Quick Guide to Anchor Text Optimization

The way you use and implement your anchor texts makes an impact on your user experience and SEO performance. Thus, over-optimizing your anchor texts negatively affect your rankings on search engines. 

If you are unsure why to optimize anchor text and why it matters? We provide you a complete guide to anchor text optimization. You will also discover the different anchor text categories and why it is necessary to optimize your anchor text.

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Anchor Text: What is it?

An anchor text is the visible, clickable characters in an HTML hyperlink. The set of texts are used to link the desired page to another document or pages on the web. Anchor texts commonly appear as a colored group of text, which sets them apart from the rest of the content. It is usually blue or depends on the company’s branding. But you can change your anchor text’s colors and style by going to the settings on your HTML or CSS.

An example of an anchor text looks like this:

Internal Link Juicer connects all your relevant pages.

In the HTML code, it looks like this:

<a href=”https://internallinkjuicer.com/#get”>Internal Link Juicer</a>

Anchor texts help search engines and page visitors understand the context of the link’s destination. So it is highly recommended to use more descriptive and relevant anchor texts to your site.

Categories of Anchor Texts

  • Branded

These are links that contain a brand name in the anchor text. For example, “Internal Link Juicer” pointed to the homepage of Internal Link Juicer. SEO specialists find branded anchor texts beneficial because it helps increase brand visibility. It hints to users and search crawlers what the content is about.

  • Naked URL

When you use the exact link of the target page you are pointing to. Naked URL does not provide much information for the readers or search bot on what the link is about.

For example;

Visit https://internallinkjuicer.com to learn more about our product.

  • Page/Blog Post Title

This type of anchor text uses the article/blog or page title as the hyperlink. It type helps the readers and search crawlers get an idea of what the linked page is about. This strategy is valuable when you aim to improve your Google rankings. 

  • Exact-match Keywords

This category of anchor text is more important in terms of improving your SEO ranking. These hyperlinked texts represent the exact keywords that a page is targeting. 

For instance, for Internal Link Juicer’s WordPress page, the exact anchor text is “internal linking plugin.” It goes like this: 

Download our internal linking plugin now.

Exact-match anchor text is a powerful type, and it adds significant SEO value to your page, helping your increase your ranking. Google values anchor text linked to a relevant keyword or context.

  • Partial-match Keywords 

Also known as phrase match, this type of anchor text includes a keyword for a specific page without any localization. It can also include longer variants of the keywords. Google values this type of anchor text because the keyword is present without being repetitive, and is also relevant to the linked content.

To make it clear, here’s an example: If your exact keyword is “internal linking,” you can use variants of keywords like “internal linking plugin” or “plugin for internal linking.”

  • LSI Keywords

Latent Semantic Indexing or LSI Keywords are terms that have thematical relation on Google. You can find these LSI terms skimming at the search bar’s autocomplete queries or at the related searches below. LSI keywords are used as anchor texts to avoid using the same exact anchor text over again.

  • Images

It works when you use an image as a link instead of using words and phrases. The search bots will crawl through your image’s alt attributes and consider it as anchor text. 

  • Generic

This type of anchor text uses random words and phrases. Generic anchor texts are usually call-to-action phrases like “Read More,” “Click Here,” or “Sign Up Now.” This group of texts is designed to be compelling to attract the audience’s attention.

Best Practices for Anchor Text Optimization

  • Use different keyword variants

One of the mistakes SEO specialists is doing is overusing the same keyword as an anchor text to rank higher on that specific keyword.  The problem with doing this is that it affects your site negatively. Your content won’t sound natural, and Google will mark these anchors as spam, which hurts your SEO performance.

Consider mixing up your keywords by adding filler words between or before and after the keyword. You can also use related variants of your focus keyword. This way, your anchor texts will look more natural, but it also helps you get better results for your SEO.

  • Optimize for human, not for robots

Use anchor links that read naturally for humans. Remember, your target audiences are real people, so you need to use terms aimed at them. 

Be careful of choosing keywords. Do not compromise your grammar only because a keyword has good search volume or low competition. Poorly written content can be a big turn-off to your audience, and it will sound you so unprofessional.

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  • Avoid over-optimization

When you use an overly-rich anchor text: spammy and stuffed with keywords. It will be a red flag to Google, and penalties are imposed.

So what can you do to water down your anchor text optimization? Well, you can start by keeping your anchor texts across your web pages in the right proportion. It boils down to avoiding the usage of exact-match anchor texts, which will be discussed further below.

  • Keep the relevancy between the anchor text and the content

Use words and phrases that clearly describe where your audience will be redirected when they click the anchor. Google pays attention to how you are using your anchor texts, and a corresponding penalty awaits for the violation.

You cannot use an anchor text like “black running shoes for men” when the page you are pointing to talks about ladies ’ shoes. This will become completely irrelevant and misleading at the same time.

  • Place anchors on the hottest part of your page

To begin with, you need to know first what parts of your page most of your page visitors are clicking or looking at. From there, you need to think of how you can insert a relevant anchor text and keep your visitors engaged.

Based on studies, most of the page visitors do not read the whole content of your page, but rather, they skim through the content and stops with whatever they find that caught their eyes. It will be a great idea to add your anchor texts in the subheadings, first few paragraphs, and images, as these elements are the most common focal points of a typical user.

Summary

Digital marketing is ever-changing, and so does the best practices for anchor text optimization. As webmasters, you need to be updated on the algorithm updates of Penguin. You need to keep close attention to your anchor texts, keeping them versatile for every change.

Overall, to boost your SEO performance, you need to please Googe by following the guidelines in using anchor texts. As much as possible, follow the best practices of optimizing anchor texts. In the end, a well-optimized anchor text brings improvements to your ranking, as well as your site’s user experience.