The Importance of Anchor Text : Learn to Incorporate it Into your SEO Strategy

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    In the eyes of the Google gods, link building is one of the countless factors that boost your search engine ranking. 

    But your choice of words when linking out and into your site matters just as much! Anchor text is a type of text Google’s algorithm takes note of more than a newbie (or even some marketing veterans) might realize.

    Previously, keyword stuffing anchors was a way to fool the older Google algorithm. Google noticed what you were doing and focused not only on the words you chose to link, but also how often you used them and where you used them. Keeping your anchor text clear and concise is crucial, but you’ll want to avoid sounding spammy if you over-optimize it.

    Despite the technical details’ complexity, the basics are effortless enough for anyone to grasp and apply.

    As you learn the best practices and optimize your anchor words without overdoing it, you can fine-tune your SEO and watch your rankings soar. Google can penalize your site if you violate the rules or focus too much on keywords instead of the actual content. That’s bad.

    What is an Anchor Text?

    A clickable hyperlink is an anchor text on a page. Linking to another source should be done using anchor text, whether it’s another URL, a PDF document, or any other online medium.

    A sample of HTML containing anchor text is shown below:

    <a href=”https://www.shrushti.com”>SEO Blog</a>

    In this example, “SEO Blog” is the anchor text.

    Ready to Chat About
    Anchor Text

    Drop us a line today!

    What is Difference Between Hyperlink and Anchor Text

    As both are formed as part of a link from one page to another, anchor text and hyperlinks are very loosely related. Links are themselves hyperlinks. When the hyperlink is added, anchor text is what identifies the link. When optimizing your on-page SEO, anchor text can increase the weight of your internal links.

    Anchor text in Regards to SEO

    A good anchor text for SEO is:

    • Concise
    • Content should be connected to the page it has been linked to 
    • Keyword density show be low
    • No generic terms

    If other websites connect back to your content using your anchor text, remember that you typically do not control them. Therefore, the best practices outlined above will apply to the use of anchor text on your website.

    Concise Anchor Text

    The link text for your anchor should be as concise as possible, although there is no specific length limit. But eventually, it is important to consider these two main factors when selecting the text to anchor:

    • How should the linked-to page be described in the most concise, accurate way?
    • How would you encourage a user to click on a link?

    Relevance of target page

    In recent years, search engines have included more metrics in their ranking formulas as they mature. Out of all the metrics, link relevance stands out as being particularly important, measuring how closely page A and page B are related. For both pages, A & B rankings can be improved by a link with a highly relevant topic.

    The phenomenon of link relevancy usually happens when people link to other people’s content on the internet.  The following factors determine link relevancy:

    • The main content of the page of the source 
    • The topic of anchor text on that page 

    Stronger relevance signals may result from links pointing to related content than those pointing to independent content. If a page links to a barber shop’s website, as opposed to a website with pictures of zoo animals, a page on the best haircuts in Mumbai is more likely to pass a good relevance signal to Google.

    Different anchor text alternatives are taken into account by search engines when linking back to the initial article, and they allow them to determine what the article might be about – and for what searches. 

    Link relevancy indicators online are dominated by this factor and other factors such as link authority and information pecking order. Make sure your anchor text accurately describes the target page in order to ensure strong significant signals.

    Density of anchor text keywords

    When Google rolled out the penguin algorithm it began to look closely at the keywords in anchor texts. It can appear suspicious and potentially indicate that links were not acquired naturally if too many inbound links are using the same anchor text. If possible, getting and using keyword- or distinct anchor text is a best practice. Instead of targeting the same keyword again and again, SEOs may obtain better results by focusing on a variety of more naturally occurring  anchor text phrases.

    Another thing to keep in mind: Don’t overdo the internal links with keywords. Creating internal links within your own site is an SEO best practice, but use caution when selecting your anchor text. Even if they are on your own site, Google might sense spammy behavior if all links to a page use the same text for an anchor text.

    There are Several Types of Anchor Texts

    There will be some differences in how people link to a specific page. Examples include :

    Exact Match

    Keywords or phrases that we want to rank for are used as anchor text.

    Example — Affiliate marketing has grown in popularity thanks to the internet. 

    Phrase Match

    Our target keyword phrase is in the anchor text of the link.

    Example — Affiliates promote the electronic commerce platform’s products to their networks based on the information provided on the e-commerce platform.

    Partial Match

    All words in the query are in the anchor text, but they are not exact phrases.

    Example — Affiliates promote the electronic commerce platform’s products to their networks based on the information provided on the e-commerce platform.

    Branded

    The anchor text is the name of the brand. 

    Example — Shrushti Digital is an SEO expert company in India. 

    Naked URL

    An anchor text that contains the raw URL (i.e., the URL displayed in a browser)

    Example — 

    Shrushti Digital (https://www.shrushti.com/) is an SEO expert company in India.

