You might have heard of anchor text SEO used in the context of engagement and helping drive traffic to various sites, but maybe you’re not sure what it means. Regardless of your level of experience, do not worry. This article will not only help you understand anchor text, but teach you how to use it to increase your website traffic and improve your SEO.
Table of Contents
What is Anchor Text?
Anchor text is a link in an article that readers can click on to take them to another article. It is also sometimes called link text. This may seem like a simple concept at first, but there is a lot more that goes into link building than you may think. Learning how to effectively use text anchors can sometimes mean the difference between hundreds or thousands views on your article. Utilizing anchor text on your website has the potential to greatly increase your search ranking. An example of anchor text is hyperlinked text of “link building” that links directly to a page on the subject of link building.
How Does Anchor Text Affect Your Article in the Search Engine Rankings?
Now that you have learned what anchor text is, you should now understand how anchor text works and why anchor text is important. Although all search engines differ, Google, arguably the largest search engine in the world, uses text anchors to understand what your article is about. So when you use articles similar to yours and link them, it increases the chances of your article being seen by someone searching for something similar to yours.
You might be wondering why it is important to link articles that are similar to yours. This is important because then if you link unrelated content to your own, your article will appear under search results that are unrelated. Users searching for a certain topic can report your article for not being related to what they have searched.
If this were to happen, your article would perform worse than it would have without using links at all Google and other search engines’ main goal is to keep you on their site as long as possible. Anchor text helps Google do this because they can recommend articles that are similar, which keeps users on Google longer.
The Dos and Don’ts for Anchor Text
To create anchor text, simply highlight the text you’d like to use for your link, click “Insert/edit link,” and then copy and paste the URL of the web page you would like to link. There, you have created a link!
There are some important things to keep in mind when using anchor text in your next article:
Do Your Keyword Research
In order to optimize your anchor text for Google’s algorithm, you will need to include target keywords that you would like to rank for and are also relevant to the article you are linking to, also called the target page. You might consider using exact match anchor text. This is a type of anchor text that includes a keyword that mirrors the page that you are linking it to.
No “Click Here”
You should not use phrases like “click here” or “read for more information here” as your clickable text. The reader of your article will understand that if they select clickable text it will take them to an article related to what you are writing about. Instead, find articles that you may have used for research in your article, then use natural language to link to them.
Variation is Key
Also, make sure to vary the anchor text you are using. You do not want to use the same articles more than twice per article. This will make sure your article is promoted more because it is linked to multiple articles.
Only Like to An Article Once
Even more importantly, if you use the same article multiple times, Google’s filters might think it is a spam article. If the Google filter thinks your article could possibly be a spam article, not only will Google suppress your article but it could even stop showing results for it all together.
Something to make sure to avoid when placing anchor text in your article is to make sure the text is actually clickable text. If you just leave your URL “naked,” in black and white and unable to click on it, you hurt your chances of your article being promoted in the search engine algorithm. Search engines algorithms are less likely to promote an article that uses naked URLs because readers are less likely to copy the link from the article and paste into the search bar, than they are to just click on text in the article. Even if readers were to copy the naked URL into the search bar, search engine sites like Google would struggle to track how many readers did that.
Stuck on Ideas for What to Use?
It is understandable that you might still be struggling to think of ideas for what to do for anchor text. After all, you might have just learned what anchor text is. An option you could try is to find articles that use a lot of the same words as your article. Look for words that you use often in your article, especially words that relate to your specific topic of your article. Obviously, avoid words that are common in most articles like “the” or “an.”
Anchor Text Examples and Ideas
For example, if you are writing an article on baseball maybe search for articles that use the words “base” or “bat.” Using Shift, Ctrl, G on your article can be a great way to find words you commonly use in your article.
When you come to a point of your article that has used some of that research, then you should put your link there. Not only will this help your article in the search algorithm, but it will also give your reader insight into how you formed your opinion on certain topics. Additionally, this adds credibility to your article if other articles are taking the same stance on whatever topic you are writing about.
Another option is that if you need to define a term in your article you can use your anchor text for the definition of the term. This could help your reader because if they are struggling to understand a term the way you depicted it in your article, they can see it written differently. This doesn’t mean you failed to properly explain the term, sometimes it is just beneficial to see a term in a different context.
What Type of Articles Should I Use for Anchor Text?
It is important to consider the type of articles you should be using to link to. Keep in mind that it’s not just the anchor text that matters to Google, but also the link destination. You should find articles that are of high quality and are generally believed to be credible.
Try Scholarly Articles
Scholarly articles are great options to use for anchor text, because they are usually written by experts in their fields and are checked for errors.
Check for Legitimacy
If there are no scholarly articles on your topic, look for articles that have a date, author, and sources. This is a good way to confirm that the article you are using is from a legitimate website or publication. Reading, or at the very least skimming the article you want to use, is important. Make sure to search for spelling and other grammar errors. If you find an article with mistakes, you should probably look for a different article.
Avoid Spam Websites
Additionally, it is very important to avoid linking to websites or articles that could be spam or a potential scam. Odds are you will be able to identify which sites are a scam, but a good rule of thumb is if you think there is even a slight possibility it could be a scam, do not use it. There are countless websites and articles online that are not a scam that you could use instead, so why link to a site that could be a scam? Linking to scams could even get your article pulled down from Google search results if you are not careful.
Add Internal Links
Don’t forget, in additional to linking to external pages, you will also want to include internal links to other articles on your own website, too!
Types of Anchor Text
There are several different types of anchor text:
Exact Match Anchor Text
Exact match anchor text includes a keyword from that page that is being linked to.
Partial Match Anchor Text
Partial match anchor text includes a variation of the keyword on the page you are linking to.
Branded Anchor Text
Branded anchor text is when you use a brand name as anchor text. For example, using “SEO Design Chicago” for an article linking back to our blog.
Naked Anchor Text
A naked link is when you simply use a URL as anchor text. URL anchors are not the best anchor text to use.
Generic Anchor Text
Generic anchor text is a generic word or phrase. This is not a recommended best practice for anchor text.
Where in My Article Should I Place Anchor Text?
Let’s discuss some anchor text best practices, including where to place it in your article:
Spread Out Links
You should spread out the links in your article so that your readers will want to click on it. A good rule to follow is that you should not have more than hyperlink per paragraph. At the most, you can have two links per paragraph. However, you should only use two links when the paragraph is significantly long. You want your links to be spread out enough so that it still is appealing to your readers.
Place It Where Readers Will See It
Additionally, you should place your links in the areas of your article that readers are most likely to see. This includes places like headings and beginning of paragraphs. As much as it would be nice if every reader read every word of your article, realistically several readers will skim your article so it is important that they see the anchor text at the beginning or your paragraphs.
Link Building with SEO Design Chicago
Hopefully, you now know how to perform anchor text optimization. So what are you waiting for? Get going and use some of the tips you learned today to help your article be seen by even more readers. Or, contact SEO Design Chicago for help with link building for your own website!
- What is an anchor text example?
- How does anchor text affect SEO?
- How do I create anchor text?
- What is the definition of anchor text?
- What should I link to in my anchor text?