Anchor Text, The SEO Benefit

The internet is truly a wonder. It is now easier to send and receive information at a faster pace than ever before and as an added benefit, web content is able to insert supplementary information right into the text on a page in the form of a hyperlink. When paired with the right anchor text, the hyperlinks can play a significant role in improving SEO efforts as well.

Anchor text is an important element in search engine optimization campaigns because it provides important clues to search engines about the content of a page. You might be wondering just what exactly is anchor text. Well, simply put, it is the clickable text in a hyperlink. Links are usually differentiated from regular text by appearing in a different color (most commonly blue) and are oftentimes underlined. You’ll also notice that when you place your cursor over the anchor text of the link, your mouse will turn into the familiar hand icon. The hyperlink within the text will link out to other locations or documents on the web. Anchor text links can be from a page within your website to another page or an exterior site linking to you.

SEO best practices dictate that anchor text be relevant to the page you’re linking to, rather than generic text like "click here". Search engines use anchor text to figure out the subject matter of the linked-to web page or document. The words contained in the anchor text helps determine the rankings that the page will receive by search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo.

It may seem like a simple enough concept, but many people don’t use proper anchor text and this can cancel out the SEO benefits of using it in the first place. The biggest problem people seem to have with anchor text is that they will use links such as "next" "or read more" within the text. This doesn’t provide any information about the actual content of the linked-to page, which makes them virtually useless for search engines other than providing a link back.

Key Points:

  • Anchor text should include targeted or branded keywords as often as possible, or at least some part of descriptive information about the page being linked to. For example, custom web design
  • People have a tendency to link to content using the anchor text of either the domain name or the title of the page. This is an advantage because by naming your page with particular keywords, it is likely that most of your links you get should include anchor text with those terms that you want to rank for.
  • You should use a wide variety of anchor text to describe your page. Using the same anchor text can be thought of as anchor text spamming. This also tells search engines more keywords that your web page may come up under as well as appearing more natural in terms of links built into your website (for external links).

Anchor text can be a powerful SEO tool when used properly. It can it help you rank higher on the search engines by being descriptive and helpful to both search engines and readers alike. Just make sure to find natural and readable ways to insert anchor text into the web page, even if it just means including page title.

Live Imagination and Affinity Tracker both include tools (upper packages) to determine anchor text variety linking into your website. This will tell search engines what your website is about from an outside perspective.