Anchor Text: A Beginner's Guide
What is Anchor Text?
Anchor text is the clickable, often underlined, text within a hyperlink on a web page. It serves as a descriptive label for the link and provides users with a preview of what they can expect to find when they click on it. Anchor text is an important element of web page content and plays a significant role in search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience. Learn more about internal linking and how anchor text is used during this process.
Below, you will find highlighted all the occurences of anchor text in page content. Some anchor texts target the primary keywords, others are partial matches that are longer:
Why is Anchor Text Important?
Anchor text helps both users and search engines understand what the page they are about to land on is about, so it is important for the following two reasons:
Enhances User Experience
Anchor text helps users understand the destination or topic of the linked page. It provides context and encourages users to click on the link for more information. This creates an optimal user experience because users get the content they are expecting to find.
Helps Search Engines
Search engines use anchor text to understand the content and relevance of the linked page. It's one of the many factors search engines consider when determining a page's ranking in search results, although not as much as it used to be. Properly optimized anchor text can help improve a page's visibility in search engine results.
Types of Anchor Text
Several types of anchor text types can be used for a link, let’s explore each one in more detail:
This anchor text precisely matches the target page's target keyword or topic. For example, a hyperlink with the anchor text "top 10 smartphones" links to a page that is about the top 10 smartphones.
This anchor text contains some of the target page's keywords but may include additional words or variations. For example, "top-rated smartphones" links to the same page as “top 10 smartphones”, but it’s not exactly about the same topic.
This anchor text uses the brand or company name as the link text. For instance, "Visit Hike's website" links to Hike SEO's website.
Branded + Keyword
This anchor text combines a branded term with a partial-match or exact-match keyword. For example, “Asus laptop computers” links to the ASUS page that lists their laptop computers.
This anchor text is the URL itself, for example, https://hikeseo.co.
This anchor text is generic and doesn't provide specific information or context about the linked content. Examples include "click here" or "learn more”. This type of anchor text is to be avoided as it doesn’t help the user or search engines understand what the linked page is about before visiting it.
In this case, the anchor is an image, and the alt text associated with the image serves as the anchor text. Alt text or alternative text is meant to describe the image in words as if it weren’t visible. This helps those with visual impairments as well as search engines understand what the image is about.
Anchor Text Best Practices
When creating anchor text, below are a few best practices to follow:
Concise Anchor Text
Keeping anchor text concise is important when hyperlinking because it keeps link labels clear, direct, and user-friendly. Using brief and to-the-point anchor text allows visitors to quickly understand the content they will find when they click on a link. It's essential to communicate the link's purpose efficiently without unnecessary words, reducing the risk of confusion and enhancing the overall user experience.
High Relevance to Target Page
Ensuring that your anchor text is highly relevant to the content on the target page is crucial for providing users with a seamless and informative browsing experience. When anchor text aligns with the topic of the linked page, it helps users know what to expect, builds trust, and encourages them to click. Additionally, search engines use relevance to determine the quality and authority of a page, which can influence search rankings.
Anchor Text Frequency
Balancing the frequency of anchor text within your content is another key best practice. Overusing the same anchor text, especially if it's an exact match keyword, can be seen as manipulative by search engines and may lead to penalties. Instead, it's advisable to use anchor text naturally and diversify it, making sure it complements the context of the content and maintains a good user experience.
Diversify Anchor Text Types
To improve both SEO and user experience, diversifying the types of anchor text used in your content is essential. Avoid relying solely on exact match keywords and consider using different anchor text types, such as partial match, brand names, generic terms, and image-based anchors. This approach not only appears more natural to both users and search engines but also broadens the scope of information you can convey through your links, making your content more accessible and informative.
Hike + Anchor Text
Hike SEO is the perfect SEO platform for beginners and small businesses. Using its keyword research tool, you can easily find varied keywords to use as anchor text to link to relevant pages on your site. Also, be sure to check out the Actions page which will highlight any 404 errors caused by links that are pointing to non-existent pages.
If you haven’t yet tried Hike, sign up today and see how easy it is to become empowered to take control of your SEO.