The Non-Technical Guide to Anchor Text

Marketers are constantly under pressure to stay on top of the latest search engine algorithm updates to ensure that their website and content is compliant with Google’s standards. While Google considers hundreds of factors when ranking content, some of the most important criteria include content quality, backlinks, and the user-friendliness of a website. Taking the time to optimize anchor text will benefit all three of these key components, thus giving your SEO strategy a welcomed boost.
What is Anchor Text?
Anchor text is the clickable hyperlinked text that directs users to a page on a website. The words and phrases that you choose to include in your anchor text matter as they communicate to users and search engines alike what the link entails.

The best written anchor text is succinct, specific, and relevant to the destination page. While anchor text does not need to include one of your targeted keywords, it’s in your best interest to include text that is within close proximity to a keyword you want your business to rank for.

By using descriptive anchor text, search engines like Google will be able to instantly comprehend what the linked page is about. Also, showing how your page’s topic is connected to the linked page will help to boost your ranking for search queries related to the topic.

Types of Anchor Text
When writing anchor text, there are four common ways that marketers approach this (ranked by quality):

1. Partial Match
Partial match anchor text includes a variation of the keyword that best describes the topic on the linked page. Because there are keywords related to the page’s topic, Google has a clear understanding of what the linked content entails. Plus, since this approach does not make you feel pressured to incorporate the exact match into your anchor text, you can write your content as naturally as possible.

Example:
Every runner needs to have a pair of supportive running shoes to prevent injury.

The linked page in this example discusses the importance of choosing running shoes that offer the right support and a list of the best stability running shoes.

2. Exact Match
When writing exact match anchor text, the text that you include as the anchor text will be an exact keyword match to the linked page’s topic. With both partial match and exact match anchor text, Google is able to clearly determine what the linked page’s content entails. However, the danger that can come with exact match anchor text is anchoring too many of your internal links to exact match keywords as Google could view that as an attempt to boost your ranking rather than provide value to users.

Example:
Check out this 5K training plan to prepare for your first race.
In this example of exact match anchor text, the linked page is called the “5K Training Plan.”

3. Generic
Generic anchor text includes common phrases such as “read more” or “click here.” Even if you use a generic word or phrase for your anchor text, Google bots an still determine what the linked page is all about by looking at the surrounding text. However, this text needs to be in close proximity to the anchor text and include relevant keywords or phrases for Google to understand.

4. Spam
Anchor text is considered to be “spammy” if the keyword or phrase included in the hyperlink has no relevance to the linked page. When anchor text proves to be misleading to users, it provides no value. Some businesses choose to use spammy anchor text to briefly rank for a highly competitive keyword or hurt their competitors. However, the repercussions of using spammy anchor text are harmful to your business’s online presence, so it’s in your best interest to avoid this practice.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Anchor Text
For many marketers, anchor text is low on the list of priorities when creating content. However, considering how using clear, concise, and relevant anchor text can strengthen the quality of your content, improve the user experience, and benefit your linking strategy, you need to harness the power of anchor text and make sure that you get it right.

While the term “anchor text” may sound overly technical at first, you can see that it really is all about improving the comprehension of the pages that you’re linking to for users and search engines alike. Our creative team at New York Ave can help you to fulfill your content marketing needs with high-quality, relevant content that is optimized for both end-users and search engines. We have the expertise to develop a comprehensive SEO strategy for your business that will boost your page ranking and online visibility, and optimized anchor text plays a role in this.

Contact us at New York Ave to learn how we can help you to increase your business’s online visibility with high-quality content that aligns with your SEO strategy.

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