The anchor text is the text that appears highlighted (based on the website customization, design will vary) in a hypertext link that when clicked up opens up a link. Depending upon where the link is taking the reader, it could open in the same window (typically for internal links) or open in a new tab/window (preferably for external links– links that take the reader from your website).
Why should you care
Believe it or not, anchor text actually has some search engine optimization (SEO) value. I have mentioned before that SEO is about keyword rich content, meta titles and descriptions and links. So, with that being said the anchor text is a piece of the linking. (Notice in the above few links, I linked to other blogs on my website that can provide further value and used keyword rich anchor text versus saying ‘click here to learn more about what meta titles are’ and inserting the link in the word click here.)
When you link to another page, whether it is on another page on your website or to another website, you are providing value. You are giving the reader additional information and not making them work for it (hellooo!) and you are telling the search engines, hey, here is more information about this topic that can further inform the reader. Search engines are happy when you provide the reader with more value, that is relevant with this specific content. (You’ll understand the point on this below.)
Do’s and don’ts of anchor text
- When using anchor text for linking DO:
- When using anchor text for linking DON’T:
- Use the same keyword/phrase anchor text (ie business coach, business coach or Houston dentist, Houston dentist, etc) – use variation and other keyword combinations
- Link to the same webpage various times to try to get more ‘link juice’ as search engines will only give ‘credit’ for the first one, so the other is literally a waste
- Stuff your anchor text with spammy keywords. Remember to be natural!
- Overdo it. You really don’t need every other word linking. Wiki is like this….but it is more like a dictionary so unless that is what you have, I wouldn’t suggest it.
- Use ‘Click here’ unless click and/or here are one of your keywords and ummm, I am pretty sure it isn’t. You are missing out on opportunity to get a keyword or two in there and you are really telling the reader what they are clicking to when they click on the link.
Hopefully this has helped explain a little more about anchor text, how to use it and some best practices. Also note that all links in this blog is using anchor text properly so take a look at some of mine for reference. Of course, if you have any questions, please contact me (versus putting link in click here to contact me) and I’d be happy to help.