I know. SEO is complicated. More often than not, it boggles and overwhelms our mind. And then more often than not, we give up. Backlinks, anchor test, do-follow, no-follow… Arggh!
I feel you. And that is precisely why I decided to pick one of the confusing topics – Anchor texts. Here’s a detailed guide on how to use to anchor text for SEO. By the end of it, you would know everything you need to know about using anchor text for SEO. So, hang on to it. 🙂
Anchor text meaning
Let’s start understanding the meaning of an anchor text first. An anchor text is nothing but a text that links (also called hyperlink) to another page on the Internet.
For eg. all of the links below are anchor text of different types, pointing to the same website:
You would have noticed many links in different articles on the Internet. The phrase that has the link is the “anchor text”.
In the language of the web i.e. HTML, it looks something like this:
<a href=”https://shyamgovind.com>A blog on SEO</a>
What you see and read on a browser would be just “A blog on SEO” and that is called the anchor text.
Let’s look at another anchor text example. Here’s an old post from this blog. Go to this link on Chrome browser. At the bottom of the post, you would see a link to a different page. Right on link and click “Inspect element”.
You would see something like this:
If you see on the left is the text (i.e. anchor text) marked in light blue and on the right, you see the HTML form of the same anchor text.
How to use anchor text in SEO
So, why is anchor text important in SEO? Why would Google care so much about the text around the links in an article?
Backlinks as a way to relevancy
For this we have to first understand why these links are important for Google. The way Google understands the relevancy of an article or page on the internet is by the number of backlinks the page has. Meaning, how many websites on the internet are pointing to the page.
For example if you write an article on say, “How to buy an electric bike” – how many other pages on the internet are linking to that page. Because, as per Google, if more pages are linking to your page, it means there is something valuable in your page and more people should see that page on their google searches.
So, having more backlinks meant more relevant your page was.
Importance of Anchor text
Google also says often times the text written while pointing to any page tells more about the page than the actual page itself. And this makes sense. Imagine when you are writing an article and want to link to any article, you would often write some text that tells your reader what the page is, before you link to the article.
That is why anchor text is important.
Types of anchor text
Now Google categorizes the anchor text into different types:
1. Naked URL
First type is the most basic type. This is when somebody just puts your URL directly on their page, without changing the text.
For eg. https://shyamgovind.com
These are links where the text is not descriptive. It doesn’t tell you anything about the website that it is linking to, in the anchor text. Often times, the reason for it is because the context is already set in the article.
An example of such an anchor text is: click here to read a blog on SEO.
3. LSI keywords
An LSI keyword is a word that has the same contextual meaning as the page it is linking to.
An example of that could be, startups can rank higher on Google search from this blog. Note that there is no mention of SEO here. But the context is still the same.
4. Exact match
This is when the anchor text precisely mentions what the page is for.
Eg. This is a good blog on SEO for startups.
5. Phrase match
The anchor text can also be more descriptive and link to a page. Continuing our previous example: This is a good blog on SEO for startups.
This is where the anchor text describes the brand and links to the page. So, if I consider “Shyam govind” as a brand. And a page out there links to me as Shyam Govind, it falls under Brand type of anchor text.
A guideline of anchor text diversity
Some SEO experts have formed a guideline on the distribution of the types of anchor text one must have on the backlinks. This of course is not entirely in our control but helps to keep as a reference when we are trying to build backlinks for SEO and writing anchor text.
Anchor text optimization in SEO
With this understanding, we can now look at how to optimize anchor text for SEO. First we need to check how our current backlink portfolio looks like. There is a free tool by Ahrefs that helps you do that.
Visit https://ahrefs.com/backlink-checker and enter your website name. You’ll see a similar output as below:
Using such a Backlink anchor text analysis tool you’ll know where you stand. Although it doesn’t show you the percentage of each type of anchor text, it tells you details on all the backlinks that are there to your website. You can glance over the distribution and get an overall picture.
I would not suggest you to obsess our the anchor text diversity. But treat it like a goo-to-know info.
That’s all there is to anchor text.
An effective backlinking trick
I’ll leave with a neat backlinking trick. It’s a common trick but is effective to build your backlinks when you are new and trying to get noticed.
What you have to do is go to different websites that allow you to sign up and create a profile with an option of putting your website info. This will help you get some automatic backlinks as your profile would have the address of your website.
It is another matter that many of those backlinks will be a “no-follow” link. But that discussion is for another day. Hope this gave you an understanding of what an anchor text is and how to use anchor text in SEO.
Until next time,