SEO: What You Need To Know About Anchors

Web Optimization Concept Design

Anchor texts are those clickable texts in online articles, usually colored in blue. When a user clicks on that link, they will be directed to another page. It could be another webpage from the same site or a third-party site.

These texts allow users to source out credible information found on the page they are reading. What’s more, when used correctly, anchor texts can boost your site’s SEO. 

Types of Anchor Texts

The following sections will explain the types of anchor texts that you should know about. Some of these will be helpful for your website, while others can damage your SEO efforts.

1. Exact Match Anchor Text

When you use the main keywords of your article as the anchor text, the clickable text is categorized as an “exact match.” For instance, if your content aims to rank for “best dress,” then you need to use that exact phrase for your anchor text.

It’s important not to overuse keyword-rich anchors. Otherwise, Google will consider your content as spam. After all, what are the chances that you’re linking to different pages with the same topic throughout the article?

2. Partial Match Anchor Text 

An anchor text will be considered as a “partial match” when it uses a variation of the target keyword. Most websites usually use this type for their articles as it allows them to write the content as naturally as possible, without worrying about the keyword.

3. Naked Anchor Text 

This is when a URL is used as the anchor text, like www.wikipedia.org. Naked anchor text usually adds no SEO value to your site, as search engines cannot learn the context of the link.

Moreover, this anchor type is also harmful to your site’s user experience. When trying to read informative content, readers will be distracted with the sudden appearance of a URL. To keep readers engaged with the content, it’s better to use the usual clickable text.

4. Branded Anchor Text

This refers to anchor texts that use a brand’s name. For instance, if you want to link to Facebook’s homepage, you will only use “Facebook” as the anchor.

It’s best to use branded anchor text to create outbound links to reputable websites. You’re giving signals to search engines that you’re a reliable site that directs users to other high-quality platforms.

5. Generic Anchor Text 

As the name suggests, generic anchor texts use typical terms and phrases to draw the readers’ attention. Some of the generic anchor texts include:

  • Click here
  • Check this out
  • Read more
  • This page
  • About the Author

These are simple and can be especially helpful when you are trying to put emphasis on particular links. You can also look to them as calls to action. Just avoid using this type of anchor text all the time, since some examples like “this page” or “click here” don’t really tell Google about the content you are linking to.

6. Latent Semantic Index (LSI) Keywords 

Despite its complex name, the concept of Latent Semantic Index (LSI) is pretty simple — it’s a method used by search engines to determine other related keywords. 

For instance, here’s what Google predicts when you type “what is seo”:

  • what is seo
  • what is seo marketing
  • what is seo job
  • what is seo means

Although not all suggestions are relevant, LSI can give you a list of anchor text ideas that you can use on your website.

Best Practices for Optimizing Anchor Texts

Now that you know some common anchor text types, it’s time to know how to use them in your content. Here are some tips that would help you:

Make It Relevant

Your anchor texts should be relevant to the page you’re embedding. This can be accomplished by using words or phrases that closely match the topic of the page.

For example, if you want to direct users to a page that talks about the importance of SEO, use anchor texts like “learn why SEO is important” or “the significance of SEO.”

If your anchor texts are misleading, search engines may penalize you.

Keep it Natural

Just like any other SEO practices, creating high-quality content must be your main priority. As such, anchor texts must be included when they are necessary and can contribute to the improvement of the article.

You can insert anchor texts when mentioning statistics, brands, or related terms that you cannot explain in detail in your article. 

Always Link to Reliable Websites

Just like the content you published, anchor texts also play an important role in determining the credibility of your website.

Spammy websites tend to link to other spammy websites. If you’re not careful, linking to low-quality pages might ruin your site’s reputation among search engines.

Image source: canva.com

Wrapping Up

One of the common SEO practices is to include anchor texts, which are clickable texts that link you to other web pages. 

There are many types of anchor texts that you can use on your website. Whatever you choose, just make sure to keep it relevant and natural, and avoid directing your visitors to spammy websites.

About Author: “Mary is a passionate blogger and the chief editor at her own content marketing company PRable.com. Since college, she’s been interested in break-through technology and technical writing about innovative products and services that change our everyday lives for the better. She’s also interested in web design and photography.”