Anchor text is the hyperlinked clickable blue text on a webpage that opens another file or takes the user to another webpage. Best SEO practices emphasize using relevant text to assist search engines in determining the context for the destination page.. Anchor text is best when it utilizes keywords that are relevant to the page it links to.
Anchor text can enhance contextual and relevant information not only for search engines, but for users as well! There are a few different variations of anchor text that you can utilize to improve rankings for specific keywords and make the user experience more enjoyable.
<a href=”http://www.website.com”>Website Anchor Text </a>
Identical Match Anchor
An identical match of anchor text is when the hyperlink shares a keyword or phrase with the landing page the link directs to. An example of an exact match can be “Anchor Text” linking to a page titled “What is Anchor Text?”.
<a href=”https://anchortext.com”>Anchor Text</a>
A similar match of anchor text hyperlink uses a similar phrase or keyword to the linked page, but is not an identical match to the landing page.
<a href=”https://anchortext.com”>using anchor text</a>
A branded anchor text uses the name of a company or brand written in the hyperlink.
<a href=”https://anchortext.com”>The Anchor Company</a>
A naked link is when the URL is used as the anchor text.
A generic word or phrase that is used in the hyperlink. Most of the time, “Click Here” is commonly used for a generic copy text anchor.
<a href=”https://anchortext.com”>Click Here to Learn More</a>
An image alt tag can also be considered a form of anchor text, used as a hyperlink to a destination page or URL.
<a href=”https://anchortext.com”><img src=”/images/1.jpg” alt=”anchor text image”></a>
How Anchor Text Can Impact SEO
When looking at external backlinks, the anchor text will indicate to search engines what relevancy your webpage or website has to a certain topic.
Site owners and SEOs can utilize keyword-targeted anchor text to help search engines associate a specific keyword authority to your site. This helps drive traffic to the destination page and also tells search engines, “Hey, this is a relevant and authoritative page for X subject.”
There are a few ground rules for utilizing anchor text in external backlinks:
- Don’t keyword stuff – Your anchor text still needs to remain authentic. An overly optimized, or keyword stuffed anchor on an external link, could spell trouble down the line.
- Use variations of your brand and target keywords – Google likes content that is relevant and authentic. Using variations that include your brand name and target keywords will help improve your brand authority for your desired topic or search
- Rely on co-occurrence – “Co-occurrence” is a terms used when your desired keyword phrase appears near or around your anchor link. Google’s algorithms pick up on co-occurrence of keywords and anchor links naturally assign your site authority
Google is able to differentiate relevant content from link spamming and if it notices an abundance of over-optimized anchor text, it can result in a negative impact to your website’s rank for that particular phrase.
To best obtain natural anchor text links to your website, focus on creating good, evergreen content and link to it using diverse, relevant anchor text.
How to use Anchor Text to Improve Your Ecommerce SEO Strategy
For Volusion merchants and other ecommerce professionals, streamlining your anchor text strategy will help reinforce rankings for your desired keyword phrases and your brand over time.
- As you’re earning backlinks, make sure they’re diverse. Follow the three rules above to make sure that you have a wide array of anchors driving traffic an authority to your site
- For internal anchor linking, reinforce your page hierarchy by linking to child pages from cornerstone pieces of content (i.e. homepage, about page, high-level category pages, etc.). Make sure that your cornerstone pages are receiving links back from your child pages as well.
Coupled with a great business model and strong web presence, an optimized anchor text strategy can drive traffic to your site, boost rankings, and help SMBs compete with national brands.