The anchor text when linking URLs is a valuable strategy that you can take advantage of in your favor, but for this, you should not abuse the linked keywords and you should channel both the narration and the naturalness of the text to generate good results.
Anchor text helps users and search engines decide if a link is worth visiting. Some people waste the potential of this to improve rankings, while others try to abuse the system. However, sooner or later Google detects any type of over-optimization and makes the corresponding penalties.
But don’t worry, here you will learn what anchor text is and how to maintain the naturalness and relevance of the content you offer without falling into exaggeration.
What is anchor text in SEO?
The SEO anchor text, also known as anchor text, is the visible text in a link and when you click on it, it redirects to another site. In browsers, this text usually has a blue color and is underlined by default, but this is modifiable and each website decides how the links appear on its pages.
In HTML it would look like this:
- <a href=”https://www.thewindrecords.com/blogging/”>Creation and Management of Content in the Cloud</a>
And, within the content, you naturally see it as any link:
- Creation and Management of Contents in the Cloud.
The anchor text is intended to describe the content being linked to and entice users to click. But not only do readers use this information, search engines also understand that linked content is relevant because the URL and the text are related.
This concept applies to both internal links (within the same site) and backlinks (when other sites link to yours). The engines use the text of the backlinks to understand how other sites see yours and, in turn, to understand what your content is about.
However, you cannot control how other sites perceive yours or what text they link to, but you can make the SEO anchor text within your own website useful, descriptive, and relevant.
Now, if different sites find your content relevant to a certain set of terms, your page may even rank for those words, even if they don’t appear within the text.
Importance of using anchor texts to improve positioning
As you have already seen, links are very important for SEO. Search engines track links (internal and external) to discover new sites and to determine the importance of the content when ranking them.
By using internal links you give the engines more clarity about the structure of the site, while with anchor text you give context to the content you are pointing to. If you send the right signals to Google, for example, it will better understand what an article is about and position it for certain words or search intentions. So yes, anchor text is a ranking factor.
However, you should be careful about using the main keyword to point to another link, as it would be confusing to both the reader and the search engine. Prevent links from competing with each other.
What is the correct way to place an anchor text?
There is no single correct way to put the anchor text, but you should avoid falling into two mistakes: not optimizing or over-optimizing. Neither case suits you. So, to start with, these are the main ways you can put an anchor text :
- Exact match: The anchor text and the keyword you want to rank for the exact match.
- Partial match: The anchor text contains the keyword, but with some variation.
- Related text: The anchor text does not contain the keyword, but it does contain a word or phrase closely related to the content.
- Brand link: The anchor text refers directly to a brand.
- Naked link: The anchor text and the URL are the same.
- Generic link: Those anchor texts that do not offer any type of information, such as “click here”, or “keep reading”, among others.
From there, you can link to your content in different ways and help it rank better, but how you do it will have different results. For example, by linking an exact keyword you will be reinforcing the positioning under that same term, but if you use a related text you will reinforce the search towards those associated terms.
The key is in the naturalness with which you include the links.
This works in a similar way to keywords, if Google detects that you are forcing the terms with the sole purpose of positioning, it will penalize you. Remember that you are writing for humans and that is where you should focus your efforts.
If you don’t know how to add a link, a good practice is to match the anchor text to the content of the page you’re linking to, as just happened in this paragraph. This way users and search engines will know what to expect from the destination.
Good SEO anchor text is usually concise, relevant to the linked page, not overloaded with keywords, and not generic.