Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink, and it can make a big difference to your SEO. As well as directing your audience to a specific resource, the anchor text provides search engines with integral contextual information about the content of the link’s destination. 

Dropping the anchor 

The anchor text on a website is the visible words displayed in blue by a hyperlink, which enables you to direct your audience to a specific location on your site or elsewhere on the internet. Search engines use anchor texts to rank a page based on what they perceive it to be about. Therefore, useful, descriptive, and relevant anchors can help your site rank, even if certain key phrases don’t appear within the text itself. 

There are several different types of anchor text to be aware of: 

Exact-match 

If your anchor text includes a key phrase that mirrors the page it is linking, it is deemed an exact-match. For example, ‘anchor text’ linking to a page about anchor text. 

Partial-match 

This is anchor text that incorporates a slight variation of the key phrase, such as ‘anchor text best practice’ to a page about anchor text. 

Branded 

You can also use the name of a brand as the anchor text. For instance, ‘Footprints’ directing you to a published article on the Footprints blog.  

Naked link 

Some people use naked links as an anchor, which is just a website URL with no integration. For example, www.footprintpr.co.uk is a naked anchor. 

Generic 

It’s also common to use a generic phrase as an anchor on a website. The likes of ‘click here’ or ‘read more’ are examples of generic anchors. 

Images 

In the instances when an image is linked, the search engine will look to the text within the image’s alt attribute when deciding upon the anchor.

Anchor text best practice 

Anchor text should be succinct, relevant, and not generic. It should also not focus too heavily on your targeted keyword. Although there’s no correct length for anchor text, your goal should be to keep things as concise as possible. 

You should think carefully about how to concisely describe the linked-to page, as well as which word or phrase would motivate users to click on it. 

Link relevancy is also really important as far as anchor text SEO is concerned. Search engines will consider how related page A is to page B, and a relevant and concise link will improve the chances of both pages ranking for queries relevant to their topic. 

Google determines link relevancy by considering the topic of the source page and the content of the anchor text. So, links that point to content that is related to the topic of the source page are deemed as more relevant.

For example, a page about the best exercise bikes will be more relevant in the eyes of Google when it links to a gym’s website than when it links to a site with information about women’s hair products. 

Search engines focus on anchor text variations and consider them as indicators of what the article is about. This will then influence which search queries it will be considered relevant for. So, to ensure your links are relevant, make sure your anchor text is as descriptive of the target page as possible. 

What’s more, following the Penguin algorithm update, Google decided to examine how keywords are being used in anchor text. When too many keywords are used, it can raise suspicion, as it potentially highlights to Google that the links were acquired unnaturally. That being said, it’s still a good idea to use keyword and topic-specific anchors for the most part, but variety is key. 

When it comes to internal link building, make sure you’re not over-reliant on keyword-heavy anchor text. Google might interpret too many internal links with the same anchor text as spammy behaviour, so bear this in mind when creating your text for your internal links.

Contact us to learn how Footprint can help your brand’s SEO or if you have any further questions about anchor text best practices. 

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