As of January 2019, there are over 4 billion active internet users. With that many digital users, you’re going to want to bump up the visibility of your website to stand out from the rest.
But how do you do that?
You have the choices of making a mobile-friendly site and exploiting social media. You can use long-tailed keywords and engaging photos. These are obvious alterations.
One of the less-known means is about using the right anchor texts for your backlinks.
What is anchor text, you ask? Well, read on to find out:
1. What is Anchor Text?
When we say anchor text, people often think of blue, underlined, clickable words. They also always bring you to another webpage. The term ‘link’ or ‘hyperlink’ may come to your mind.
You are correct. That’s a link. The anchor text is only part of a link, referring to the visible words on a webpage. Think of the anchor text as the face of the rest of the link. Everything else is visible only to the web developer and search engine crawlers.
In theory, it’s possible that any and all text anchor a link. Still, your best strategy is to choose the best text in your content as anchor text.
2. Brief History
Some years ago, some SEOs could have up to 100% exact match anchor texts for all their backlinks. Google recognized the spamming nature of these links and anchor texts as keywords.
This was how some pages shot up in ranking back then. Google had to do something about this chaos. In 2012, it launched its Penguin update.
Penguin penalizes pages that practice anchor text spamming. It targets websites with unnatural links, keyword stuffing, over optimization, and cheap link schemes.
To check for these ranking schemes, Penguin looks first at the link’s anchor text.
A normal webpage cannot have all its backlinks with the same anchor text. In a similar way, a normal webpage shouldn’t have its anchor texts all leading to a singular external link.
3. Why Anchor Text Matters
Expect your website to rank higher with the right anchor texts. This is because anchor texts give clues about the linked content. The better you phrase your anchor text, the more relevant it will be to your linked content.
That is not to say you can use anything as your backlink. Backlinks are the lifeblood that keeps successful SEO campaigns going. Anchor texts are the veins that make visible connections.
Anchor texts are applicable to all types of links. As a note, anchor texts matter to links that are both inbound and outbound. Focus on anchor texts for strong and relevant backlinks.
4. Types of Anchor Text
There are many types of anchor text you can get creative with.
The different types are:
- Exact match
- Partial match
- LSI keywords
- Article title
- Naked URL
Exact match anchor is the exact match of your target keywords. This will increase your rankings, but it may also land you a penalty. It’s great but risky.
The most flexible type is the partial match anchor. This feels more natural in linking. It’s your keyword plus add-on text.
In contrast, the LSI keyword type uses thematically-related keywords. LSI keyword stands for Latent Semantic Indexing keyword. It’s the related searches list at the bottom of your Google search page.
Generic anchors prompt your readers into clicking them without giving them an idea about where they’re going. Often they are words like “read more” or “click here”. Branded anchors use a brand to carry the link.
When you’re linking to an article, you can use the article title anchor. Putting an article title into your page may prove to be challenging. Be creative or write something like “read on (article title) here”.
Images are easier to integrate. Instead of text, use an image to link. Your anchor text still exists but it’s in the alt tag for the image.
Naked URLs are not a popular choice. Short URLs work but longer ones won’t look good on your page.
Observe how the most connected pages do it. Use a combination of these anchor types. Get more search engines to mark your pages as reliable.
The following are a few more tips for great strategies for anchor texts.
As stated above, you want relevance in your link building. The best way to do this is to place your target keywords as close to the anchor as possible.
While there is no such thing as the best anchor text, there is always the most fitting usage of anchor text. We gave you 8 different types of anchors to choose from.
Do note that exact match anchors have powerful advantages and powerful cons. Your safest bet is to use as few as possible. The important thing is to be strategic with them.
What if you want to know how many sites link to you? Use an anchor text checker. There are also sites that check the diversity of your anchor texts and keywords.
When you have more than one page, you will often have a subpage focusing on a similar topic as your other page. Google may get confused when you have keywords that are like each other. In this situation, choose one page for your keywords.
Let’s say you’ve gotten some penalties and you want to remove some links. You have the choice to disavow links. Be mindful when you do this because this should be a last resort effort.
Now You Know
What is anchor text and how do they affect your site? Hopefully this guide provided all the answers you seek. Understanding how to use the right anchor text enriches the backlinks you make, boosting your on-page SEO efforts.
Did you enjoy the read? Do you want to know more?
Discover more about SEO and backlinks by checking out our other available guides and blog posts! Check out this one listing sites where you can create free backlinks. We’ve got 20 high-domain site suggestions for you.