What is Anchor Text?

In terms of SEO, anchor text is incredibly important. But, why do search engines love anchor text so much? Because it makes the on-page experience for visitors that much better by providing the information they want and need in an easy, ready-to-click format.

By definition, anchor text is “clickable” text on a page, which means that it is hyperlinked and often underlined and in a different color so that it’s obvious to a visitor that there is an action that can be taken. Of course, anchor text can be changed via HTML or CSS in order to make it look custom on your page. However, at the end of the day, it’s all still considered anchor text by search engines.

By providing relevant information, anchor text improves the quality and usability of content on your website, which is, again, why search engines value it so much. Anchor text can link to external pages (which means it’s going somewhere beyond your site) and internal pages (content located somewhere on your site, like on another page, for example). While you can control which types of anchor text you create on your own website, you can’t control what other anchor text is saying about you or your website online.

And that’s important.

These external anchor texts link help search engines determine what your website is all about, including what it has to offer to visitors. According to Google, one of the best strategies for using anchor text is making sure that “anchor text you use within your own site is useful, descriptive, and relevant”.

In the world of SEO, there are six types of anchor text you should know about.

  1. Exact Match. If the keyword you are turning into anchor text links to a page that is also specifically keyword relevant, then it’s considered to be an “exact-match”.
  2. Partial Match. A partial match anchor text refers to a link that uses a keyword to refer to another relevant page, although with a different keyword.
  3. Naked Link. A naked link means that the text that is acting as the anchor text doesn’t use a keyword and, instead, uses the link itself.
  4. Images can function as anchor text too and, in terms of SEO, play an important role in getting your content to rank better. Whatever the text is in the image’s “alt attribute” will be used by the search engine as the anchor text.
  5. Generic anchor text doesn’t contain a lot of information in terms of keywords. One of the most commonly used generic anchor texts is CLICK HERE.
  6. Branded anchor text is exactly what it sounds like: A brand name linked to its brand page.

If you’re looking to improve your website’s SEO with anchor text, it’s important to keep in mind that the best anchor text is always succinct and relevant to what it’s linking to. Avoid using generic forms of anchor text in order to get the most out of your links, whether internal or external. And, if you go too crazy with linking keywords, remember that it can actually end up hurting, not helping, your SEO strategy.

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