Organic ranking and consistent flow of traffic tops every webpreneur’s priority list. Search engines like Google rest their faith on backlinking and interlinking strategies. Therefore, it’s evident that anchor text plays a pivotal role in determining your position in the search results.
Enhance your anchor text strategy with the following best practices. These tips are simple enough to help you create a basic skeleton of the linking plan.
However, for a more optimized technique that will leave a lasting impression on Google and continue to drive traffic, seek expert help. Various reliable content optimization organizations are available, and expert pundits of the SEO industry trust their outputs.
Authority Magnet is one such organization that provides quick and seamless linking services for better SEO results.
What is Anchor Text?
In content, you may often find blue underlined words that bear the hyperlink to an internal or external blog. These clickable and colored words or phrases of a link are anchor texts.
The surrounding texts give you an idea of what kind of link it is. Good anchor texts can increase your chances of high organic ranking.
Moreover, the correct link text strategy attracts more viewers to click on the blue text. It further provides context for search engines.
Why is Anchor Text Important?
When Google first began dominating the digital domain, in its first research paper, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin mentioned:
‘Google employs several techniques to improve search quality including page rank, anchor text, and proximity information.’
For search engines, anchor text is an essential ranking factor. If several web hosts use a particular anchor text to link similar external pages, Google gains confidence and believes that both the anchor text and the link are relevant.
With the advent of the Penguin algorithm in 2012, anchor texts began to gain more ground and became the quickest way for search engines to test your relevancy.
Over time, Google will update the Penguin algorithm multiple times. Remember, sudden changes in search engine algorithms impact your brand’s SEO performance negatively.
What happens next?
You might look for ways to maximize ROI. But the change in algorithm affects your organic traffic. That, in turn, affects your revenue generation.
Therefore, you must strike a balance between anchor texts and SEO strategies. Not to forget, the anchor text linking theory is similar to internal and external links.
Anchor texts, thus, affect your organic traffic and revenue generation.
Types of Anchor Text
There are various types of anchor text available:
1. Exact Match
When you use anchor text similar to the target keyword of your intended link, it’s called exact match anchor text. Even if it’s a good idea to induce authority using external links, we suggest you mix your anchor types.
2. Partial Match
Create anchor texts that include both keywords and other ordinary words. Such anchor text type is a partial match.
It saves you from being suspected of spam. In the case of Google, such anchor text types provide relevance and increase your page authority.
But, avoid using long sentences as anchor texts. It won’t clearly tell your visitors which part of the link is relevant and which isn’t.
An example of branded anchor text is using brand names to embed hyperlinks and extract authority on your domain.
Leverage such strong and impactful outbound linking practices to grow your anchor profile. It informs Google that you’re linking to a dominating page.
Link to other authoritative brands to gain reliability from your visitors. Google finds this a healthy practice.
Naked anchor texts are one of the easy-to-use link texts that often feature sources for images. If you paste the URL into the content and use it as anchor text, it’s an example of naked link text.
Avoid such anchor text, for it can be disruptive. Such a link text can drive visitors away from your web page.
Generic anchor text is an easier way to create content that attracts an audience. Find its most common use in call-to-action prompts.
However, its effect doesn’t last long. Repetitive usage of ‘click here’ and ‘buy this’ can be mundane and stop attracting visitors.
6. Latent Semantic Index Keywords
LSI is the way search engines provide search options. They predict what viewers will type.
Despite the controversy over its validity, LSI helps understand the perception of anchor texts.
Image anchor texts embed links on images. It enables your visitors to navigate your website.
However, its major downside is that image anchor texts take visitors to a new web page when they’re just trying to see better. Web bloggers often use such anchor texts for CTA purposes.
Best Practices For Anchor Text
Improve your link text game with the following simple and guiding tips:
1. Be Relevant
Relevancy is the primary step to improving your anchor text quality and SEO metric. There are many misconceptions about what an anchor text is.
Here’s what we think:
Note: An optimized anchor text is what stays on the topic because the subject relevancy tops Google ranking factors.
Relevancy means you pay attention to the user’s search intent and only link to blogs that provide relevant responses to queries. It increases the user experience metric, and search engine crawlers may place your web page on the first page of SERP.
It further means your anchor text should comprise words and phrases closely associated with the topic link embedded. For instance, you write fashion blogs for online retail businesses. Lure your visitors to navigate other blog posts, like sustainable fashion or silent luxury fashion, by embedding their internal links.
How can you do that?
Use anchor texts which match the keywords of your internal link’s title. That means you must add similar words like ‘sustainable fashion’ or ‘organic wears’ as your link text. It shows Google that your internal link is safe for readers to click on. Otherwise, search bots may consider the hyperlink manipulative.
2. Maintain a Consistent Anchor Text Structure
Keeping a consistent structure for an anchor text is essential because that conveys your relevancy to both the reader and the search engine.
For example, if you want your viewers to know more about ‘ballet dance,’ structure your anchor text with synonymous words that tell your viewers where the link is heading. It should direct the visitors to a blog that prominently talks about ‘ballet dance’ and not Tango.
What happens if the link bearing the phrase ‘ballet dance’ takes your visitors to an e-commerce site selling cat food?
