One of the easiest ways to link to other web pages is through anchor text. It does amazing things for your SEO, shows search engines other pages which are relevant to it and can impact upon your search ranking. The sad thing is, it is often not used correctly, resulting in low page rankings. In this post I’m going to explain what is anchor text and how to use it for the greatest benefit for your website.
What is Anchor Text?
Anchor text are the characters you can see on a web page which show a hyperlink to another web page. It could be a word or phrase which when a cursor hovers over, shows the URL that text is linked to. When you click on the hyperlink, you are either directed to a new page or a new window opens for a new web page. Take a look at this image I copied from my blog about short tailed keywords on this site. The anchor text is the orange underlined piece of text, with the link it is going to at the bottom left hand corner. What you can’t see is the cursor which was hovering over the linked text which made it become underlined.
Search engines use this linked text to learn what the page it is linking to is about. They also use it to determine what the keywords should be for that page. This has huge implications for your website content. If you use the words ‘click here’ as your hyperlinked text, how is that telling Google what that page is about? A page which has a good number of links pointing to it with appropriate keywords has a better chance of ranking highly in search results.
Common Types of Anchor Text
There are quite a few different types of linked text. The most common ones you will see are:
- Generic anchors – when the words click here or go here are used
- Branded anchors – when a brand name is used as the anchor text
- Naked link anchors – when the URL is used as the link
- Image anchors – when your image links somewhere else , the alt tag you use is the anchor
- Long tail anchors – when the text used is like a long tail keyword
- Exact match – you use the same anchor words as your keyword
How to Use Anchor Text Correctly
Use too much and Google’s going to think you are spamming. Don’t use any and you’re missing out on a great opportunity. To use anchor words and phrases for the most SEO benefit, ensure they are:
- relevant to the page being linked to
- not overloaded with keywords
- not generic
Keep in mind that you can get too much of a good thing when it comes to linked text. If too many of the same words link to a specific page, it’s going to make those links look unnatural and spammy. So trying to boost your ranking through artifical linking is going to backfire on you majorly at some point. Aim for natural links in your anchor text and you’ll be just fine.
To learn more about other on page SEO techniques, make sure you read my article about them.