What Is Anchor Text in SEO and How Can It Be Optimized?

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Google analyzes various factors on a web page to better understand it, determine what it’s focus is and rank it. While there are hundreds of ranking factors used in its complex algorithms, one of the most important ones you can focus on is anchor text.

But what exactly is anchor text, and how can it be optimized for search engines?

What is Anchor Text?

Anchor text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. It’s a crucial part of on-page SEO because it tells crawlers to identify what the linked-to page is about, allowing it to understand the page better. It is often underlined and usually appears in blue but can be of any color according to the website design.

How to Add Anchor Text

When adding anchor text to your content, it’s essential to use keywords that accurately describe the page you’re linking to. This will help search engines and readers understand what the linked page is about and improve your click-through rate.

For example, if you have a blog post about the best cameras for vlogging. In that post, you can link to a page on your website that sells cameras. The anchor text, in that case, could be “camera equipment for vlogging” or “vlogging cameras for sale.”

Using keyword-rich anchor text is also a good idea if you’re linking to an external website. However, you’ll also want to ensure that the website you’re linking to is relevant to your content.

For example, if you’re writing a blog post about travel photography, you should link to a website that sells camera equipment. But if that website doesn’t sell travel-related camera equipment, it will not be as relevant to your readers.

It’s also important to avoid linking to competing domains and pages when adding external links. You wouldn’t want to give away a free backlink to your competitors, right?

How Anchor Text Impacts SEO

Anchor text is essential for on-page SEO because it helps Google understand what a web page is about. Including keywords in your anchor text tells Google that those words are important and relevant to the page you’re linking to. 

If you’re trying to rank a page for a specific keyword, it’s recommended to use it in your anchor text. That way, when Google sees that keyword in your anchor text, they will know that it’s relevant to the page you’re linking to, and they’ll be more likely to rank that page for that keyword. 

Including keywords in your anchor text is just one of many factors that Google takes into account when determining where to rank a page, but it’s an important one to keep in mind.

The 8 Different Types of Anchor Text

Below, we highlight eight types of anchor texts for use in different circumstances.

Branded Links

The first type of anchor text is branded links. This is when your brand or company name is used as the link text. For example, Spacebar Collective’s branded anchor text would be “Spacebar Collective.”

Site Name

The second type of anchor text is site name links. This is when your website or blog name is used as the link text. For example, the site name link for Spacebar Collective would be “SpacebarCollective.com“.

Exact Keyword Match

The exact keyword match consists of the keyword phrase you are targeting used as the link text. If you target the keyword phrase “running shoes,” your exact keyword match anchor text would be “running shoes.”

Partial Keyword Match

Partial keyword match anchor text is similar to exact keyword match, but instead of using the exact keyword phrase, you would use a variation of that phrase. For example, if you are targeting the keyword phrase “running shoes,” your partial keyword match anchor text could be “best running shoes” or “cheap running shoes.”

Related Keywords

Related keywords are similar to the exact keyword match but not exact matches. For example, if you are targeting the keyword phrase “running shoes,” related keywords would be “joggers,” “athletic shoes,” and “tennis shoes.”

Navigational Links

Generic links are unanchored links that do not have any specific link text. They usually just say, “click here,” “read more,” or something similar.

URL “Naked” Links

URL “naked” links are when the URL itself is used as the link text. For example, the Spacebar Collective website is wwwsSpacebarcollective.com. So, the URL “naked” link would be www.spacebarcollective.com.

Article Title Link

Article title linking is when the title of an article or blog post is used as the link text. For example, if the title of a Spacebar Collective blog post is “The History of Spacebar Collective,” the article title link would be “The History of Spacebar Collective.”

Optimizing Anchor Texts for SEO

Having strong on-page SEO is a big portion of where you rank on search engines. Optimizing anchor text is an essential step to achieving higher rankings. Here are three steps to help you achieve a better ranking.

