audience about the page you’re linking to. Anchor texts should be contextually relevant. It also gives credibility to the page you’re linking to. Anchor text is very important while developing a link building strategy. It can also initiate documents and link to various documents.

Best SEO practices for anchor text

Anchor text is one of the ranking factors for SEO. Here is a list of good anchor text strategy for SEO

  1. Make sure anchor words are relevant – relevance is the key. Pick anchors are important for the link. It helps in creating a positive experience for your audience. Avoid using random words for anchors.
  2. Wise distribution of anchor text – there should be a proper ratio between all anchors.
  3. Short anchor text – it should be relevant and without too many words. Search engines might find long anchor text difficult to understand.
  4. Format links properly – it should be a convenient process for the users to spot the link. You should try including colourful links which can be easily differentiated from the rest of the text.
  5. Surrounding text is important – your audience might read the surrounding words around your anchor text. So, you must avoid using the same anchor words throughout the text.
  6. Branded anchor text – they are more relevant when it comes to getting a higher rank for your page.

Strategies related to anchor text that must be avoided

  1. Don’t use the URL of the page as the anchor text.
  2. Avoid using generic terms like ‘click here’, ‘this’, ‘read more’ etc. They don’t provide enough ideas to search engines on what the linked page is about.
  3. Avoid using text that is not connected to the content of the linked page.
  4. Try to avoid using exact match keywords.
  5. Avoid low-quality links. Concentrate on the links that matter.
  6. Avoid earning links from toxic sites.

Anchor Text Internal Links SEO

Well, generally Internal links connect your site content and give Google an idea of the structure of your website.

Internal link anchor text gives a sense of the topic or keywords the source page is trying to target. Internal linking with appropriate Anchor Text helps Google understand the intent of such a page.

Anchor Text Ratio for SEO

Anchor texts should be based on the type of link. You need to build links the way they are intended. Now, you don’t need a perfect natural ratio of various types of anchors. There’s no need of always linking to brand names.

For your homepage SEO, your backlink profile should break like this:

  1. 80% to 90% should fall in the Brand, Natural and URL anchor.
  2. 10% should fall in the key phrases mixed into anchor categories.
  3. 5% falls in the exact match anchor category.

Inner page profile

On your inner page, this is how your anchor text profile should break down:

  1. 35% to 45% should fall in the key Brand, Natural, URL category.
  2. 50% to 60% should fall in the key phrases mixed into the anchor category.
  3. 10% should fall in the exact match anchor category.

You need to understand what you want to target. You should try to create a natural distribution for your anchor text scheme.

Anchor Text and the Google Penguin Update

On September 23, 2016, the face of SEO changed when Google released its Penguin update. This update penalises those websites that use exact match anchor text too frequently. However, according to the update, it should be below 50% exact match anchor text and, in some cases, even below that. Therefore, it is convenient to use a mix of different anchor texts

Anchor Text Over Optimisation

Anchor text over optimisation can easily be avoided by following certain rules. Keep in mind these simple steps and all your problems will be gone.

  1. It is very important to link out to websites that you trust.
  2. You can link to a website using the brand name.
  3. Try to use a variety of anchor text types.
  4. Review your link profile properly. A profile with only exact match keywords is not preferable.

Anchor Text Generator Online

Gaining access to anchor text generators is relevant for SEO. They are tools that give you the ideas for building links to your site. Focus on tools that will make your search engine optimization results better. Following is a list of some of the tools that might help you in improving your anchor SEO:

1 Google Analytics

It is free to use and easy to set up. It helps you in creating powerful reports. Your website ranking efforts improve this way.

2 Google Webmaster tools

It is one of the most important tools and is absolutely free. It shares with you a wide variety of keywords that people will ultimately search for. There’s a section which focuses on links. There are other sections like crawl errors, sitemaps, robot.txt.

3 Google Keyword Planner

You can come across the best keywords in your niche through this tool. You can also create AdWords campaigns quickly and easily.

4 SEOJet Anchor Text HTML Code Generator

It is an anchor text generation software. It looks at your backlink profile and gives a personalized plan in order to succeed in Google.

5 Linkio

It provides its users with an effective plan based on the data it discovers. It helps you in knowing the best anchor text in order to improve your anchor SEO.

6 WooRank: Anchor Text Checker Tool

It has the ability to create a customised report in a very less time. It informs you about your top priorities and provides a good geodata.

7 Mozbar

It provides you valuable insight into domain authority, link analysis and search result rankings. It can help you to improve your website SEO to a great extent.

8 SEOWorkers tool

This is a very effective analysis tool because it helps you to plug a website URL and it also generates a quick report for you. It provides ample supply of data.

9 Remove’em: Anchor Text Over Optimization tool

This tool is used to identify your anchor text diversity and highlight those areas where you are at risk for anchor text over-optimization. If you find that you are over-optimized for specific keywords or keyword phrases, you should consider modifying the anchor text of specific links to focus more on your brand or remove backlinks that are using that specific anchor text.

These tools will, certainly, help you in improving your rankings in the search engines.

Conclusion

Anchor texts have always proved to be important for improving SEO for any website. Just make sure that you use relevant anchors because that will send positive signals to Google’s crawlers.

As mentioned earlier also, improve your variation strategy. Follow the simple steps and you are ready. Your anchor text strategy will grow and that will boost your SEO.

What are you waiting for?

FAQ’s

Branding & Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of BrandLoom Consulting (A $1m startup). Help companies generate more revenue through digital marketing and branding. Growth Driver of Large Global Companies and Successful Startups. Built Sustainable & Profitable Businesses for over 100 Brands during 18 years long global career. Speaker at CII, CITI, ASSOCHAM and several prominent Industry Forums. Covered by TOI, ET, The Hindu, Silicon India, The CEO and many publications.

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