What is anchor text?

Anchor text refers to the clickable text within a hyperlink. It typically appears underlined and in a different color from the surrounding text to indicate its unique status. While it may appear to be a basic navigation feature, it serves a vitally important role in SEO rankings. Well-optimized anchor text provides search engines with context and relevancy signals that boost the visibility of your content.

What is anchor text?

Why is anchor text important?

Anchor text is a critical part of SEO ranking your website. The keyphrases give context for search engines and readers of what type of webpage the link leads to. For example, if the anchor text in a link leading to a webpage is “chocolate chip cookies,” that shows search engines like Google that you’re linking to a site about chocolate chip cookies. Once this happens a few more times for that site, Google will realize that the site likely discusses chocolate chip cookies. The phrase “Chocolate chip cookies” offers greater SEO than vague text like “See more here.”

The strategic use of anchor text can also boost the credibility and trustworthiness of your content. When it links to reputable and authoritative sources, it enhances the credibility of your brand by showing you’ve done your research.

What are some types of anchor text?

What are some types of anchor text?

There are various anchor text keyphrases, each with advantages and disadvantages.

  • Exact match: The anchor matches the content of the page you’re linking to exactly. For example, if you’re linking to a page on “gluten-free cookies,” that would also be your anchor text.
  • Phrase match: The anchor includes the keyphrase but isn’t an exact match. You would use something like “best gluten-free cookies” or “easy gluten-free cookies.”
  • Partial match: The anchor includes alternative phrasing to the keyphrase. You might use “gluten-free cookies with chocolate chips.”
  • Branded: The anchor includes a brand name. Maybe you’re talking about re-creating Nabisco’s cookies, so “Nabisco” is your anchor text.
  • Naked URL: The anchor is the URL, which isn’t typically effective. Example: “Check out our website at www.CookieKings.com.”
  • Call-to-action: The anchor text prompts the user to take a specific action like “Order your first gluten-free cookies today!”
  • Image link: The anchor text is associated with an image and serves as alternative text. “Click the image below to watch the video tutorial.”
  • Generic text: The anchor is undescriptive wording, like “Click here for more.” This method is also not typically effective or recommended, as it won’t help your SEO efforts or provide a good user experience.

Using for navigation

While anchor text is a fantastic SEO tool, it is, first and foremost, a means of navigation. On the most basic level, it should provide users with a clear indication of where a link will take them.

Internal links are the priority. We want our users to spend as much time exploring our amazing content and services as possible. By linking relevant keywords or phrases within your content to other pages on your website, you can guide users to related or additional information, improve navigation, and distribute link equity across your site.

External navigation links should focus on high-quality sites that provide context and credibility. Be mindful that these links open in a new tab to make it easy for your reader to continue their time on your site.

SEO best practices

SEO best practices

The devil is in the details regarding effectively using anchor text. Selecting the right keyphrase to hyperlink can make or break your SEO ranking. Here are some best practices to employ when creating your selections.

  • Be descriptive: Ensure your anchor text accurately describes the linked page’s content. Users are likelier to click a link if they know what to expect.
  • Keep it natural: Anchor text should flow naturally within the context of your content. Yes, we want to be smart about tagging our content, but over-stuffing our keywords can be seen as spammy. Not only will this turn off your readers, but it may negatively impact your SEO ranking.
  • Diversify: Instead of using the same anchor text repeatedly, spice it up by using different phrases, synonyms, or variations. Offering more unique keyphrases creates more context for search engines to understand, boosting your relevance and searchability.
  • Use relevant keywords: Focus on using relevant or related keywords to your topic. Don’t go overboard and wedge in words that disrupt the readability of your content. The SEO ranking is important but shouldn’t come at the cost of the quality of your content.
  • Consider accessibility: Make sure to use descriptive text that conveys the purpose and destination of the link to make it more accessible for those users using screen readers.

Take your anchor text skills to the next level

By effectively utilizing anchor text in content marketing, you can enhance user experience, improve SEO, and provide valuable navigational links within your content. Creating high-quality content that is also SEO-friendly can be a tall order. Let ClearVoice’s talented team of freelancers help. Talk to a content specialist today about your needs.