It will reflect on your SEO performance. At first, the visitors might be confused and leave your web page without clicking on other internal links. Moreover, they wouldn’t return to reread your content.
If this continues, Google might penalize you for tricking users.
That’s because search engines like Google prioritize user satisfaction. Whenever your performance hampers that ranking factor, your position in SERP drops. Not only that, the increase in bounce rate shows that searchers don’t trust your web pages.
Obtain your customer’s trust by being honest with the link source and linking practice. Nothing beats authenticity, and you can boost it with keywords.
Research has shown that link text bearing keywords signal relevancy. In addition, such anchor text structures have the potential to rank higher.
Google considers keyword-bearing anchor text valuable. It allows search engine crawlers to categorize the content easily under specific databases.
3. Include Variations in Anchor Text
For better SEO performance scores, draw up a unique and personalized strategy for anchor text. If you try to get the exact match using the anchor text, Google might consider that a failure.
In the SEO industry, various influencers provide multiple recommendations, saying which anchor text to use based on what ratio. Popular suggestions state that for home page anchor texts, web hosts should use a 5% exact match, 20% partial match, and 10% of anchor texts should contain key phrases.
However, SEO guru Neil Patel remarks such suggestions don’t always work out. They have variable effects on different websites.
What’s the solution?
Try variations in the anchor text, and Patel remarks you leverage these widely circulated anchor text ratios to create a baseline for your strategy. Once done, get an in-depth evaluation of the plan and use them as required to boost SEO and organic positioning.
If you’re still confused, check how competitors are making it work. Study their strategies closely and the ongoing trend in the industry to get inspiration about anchor text generation techniques.
You can seek expert help from trustworthy organizations like Authority Magnet. Browse through our offerings and choose the proposition that suits your linking needs.
Furthermore, web hosts should concentrate on creating a natural distribution of various types of anchor texts. Ensure these link texts are in natural language that conveys leading search intent to both the search engine and the user.
4. Monitor Your Anchor Text
Regularly monitoring anchor texts requires extra effort, but it’s essential when you want to analyze how it contributes to your holistic SEO. Various anchor text trackers are available on the net, and Anchor Text Categorizer Tool is the best place to start.
This tool by Linkio asks for various details, like your webpage title, brand name, URL structure, keywords, anchor texts, and more. It also allows you to calculate the percentage of your anchor text.
Use this information to create a baseline for your anchor text strategy. That way, you gather a diverse collection of anchor text for your content.
Next, use Ubersuggest to check what anchor texts your competitors are using. The site has a Backlink button: click on that to explore their linking profile.
Another tool you may use is Semrush. Check out this tool to find out what kind of anchor text links to your site. Head to the backlink tab, where you’ll find the Anchors tab.
Further, find the report that shows what kind of anchor text external web hosts use while linking to your website.
Note: Anchor texts convey relevancy and domain authority. The quality of the link and the link text affirm your position on the search engine results page.
5. Avoid Over-Optimizing
Over-optimized anchor text can harm your SEO health. It’s better to keep these link texts within five words and no more.
That’s because if Google finds an excess of exact match anchor text, it can leave a negative impression on your site algorithm. To avoid it, use multiple variations of anchor text types and make it sound natural.
Note: Google despises the over-stuffing of keywords. If you link out every relevant keyword, it might seem spammy to search engines.
What’s the solution?
Prioritize authentic and valuable content creation instead of link building. Later on, you can include the links wherever it sounds fit.
According to Semrush, write a reader-oriented article, and you’ll naturally find anchor text opportunities.
6. Prioritize Context
Blend your link texts with the surrounding words and phrases. This helps the users and search engines get the appropriate context of where the link is taking them.
Remember, Google prefers natural language because it presents search results highlighting users’ semantic search intent. Thus, web hosts must prioritize writing contextual paragraphs where they intend to place an anchor text and embed the corresponding link.
In simpler words, when reading an article that contains an anchor text, you consider the entire paragraph before clicking on the link.
That’s because the anchor text doesn’t mean anything by itself. The surrounding text gives you an idea of the hyperlink and what you can expect from its content.
Google reads the same way while analyzing the entire page.
7. Maintain Anchor Text Keyword Density
Google uses the Penguin algorithm update to look closely at keyword density in the anchor text. Though it’s a good practice to use keyword-relevant and topic-oriented anchor text whenever possible, an excess of these link text can hurt your SEO efforts.
Google will penalize you if it finds too many exact-match link texts directing to a site’s inbound links. It’s because the anchor text strategy lacks variations and thus appears suspicious to Google.
It’s also a sign that they aren’t natural links.
Note: Ensure you don’t use identical anchor text while linking internally. Google might still find it spammy even if it’s within your website.
The main objective of anchor text is to provide context to your potential searchers and search engine crawlers. A well-optimized anchor text will attract viewers to click on it. These link texts transport the reader to another blog post on your website.
Therefore, anchor text increases your viewer’s dwell time, showing Google that your viewers enjoy your content.
We can conclude that anchor texts are essential if a web owner wants to maintain consistent SEO health and continue to soar high in the SERP. Contact Authority Magnet and our expert team will walk you through customized linking strategies based on your niche.