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Optimize your Anchor Text for Better SEO Links

Anchor text is the clickable text of a hyperlink highlighted in blue & underlined. Basic SEO principles: anchor text should be relevant to the linked page.

Eric Melillo
By Eric Melillo   |  

 Aug 15, 2019

Optimize your anchor text better for SEO links

Within the field of search engine optimization (SEO), everyone has room for improvement–even the experts. SEO tactics come and go. However, the principles for anchor text links has become part of every marketers SEO guide of best practices.

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What is Anchor Text?

Anchor text is a common web page element and is the actual clickable text of a text-based hyperlink. Typically, the text anchor is blue and underlined. Basic SEO principles teach that anchor text should be descriptive and relevant to the linking resource.

Is Anchor Text Important for SEO?

Despite years of experience, SEO experts often practice the latest trending tactics only to reverse their strategy in the face of an ever evolving digital playing field. One trend could be alive and kicking, today, and dead the next.

Anchor text definition: the clickable text of a hyperlink highlighted in blue with an underline.

Miss out on even a single stage of evolution, and you miss out on a lot. Worse, you might lose ground to competitors in Google search.

As a result, both SEOs and businesses are always in a frenzy to get better search rankings. By working on SEO best practices, they hope to achieve the top spot on Google and to stay there, despite the constant ranking flux.

Anchor Text HTML

The HTML anchor element creates a hyperlink between the link target and the anchor text. This is the basic syntax used by text hyperlinks found in web page content. See our sample HTML anchor snippet below.

Anchor text HTML example

Manage Anchor Text Links

Experts and SEO agencies still try to uncover the secrets behind SEO success - why a site, page or post ranks - or doesn't. Several have performed extensive backlink research while others study search term trends. These efforts point to one truth about SEO, amidst the volley of changes: anchor links matter in your content.

To manage the anchor links sitewide you must use the best SEO tools. Performing a comprehensive Site Audit regularly, is like having for a routine checkup with your doctor. It's just good practice.

Below is an example SEMrush site audit that will uncover broken links, crawl depth, etc. It helps you find problems as well as linking opportunities for internal and external links.

Performing an SEO audit is the best way to discover broken anchor text links.

The List of Anchor Text Link Categories

During the early days of SEO, only one anchor link category mattered - keywords. Link text and keywords had to be the same; otherwise, all efforts were pointless. That was back in 2009. Today, link profiles thrive on diversity.

Here are a few top categories for anchor types:

  • Keywords. Phrases businesses and experts try to rank on given pages.
  • Keyword plus. Contains the keyword and additional text.
  • Partial keyword. A partial match of the full key phrase.
  • Brand. The name of the business.
  • Brand plus keyword. The brand name and a keyword.
  • The brand’s domain in URL form.
  • Full URL. Just the URL the link points to.
  • Naked URLs. The full URL minus the https://.
  • Natural. No reference to the keyword.
  • Blog Post/Page Title. Refers to the meta title of a blog post or page.

Out of these, one rules them all.

The Best Anchor Text

The single most important out of the twelve is the Page Title/Blog Post Title. Websites referencing to other blog posts by titles are common occurrences in SEO.

Since this is a natural way to encourage other sites to link back to your posts, businesses get more links with the same link text. As a result, it fits the search engine’s expectation of natural backlink profiles.

Female blogger on her laptop, guest blogging her article & setting anchor text links inside her content

Also, page title anchor texts show up 25% of the time in top profiles. When more sites link back to your page title, expect a boost in phrases.

There’s more to this link building puzzle than meets the eye. But by prioritizing this anchor text, your SEO efforts will run for miles and miles.

Eric Melillo

Eric Melillo

An expert Growth Hacker helping enterprise companies scale and crush competitors using the full Inbound Flywheel & HubSpot.

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