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What is anchor text in SEO?

Updated: Apr 11, 2023


What is anchor text in SEO? We show you how it can be used on your website and help you rank well on search

You know when you’re reading a blog post, just like this one, and you come across a link that takes you to another blog or website?


Well, this link is known as anchor text. In basic terms, the anchor text meaning is a clickable link of text that can be placed anywhere on the Internet. Although it can be useful to expand on a point by taking the viewer to another site, it also has other strong search engine optimisation (SEO) purposes. It helps Google understand what your website or blog is all about and where to place it in their search results. There are many types of anchor text and ways to use them, which we explain below:



Anchor text meaning?


Anchor text is the visible words that appear with hyperlinks across the worldwide web. It appears as blue underlined text and is clickable, taking you to a new page, either on the same website or another one.


When placing the anchor text directly into a website’s code, it may look something like:


<a href=”http://www.example.com”>Example Anchor Text</a>


Within that code, the website is known as the target link, which signifies the website the user is taken to. The following text is the anchor text – the blue underlined text that will appear on the site. This anchor text helps a user expand on a point and provide extra information, and it provides search engines with relevant contextual information about

your website.


As a website owner, you cannot control how many people link to your website through an anchor text or how they do it. However, you have control over how you link other people’s websites to your content and how you link to internal pages on your own website.



Different types of anchor text


There are several types of anchor text that have different purposes for your website and

the user:


-Branded

The anchor text is your brand name, e.g., Contese


-Exact match

The anchor text is an SEO keyword.


-Partial match

An SEO keyword is part of the anchor text, creating a readable link.


-Naked

The anchor text is the URL itself, e.g., Contese.co


-Generic

An anchor text that simply states ‘Click here’ or something along those lines should be avoided.


-Images

If an image is linked, Google uses the image’s Alt text as the anchor text.


-Article title

When linking to a blog/article, the anchor text is the title.



How does anchor text help SEO?


But what is anchor text in SEO, and how does it help? SEO helps to place your website at the top of search results from search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. It’s a great way for your website to be discovered by a target audience, and anchor text is one way this can be achieved. However, SEO needs to use strategic keywords to benefit the site owner. By integrating relevant keywords into your anchor text, it helps search engines understand what your website is all about.


For example, if you’re a travel company that sells tours in Spain, you’ll want to use keywords such as ‘best tours in Spain’ as part of your anchor text.


Similarly, when you link out to other content, and when other sites link to your pages, the anchor text helps search engines understand what these pages are about. It makes a connection between the two websites and what you have in common.

It’s a huge ranking factor for Google, so it should be used strategically.



How to use anchor text for SEO


Now you know how anchor text helps SEO, but how do you ensure you are providing effective links? Here are a few ways you can optimize your anchor text for SEO:


-Use keywords or synonyms.

Including keywords is one of the most effective ways to rank well on search engine results, so it makes sense to use them within your anchor text. The more relevant the keywords are to your business and the link, the better search engines will be able to identify your website and place you with your target audience.


-Keep it short

Your anchor text shouldn’t be too long. Some people try to stuff too many keywords into their anchor text to try to increase their SEO impact, but it actually does the opposite. Keyword stuffing can lead to Google penalties because it comes across as spam and therefore eliminates the point of using anchor text.


-Make sure your link text matches the content you’re linking to

Google may penalise you if your anchor text doesn’t relate to the page it’s linked to. For example, if you’re sending a reader to another website because you’re talking about the average year-round temperatures in Spain but use the ‘best tours in Spain’ keyword as the anchor text, it doesn’t have any relation. This creates negative SEO so always make sure the anchor text is relevant.


-Make hyperlinks visible

The typical colour and format for anchor texts are blue and underlined. It’s what users identify with, and it helps them realise that the text is a link. If you choose to use fonts or colouring formats that are hard to recognize, this can also negatively affect how often the link is used and can decrease the SEO impact.


-Use online tools to help.

There are multiple tools to help you optimise your anchor text for keyword SEO and site structure. Which ones you use will depend on your needs, so you may wish to trial a few first. Examples of tools you can use are Yoast SEO, Moz, and Wordstream.



Discover the power of anchor text today


You now know the anchor text meaning and how it can help you. Anchor text plays an important role in helping users navigate your site, it also assists Google in understanding what your content is about, so it can rank on search engines and attract more visitors.


If you require help creating SEO content with fully optimised anchor text, the Contese team are here to help. Contact us today and one of our writers or our SEO expert will talk you through our process.


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