Whether you’re a brand marketer or a website owner, you’re probably aware of how crucial links are for SEO. Of course, if you’re worried about neglecting those all-important links, you’re not alone: one recent survey found that about 70% of marketers aren’t in control of their links!
Because link quality is a major ranking factor in Google’s algorithm, it’s a good idea to make the most of each link. This includes anchor text, which helps both users and search engines get more out of your links.
But what is an anchor text, anyway, and how does it relate to SEO? Let’s go over a basic definition, as well as a few quick best practices worth remembering.
What Is an Anchor Text in SEO?
Anchor text is the visible, clickable text of a hyperlink. In most browsers, it appears blue in color and will sometimes be underlined as well. However, website creators can change this appearance by editing their site’s code.
In the sentence above, the words “editing their site’s code” acts as anchor text for the link, which directs users to a relevant tutorial on changing the color of a website’s links.
What Are SEO Best Practices for Anchor Text?
Although you can add a link to any anchor text you choose, some words and phrases will be better for your SEO than others. Here are a few things to consider as you select the right anchor text for your site.
Help Users Understand Where They’re Going
In terms of SEO, anchor text is a helpful tool that can offer users—as well as search engines—valuable information about where a link leads to.
In the example above, the words of the anchor text, “editing their site’s code” hints that the link in question will be about changing the coding of a website. Though it may seem simple, this kind of hint is one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing great anchor text! Google’s search engine algorithm loves websites that offer a user-friendly experience, and offering helpful links with relevant text is a good start.
Use Relevant and Natural Keywords
Google uses anchor text as a ranking factor, meaning that it considers anchor text when deciding where to rank a website in its results pages. As a result, it’s always a good idea to use any keywords and keyphrases that fit into the text naturally—without forcing them.
Don’t Spam Users With Too Many Links
Gone are the days when website owners could create hundreds of backlinks with keyword-heavy anchor texts to rank well with Google. Now, Google frowns upon spammy keyword usage, preferring websites that sprinkle links into natural places.
How many backlinks are too many? While the answer differs from site to site, The HOTH has a great breakdown of anchor text ratios and strategy.
Get More Out of Your Links
Now that you’ve stopped wondering, “What is an anchor text when it comes to SEO?” it’s time to take back your backlinks! Using great anchor text with the right keywords can make a huge difference in your website’s rankings over time. Do an audit of your site’s links to see where changing up your anchor text might help.
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