The anchor text is the word or phrase used to include a hyperlink to another page within the same website or to another website, in other words, it is the descriptive text of a backlink. When the user clicks on the anchor text they are redirected to the address contained in the link.
For example, if I tell you, «You want to know what a backlink is, click here«, in this example the anchor text is «here», and if you put the cursor over the word «here» you will see that it contains a link to another post with a content directly related to the topic we are dealing with.
The anchor text allows you to insert links to other content or websites, and in addition to its importance at SEO level, allow the user to expand the information contained in the page you are reading, for this reason it is common to find several anchor texts in the same post.
Why are anchor texts important?
The two main reasons that explain the importance of anchor texts are:
- It favors user experience: they inform users what to expect before clicking on the link, and they also help visitors expand information about what they are currently reading, or discover other related content.
- It favors web positioning: Google and other search engine algorithms use anchors to understand the topic you are linking to, and make sure you are not using spammy links.
Moving on to more strictly SEO-related issues, anchor text plays an important role in a web page’s search engine ranking, because they provide the context of the page, as confirmed by John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google.
For example: if we use the anchor text «digital marketing» from this site, Google will assume that the landing page addresses this topic; and if another site also uses the same anchor text to generate another link, Google will reinforce its assumption and increase the chances that the linked site will appear higher in the search results for that keyword.
Obviously, anchor text management is not as simple as placing a link on a keyword you want to rank for. In fact, forced and overused use of keywords as anchor text can lead to a site penalty for spamming or over-optimization.
Over the years, there has been a manipulative use of these elements, which has led to greater control, to avoid over-optimization of keywords, or to avoid links disconnected from the on-page context of the destination.
Today, Google’s AI is already able to understand the context of the content, so that an anchor text that says «Learn more» or «Here» can be just as valuable as an anchor text that uses a keyword.
A strategic approach to this activity is very important to bring naturalness and a good balance between different types of anchor text.
What are the different types of anchor text?
As we said previously, a good backlinks strategy involves using different types of anchor texts, both in internal and external links, to avoid over-optimization.
Below we will review the different types of anchor texts and their main characteristics. Take note.
As you can intuitively guess, the generic anchor text does not use a keyword, but a generic word to induce the reader to click on the hyperlink.
- Learn more
- Read more
- Learn more
- Contact us now
- About the author
- On this page
In these cases, the context and the phrase surrounding the wide text are in charge of providing clues about the linked content.
In this type of anchor text the hyperlink is the brand name, and they are excellent for creating brand recognition. And in case it’s not quite clear, here’s an example.
«BeeLinko is the best link price comparator» If you put the cursor over BeeLinko you will see that it links to the Home, and the word that includes the link is the brand name of this SEO tool.
A well implemented linkbuilding strategy should contemplate this type of anchor text to reinforce the brand in search engines.
3. Exact keyword
This case does not generate doubts either, does it? As you can guess, the anchor text is an exact match keyword that links to the landing page.
For example, «Learn all about link building» In this case the anchor is an exact keyword that links to an external site that deals with this topic. The exact use of the keyword serves to inform Google what the landing page is about.
4. Partial match
Partial match anchors include keywords and random, generic or connector words.
For example: «Learn all about link building techniques».
This type of anchor text aims to avoid overuse of exact keywords, thus making the link text more natural.
5. Long tail
Long tail or long tail keywords are like partial anchors, but contain many more words. In this case the phrase can include keywords, connectors, brand keywords, etc.
The most common long tail anchors are titles or subtitles that act as a link. They can also be included anywhere in the text, as long as it is in line with the context.
To avoid over-use of a certain keyword, it is advisable to use synonyms of that keyword to add variants to the strategy, thus covering other ways of referring to the target keyword.
This type of anchor text adds diversity to the anchor text profile, thus avoiding a possible penalty for spam links or over-optimization.
Another alternative to add variety to the linkbuilding strategy is to link the URL of the target page itself as, in this case, the anchor text is directly the URL address of the linked information.
For example: https://beelinko.com/
This option is quite interesting, as long as it is a friendly URL, so that Google can easily understand it.
Another excellent way to diversify the archor text of your link profile is to create links directly in the images.
In this case Google uses the ALT text of the images to get the context about the link, for this reason, do not forget to put the title and the ALT of the image using keywords related to the topic.
9. Brand + Keyword
This type combines the brand name and the keyword. This combination is quite interesting, because it relates the brand with the field of action, it also allows you to use a keyword without looking like spam and at the same time generates brand recognition.
- American Airlines cheap flights
- Nike running shoes
- Bloomingdale’s party dresses
How to write an effective anchor text?
When planning the anchor text profile you have to take into account two aspects: user experience and SEO optimization.
That is to say, anchor texts must be twice as useful, since they must be intuitive for users and informative for search engines, and to achieve this goal it is best to choose simple, descriptive and understandable keywords for readers, but at the same time that make sense to Google and its algorithms.
Do not use unfriendly links, or misspelled or meaningless words, nor redirect the visitor to a page that has nothing to do with the topic he is reading.
For SEO purposes, it is advisable to use varied anchor texts. The key is to make it look natural. Google does not like attempts to manipulate the results, so the more natural your anchor text profile is, the better.