Make the Best of Anchor Text for Better Usability (and SEO)

Every website hopes to drive traffic; but not just traffic, the right traffic. But once your audience is on the the site, how do you make the experience worthy of their time? Certainly, a great user experience is important, but that is a broad subject that could be entire series of posts.

For this post, however, let’s look at anchor text and how a site owner can make use of it to make the experience valued; while also lending some of its value to your SEO efforts.

Wait, What Is Anchor Text?

Good question. Quite simply, links on the Internet come in many shapes and sizes. For example, there are images, that when clicked, load a new page or new section of content (sometimes an entire new website). Anchor text, therefore, is the actual text (and words used) in a link that your audience clicks to load new content.

This is an example of anchor text (see the different styling of the words?).

The Dynamics of Anchor Text

Many business owners and marketers tend to miss the boat by sidelining anchor text; however, it is a dynamic element in boosting the brand and company on the Internet as part of the link displayed on the browser for quicker access to another piece of content or another website all together. It is a vibrant factor in the optimal application of on-page and off-page optimization in the SEO marketing approach — but it is also super helpful to the user, when implemented correctly.

The Types of Anchor Text

There are many specific features which anchor text could prove dynamic and vibrant in an online marketing strategy.

  • Exact match: A successful online search refers to the exact keyword phrase chosen to match the title of contents in a webpage or site; this would generate a higher ranking for the content piece.
  • Partial match: Anchor text that contains part of the keyword phrase selected may find more choices for the preferred information with a moderate ranking.
  • Branded: Such anchor text has the brand name included to give a clear focus of the brand and its offerings.
  • Generic: The anchor text comprises a general phrase that may not have any targeted keyword identified. This could relate to the general theme of the desired contents which makes it more challenging for website visitors to confirm the success of their search.
  • Naked anchor links: This anchor text includes links that direct web visitors to the site using the available URL. This proves a dynamic way to bring in web traffic to the website where deeper online interaction could be fostered with frequent engagements by web users.
  • LSI keywords: Such anchor text refers to the synonym(s) of targeted keywords which make it easier for site visitors to find what they want more precisely.

The best anchor text must have relevant features that would have it function as identified to benefit brand building and company growth.

1) Real and Versatile

According to the tough requirements of Google, every section of a website must offer true value to all of its users; this includes links and anchor text which web visitors may click on. Links should be positioned in the right places, in the best format, to ensure that site visitors are able to find them and click easily for further information that would benefit the user.

Good links must provide relevant and up-to-date information that would keep attracting site visitors to the site. Such links must be created without repetitive keywords; where relevant pages would be quickly directed to help website visitors make their favorable decision on the brand or company.

2) Avoid Over-Optimization

Google does not favor excessively optimized anchor text or any keyword-based anchor text that is overused in any page or post. An overwhelming amount of anchor text could result in red flags for Google; it is better to spread anchor text across the site in appropriate proportion and need. This would make the presence of anchor text more natural and relevant to attract the attention of website visitors for better reading and a better experience.

3) Relevant Anchors

It is the objective of top search engines, like Google, to want only the best of online user experience for website visitors at any site they visit. Therefore, it is preferred that anchor text links are placed where appropriate and they should be relevant (to bring more useful information to the site’s visitors).

Non-relevant anchors tend to be avoided or sidelined by search engines, particularly those with irrelevant or out-dated links. Relevant anchor text in any content tends to lend to a better user experience – and the major search engines look for that for your users.

4) Tracking Anchor Texts

The best SEO happens when noticeable attention is placed on actionable anchor text. This involves planning and implementing relevant backlinks that could direct targeted web visitors to the web page. Such links should be updated regularly to avoid website visitors from being directed to outdated content.

5) Good Anchor Distribution

Anchor text needs to be well-distributed on the website to ensure a fair proportion that captures the attention of site visitors, but also adds to the conversation. It can be overwhelming for website visitors to be bombarded with anchor text at every paragraph in every article in every sentence. Over-stuffing of keywords in the content should be avoided to allow visitors a valued experience; for better understanding and consumption of the message.

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