Include Anchor Links Naturally

Including anchor links naturally can be tricky, but getting them right is vital to improving your website’s search engine ranking. Here are a few tips to help you include anchor links naturally:

Use keyword-rich anchor text: If you want your website to rank higher for certain keywords, you’ll need to use those keywords in your anchor text. However, don’t go overboard – using too many keywords in your anchor text can hurt your ranking. Instead, focus on using a few relevant keywords throughout your content and ensure that they flow naturally with the rest of your text.

Make sure the links make sense: Your anchor text should always make sense in the context of your content. Don’t just randomly insert links into your text–make sure they fit in seamlessly with the rest of your writing.

If you’re unsure how to do this, consider using a tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner. This tool can help you find relevant keywords and phrases to use in your content and give you an idea of how often people are searching for those terms.

Use different anchor texts for different keywords: If you’re targeting multiple keywords with your anchor text, make sure you use different ones for each keyword. This helps avoid over-optimizing your anchor text, which can hurt your ranking. Instead, focus on using relevant keywords and phrases throughout your content to ensure that your website is optimized for all of them.

Make Sure Anchor Texts Match and Are Relevant

It’s important to ensure that your anchor text is relevant to the page you’re linking to. If your anchor text doesn’t match the page you’re linking to, it could hurt your SEO, increase your bounce rate, and lose your potential customers. Here’s how to make sure your anchor text is relevant and optimizes your SEO:

Use keyword-rich anchor text: If you want your website to rank for a certain keyword, use that keyword in your anchor text. This tells Google what your website is about and helps you rank for that keyword.

Ensure your anchor text is relevant to the page you’re linking to: If you’re linking to a page about blog writing, your anchor text should be relevant to that page. Using unrelated anchor text could hurt your SEO.

Use descriptive anchor text: Descriptive anchor text tells users and search engines what the linked-to page is about. For example, if you’re linking to a page about internal links for SEO, your anchor text could be “internal links for SEO,” “optimizing internal linking,” or “internal links best practices.” This helps users and search engines understand what the linked-to page is about.

Avoid using generic anchor text: Generic anchor text is unhelpful to users and doesn’t give search engines any information about the linked-to page. Examples of generic anchor text include “click here,” “read more,” and “www.” Stick to using descriptive anchor text that’s relevant to the linked-to page.

Use different anchor texts for different pages: Using the exact anchor text for every link on your website looks spammy to search engines and isn’t helpful to users. Vary your anchor text so that it’s always relevant and descriptive.

Don’t Overdo It

It’s essential to focus on creating quality content relevant to your target audience when optimizing your website for SEO. One of the most common mistakes made by website owners is over-optimizing their anchor text to improve their search engine rankings.

If you stuff your anchor text with too many keywords, it will be flagged as spam by Google. This can hurt your rankings and send your website into a tailspin from which it may never recover.

Here are a few tips for using anchor text without over-optimizing:

Use keyword-rich anchor text sparingly: If you must use a keyword in your anchor text, ensure it’s relevant to the page you’re linking to and doesn’t appear too often on the page. A good rule of thumb is to use your keywords in no more than 2% of your total anchors.

Don’t use the same anchor text all the time. Mix things up by using different anchor text for different links. For example, if you’re linking to your home page, you might use the anchor text “click here,” “visit our website,” or “learn more.”

Use brand names and URLs. In addition to using natural language, you can also help your anchors look more natural by using your brand name or website URL as anchor text. For example, if your website is www.example.com, you could use the anchor text “example” or “www.example.com.”

Key Takeaways

We hope this article helped you understand anchor text’s importance and how it can be optimized. Here is what we covered in this article:

  • Anchor text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. It tells search engines what the linked-to page is about to understand the page better.
  • There are eight different types of anchor texts: branded links, site names, exact keyword match, partial keyword match, related keywords, generic links, URL “Naked” links, and article title links.
  • To optimize anchor text for SEO, include anchor texts naturally, ensure anchor texts match and are relevant, and don’t over-optimize anchor text.

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