What Is Anchor Text?
In short, anchor text is the clickable part of the text that links to another URL. This is for links on your website to your website or for any external links from your website or pointing to your website.
The anchor link is the navigation point between pages. Other than telling the reader what the link is about, it also represents a signal to Googles learning that websites trust each other based on the types of anchor texts used.
You get backlinks from other websites pointing to your site. They use anchor text to describe to their readers what the link on the next page is about kinda like a preview before the click.
You get internal links from your own websites pages when you want the reader to see something relevant about the topic or your brand.
But there’s more to backlinks than just the sheer number of them.
Authority of the referring URL matters a lot.
Relevancy matters too.
And finally, there’s the anchor text to every backlink that Google considers important as well.
This passage is direct from the Google Search Operators manual regarding anchor text.
“This text tells users and Google something about the page you’re linking to. With appropriate anchor text, users and search engines can easily understand what the linked pages contain.”
Here are the different types of Anchor Text
1. Branded Anchor Text
Include your brand name. Public figures
associated with your brand may
be identified as branded.
Example: Learn SEO from ClickBucks
2. Brand + Keyword Anchor
Include your brand name (or branded
phrase) and a keyword.
Example: ClickBucks SEO Guides
3. Exact Match Link Text
Include the precise keyword on the page
you are linking to is targeting.
Example: SEO Guides or Learn SEO
4. Partial Match Words
Include your keyword phrase along with
other generic, random, or stop words.
Example: Get better at SEO if targeting keyword SEO
5. Long-Tail Anchor
Include your keyword along with
some related, descriptive, generic,
or branded keywords.
Example: How to become a better SEO Guide
6. Related Anchor Text
Link to a page using a variation
of the target keyword.
Example: Learn Search Engine Optimisation
7. Generic Anchor Words
Includes a straightforward CTA,
or draws direct attention to the link.
Example: Click here or Read more
8. Naked Link Text
Clickable URL placed into the copy
from the browser bar.
9. Image Anchor Links
ALT text for images is what Google
reads as the image’s anchor.
10. Random Anchor Text
Include phrases that aren’t quite
as generic as “click here”, but they
aren’t really related to the target
Example: Check this out or read an in-depth article
How do you use Anchor Texts in SEO?
You need anchor text variety to build relevance around the topic, your brand, your information and generally to help users navigate the World Wide Web.
This means you will need some branded anchor texts, you will need keyword anchor texts and you will need a mixture of the other types to help relate you to the topics that you want to rank for.
Some hardcore SEO nerds actually measure and monitor the anchor text percentages between them and their competitors and while it sounds like overkill, logically this makes hella sense to us emaths to outmaneuvere your competitors in the SERP.
You have to have a carefully measured approach because if you go hard on the keyword-targeted anchor texts then you may appear to have influence over where you get the backlinks from, Google gets grumpy when people do this.
You need to have some brand so people know you are real as a business a blogger or a subject matter expert. The brand matters but not nearly as much as the keyword targeting.
Below is from the maths nerds
For some advanced sneaky tactics, there’s some stuff you can do with image overlays of different transparency that work as well, remember that Google is a machine and will process the information as it parses it.
Keep natural where you can, but sprinkle in the odd targeted keyword anchor text. Be sensible and be considerate of the way you use them where you can control them.
You can influence what your website’s internal links will do and what the anchor text will say. This is your testing ground for finding a strategy that works.
As for people linking to your website you don’t always have control and therefore have to work with what you get unless you are paying them or bartering with them for the backlink or mention and may have some control over the anchor text.
Be smart, use maths and look at what your competitors are doing. The key to winning with this strategy is on the first page of Google for your keyword search terms. You just need to look around.