Denver SEO Expert Consultant John Vargo July 21, 2023

Anchor Text: Definition, Examples, and Best Practices for SEO

Share It!

If you’ve ever clicked on a hyperlink, you’ve encountered anchor text. But what is anchor text, and why does it matter for SEO? In this article, we’ll define anchor text, describe the different types of anchor text, provide examples of effective anchor text, and offer best practices for optimizing anchor text to improve your website’s search engine rankings.

 

What is Anchor Text?

Defining Anchor Text

Anchor text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. It is often underlined and appears in a different color than the surrounding text. Anchor text serves as a signal to search engines about the content of the page being linked to. When search engines crawl your website and encounter anchor text, they use it to determine the relevance and authority of the linked page.

 

The Importance of Anchor Text in Linking to Other Websites

Anchor text is important in linking to other websites because it helps search engines understand the context of the link. For example, if you’re linking to a page about “best running shoes,” using the anchor text “best running shoes” signals to search engines that the linked page is about that topic. This can help improve the linked page’s search engine rankings for that keyword.

 

Types of Anchor Text

There are several types of anchor text, including:

1. Exact Match: Exact match anchor text uses the exact keyword or phrase that the linked page is targeting. For example, if you’re linking to a page about “best running shoes,” the exact match anchor text would be “best running shoes.”

Pros: Exact match anchor text can help improve the linked page’s search engine rankings for that keyword.

Cons: Using exact match anchor text too frequently can be seen as spammy and may result in a penalty from search engines.

2. Partial Match: Partial match anchor text uses a variation of the targeted keyword or phrase. For example, if you’re linking to a page about “best running shoes,” the partial match anchor text could be “top-rated running shoes.”

Pros: Partial match anchor text can help improve the linked page’s search engine rankings for related keywords.

Cons: Using partial match anchor text too frequently can still be seen as spammy and may result in a penalty from search engines.

3. Branded: Branded anchor text uses the brand name of the linked website. For example, if you’re linking to Nike’s website, the branded anchor text would be “Nike.”

Pros: Branded anchor text can help improve the linked website’s brand recognition and authority.

Cons: Using branded anchor text exclusively can limit the linked website’s search engine rankings for non-branded keywords.

4. Generic: Generic anchor text uses non-descriptive text like “click here” or “read more.”

Pros: Generic anchor text is easy to use and doesn’t require keyword research.

Cons: Generic anchor text doesn’t provide any context to search engines about the content of the linked page.

 

Examples of Effective Anchor Text

Effective anchor text is descriptive, relevant, and provides context to search engines about the content of the linked page. Here are some examples of effective anchor text in different contexts:

  1. Internal linking: When linking to other pages on your website, use descriptive anchor text that accurately describes the content of the linked page. For example, if you’re linking to a blog post about “how to choose the right running shoes,” the anchor text could be “tips for choosing the right running shoes.”
  2. External linking: When linking to other websites, use anchor text that accurately describes the content of the linked page. For example, if you’re linking to a review of running shoes, the anchor text could be “running shoe review.”
  3. Image linking: When linking to an image, use descriptive anchor text that accurately describes the content of the image. For example, if you’re linking to an image of a pair of running shoes, the anchor text could be “running shoes image.”

 

Best Practices for Optimizing Anchor Text

To optimize anchor text for SEO, follow these best practices:

  1. Use descriptive and relevant keywords: Use anchor text that accurately describes the content of the linked page and includes relevant keywords.
  2. Vary anchor text: Use a mix of different types of anchor text (exact match, partial match, branded, and generic) to avoid over-optimization and provide context to search engines.
  3. Avoid over-optimization: Don’t use the same anchor text too frequently, as this can be seen as spammy and may result in a penalty from search engines.
  4. Balance anchor text with other on-page SEO factors: Anchor text is just one factor that search engines consider when ranking websites. Be sure to balance anchor text with other on-page SEO factors like content quality and user experience.

Summary

In summary, anchor text is an important aspect of SEO that can help improve your website’s search engine rankings. By using descriptive and relevant keywords, varying anchor text, avoiding over-optimization, and balancing anchor text with other on-page SEO factors, you can optimize your anchor text for maximum SEO impact. By following these best practices, you can help your website rank higher in search engine results pages and drive more traffic to your website.

Free Consult with a Digital Marketing Specialist

For more than 27 years, we've worked with thousands (not an exaggeration!) of Denver-area and national businesses to create a data-driven marketing strategy that will help them achieve their business goals. Are YOU ready to take your marketing and business to the next level? We're here to inspire you to thrive. Connect with Webolutions, Denver's leading digital marketing agency, for your FREE consultation with a digital marketing expert.
Let's Go