Digital Marketing, SEO

Best Practices in Optimizing Anchor Text in Link Building

Optimizing External Anchor Text for Link Building

If you know anything about SEO, you’ve probably heard of the term “anchor text.”

If you’re building links, anchor text is something you might not notice very often, but it has a big effect on how well your links rank in search engines.

If you are new to building links, you should know what anchor text is and how it works so that you can build a strong network of backlinks that can boost the authority and exposure of your website. Anchor text is the voice of your website. Think of it as the GPS for your link’s journey, guiding users from one online point to another.

This blog post will talk about the what, why, and how of anchor text, giving you the information you need to use effective link-building techniques.

What is Anchor Text and Why is it important in SEO?

Anchor text, in simple terms, is the clickable text in a hyperlink. This could be a single word or a phrase within the content turned into a link.

Anchor text illustration

While we encounter common examples like “click here” or “learn more” regularly, the power of anchor text lies in the selection of strong and relevant words, anchor text offers contextual information to both users and search engines about the content of the linked destination.

For example, the anchor text “read more” in a link tells us about the linked page’s content.

Users and search engines use anchor text to understand the relevance of the link and navigate between web pages effectively.

Anchor text is an important part of SEO because it tells search engines a lot about the content of your website. This makes it more likely that your web pages will get better rankings in SERPs (search engine result pages).

Whether the traffic comes from search engines or paid ads, a well-optimized anchor text makes sure that all possible visitors can understand.

Choosing the best anchor text have a big effect on your strategy. Over time, this could change things by making your click-through rates and conversion rates improve.

So, why does it matter?

1. Clarity for Search Engines: Anchor text acts as a guide for search engines. Search engines can better understand and classify your content when you use specific keywords in the link text of your web pages. In turn, this makes it more likely that you will rank higher in search results.

2. Helping Your Visitors: Let’s say you’re asking someone over and giving them clear directions to your house. The link text does the same thing for people who visit your website. It leads them to the right places and improves their experience.

3. More Link Juice: Good-quality anchor text is like a vote of confidence from other websites. When authoritative sites link to your content using relevant anchor text, it adds credibility to your pages. This not only boosts your rankings but also increases the likelihood of more people clicking through.

4. Making Links More Clickable: Think of anchor text as the packaging of your link. The right packaging makes the product more appealing. Similarly, well-crafted anchor text makes your links more clickable. It’s not just about search engines; it’s about real people finding your content interesting and worth exploring.

Types of Anchor Text

Anchor text isn’t just random words with clickable links; it’s the secret sauce that can skyrocket your website’s visibility. 

Let’s talk about the eight types of anchor text without getting fancy.

1. Branded Anchor Text: branded anchors are the name of the company or any variation of its business name. It provides a safe and powerful linking strategy.

  • Example: Moz, Jollibee, Securities and Exchange Corporation, Mango Digital Marketing

2. Naked URL: a URL that is used as an anchor text.

  • Example: www.seo-domain.com / seo-domain.com

3. Generic Anchor Text: these are the generic labels that don’t reveal what’s inside the hyperlink.

  • Example: “Read more”, “Go to our page”, “Click here for more tips”

4. Exact Match Anchor Text: this type of anchor text uses the actual keyword or phrases that a linked page is targeting.

  • Example: “SEO tips inside” for SEO tips content 

5. Partial Match Anchor Text: This strikes a balance between generic and exact.

6. Topical Relevant Anchor Text: This type uses keywords related to the linked page’s topic, but not the exact ones. 

  • Example: Linking a blog post about the types of SEO “discover the types of SEO” is relevant and engaging.

7. Image Anchor Text: using an image as a link while the alt text tag / image caption will function as an anchor text.

8. Empty Anchor Text: this when there’s a link without any visible text, often used for design purposes or to avoid repetition.

Optimizing Anchor Text in Link Building

Now that we’ve discussed the types of anchor text, let’s talk about on how to optimize the anchor text for link building. You might argue, ‘We can’t assign the anchor text for a guest post or for our link building strategy because we’re not the ones who decide; it’s up to the webmaster or the website owner!’.

We understand and we get it. But, you’re the one who’s writing the content right? So you still have a bit of control on what anchor text you want to use for your link building. 

Now, continue reading on!

1. Choose the right keywords.

Don’t just use “SEO service”. Dig deeper with keyword research, analyze, and identify the keywords or terms that people commonly use in online searches, but without too much competition. Consider using long tail keywords or medium term keywords.

2. Write a high-quality content

When we say high-quality, your content should be free from grammatical errors and information with inaccuracies. It should packed with juicy or informative content. After all, nobody wants to link to a page with nothing interesting to read. 

3. Find relevant websites

It’s tempting to just seek any link available, but remember, quality matters! Prioritize websites relevant to your content and target audience. Building relationships with thematically related webmasters increases the chances of acceptance and attracts genuinely interested visitors. This boosts your site’s authority and relevance in the eyes of search engines like Google, landing you in the right search results.

4. Track your Anchor text: Maintain Diversity

Remember, diversity is the key. Using the same anchor text repeatedly for a single page can raise red flags and appear unnatural. Think of anchor text as the signposts guiding users to your content. Imagine if every signpost said “Click Here!” – not very helpful, right? Instead, use a healthy mix of relevant keywords and descriptive phrases to guide users while maintaining readability. You can utilize SEO tools or spreadsheet trackers to monitor your anchor text distribution and ensure natural variation.

5. Avoid Over-optimization by keeping them natural

Excessive use of the same keyword in your anchor text can trigger spam alerts for search engines. Think of it like overfishing: depleting the keyword pool doesn’t benefit anyone. Focus on natural language and utilize synonyms or related phrases to anchor your links. This improves readability for users and avoids potential penalties from search engines, keeping your SEO ship sailing smoothly.

Does Anchor Text really matter in your Link Building Strategy?

Beyond its visual appeal, anchor text plays a vital role in SEO. External anchor text, used by other pages to link to your site, reflects how others perceive your page.

While we can’t control how external sites link to ours, ensuring that our internal anchor text is useful, descriptive, and relevant contributes significantly to SEO success.

It doesn’t matter if certain words aren’t in the text; if a lot of sites think a page is important, it can rank well. This shows how important smart anchor text is for getting people to visit your website.

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