    Random

    There is no specific, keyword-related anchor text on the page (e.g., “click here,” “this site,” “this article,” etc.)

    Example — 

    Shrushti Digital is an SEO expert company in India. Click here to know more. 

    What are the Steps to Fix a Non-descriptive Text Anchor?

    It’s quite easy to fix “Links Without Descriptive Text”: Just replace your links’ descriptions.

    Different apps determine which links on a page should not be clicked. The words above should be replaced with:

    • Defining
    • Intended to be on-topic
    • Short and sweet
    • User-friendly

    Most of the time this means changing the whole sentence structure similar to the code examples above. Remove “click here” and “join” from your anchor text dictionary and put the links in better context. 

    You may want to find a better button if you have “Learn More.” buttons. Is the button really necessary if you have nothing better?

    Does Your Site Need a Complete Redesign just because of One Anchor Text?

    No.

    It is not a critical website problem that links do not have descriptive text. The thing that matters the most is performance, particularly first contentful paint. However, you still want to fix it if it arises. It means poor user experience if Google calls it poor.

    How Anchor Text Influences Search Engine Rankings

    Search engines use external anchor text to determine what your page is about and whether it should rank for particular keywords. How can we tell?

    Page rank, anchor text, and proximity information are some of the techniques that Google uses to improve search results.

    Say if you were to link a page from this article with “Indian Cuisine” as the anchor text, it would display to Google that the linked page is about food and not SEO. 

    If other websites or pages too tag an SEO page with “food” as the anchor text, it will signal Google that in fact the page must be about food and not SEO. But the chances of two or more unrelated websites making the same mistake is pretty small. 

    By now, I hope you understand why anchor text is a ranking factor.

    There is no such thing as a simple SEO strategy.

    How do you optimize an anchor text?

    Using descriptive keywords to describe the page or idea you are linking to in your anchor text is the easiest way to optimize anchor text for SEO. Take care, however! By using overly unvaried, keyword-rich text and phrases in your anchor text, you can easily “over-optimize” your anchor text.

    In reality, people don’t always link to the keyword your blog/page will be targeting. So it is often best to copy this behavior while internal linking. 

    Rich anchor text: what is it?

    An anchor text that contains desirable keywords is rich anchor text. Such keywords are usually those you hope to rank for. Similarly, avoid using too much rich anchor text as this is not the way people naturally connect and could cause Google to flag your content as “over-optimized.”

    Analytics: What it Does

    By definition, analytics is the discovery, interpretation, and communication of significant patterns in data. By using analytics, we can uncover valuable insights and data we wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.

    Is Anchor Text Important?

    As an anchor text, a page’s content can be inferred by Google, which makes it very important for SEO. Google has actually patented using anchor text to determine ranking. In general, it is considered a poor SEO practice to implement anchor text that isn’t specific, such as “click here.”

    How to improve your anchor link texts

    1. Create a natural flow

    The flow of writing should be natural in general. Links should also flow naturally. Link placement should blend in with the rest of the text. Look at it this way. It is probably not appropriate to include a link in a sentence if you are struggling to fit it in. Make your texts easier to read by putting it elsewhere, and don’t make them unnatural. Link building is important for SEO, but you should avoid interfering with the message you want to communicate in your content.

    2. Link to content that matches the link text
    unnamed

    Image source — https://yoast.com/what-is-anchor-text/

    This example does an excellent job of blending the links into the text. Additionally, clicking a link gives you a clear understanding of what to expect. 

    Taking the “content analysis” link text from the Yoast SEO plugin, for example, links to a post that explains the features of the Yoast SEO plugin. Consider the “meta description” link text. 

    Optimizing your text is what the link is about.

    Hence we expect that the link will lead to a post that is about meta descriptions and it actually will. Simple. 

    3. Be honest with your readers

    Using link texts responsibly is shown in the example above. It is essential. Links should not be manipulated by you. You shouldn’t, for example, link to the page of a car dealership if your link text says “potato chips.”

    4. Make it clear that the link text can be clicked

    The link text should be clearly marked as clickable. This can be done by using a different color, underlining it, or both.

    5. Use quotation marks around your entire keyphrase

    For example, you may get feedback if you use any of the long-tail keyphrases in a link text of an article about learning how to knit.

    Summing it up

    Anchor texts are generally taken lightly, but shouldn’t. Anchor texts help with SEO in the tiniest ways and why not take advantage of the situation and gain whatever SEO advantage you can, even if very little?

    About the Author

    My name’s Semil Shah, and I pride myself on being the last digital marketer that you’ll ever need. Having worked internationally across agile and disruptive teams from San Fransico to London, I can help you take what you are doing in digital to a whole next level.

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