In SEO, link building plays a pivotal role in establishing your brand, building authority in your niche, and driving organic traffic. And good link building is a combination of intelligently-placed internal links and getting high-authority outbound links. And in acing the art and science of link building, the importance of anchor text cannot be overemphasized. Let’s understand what is anchor text and why it is crucial for SEO.
What is Anchor Text?
It can be defined as clickable text that directs visitors to another page on the web. It typically appears as a blue, underlined text in the content, with the destination URL hidden behind it. This means it masks the hyperlink, which is the URL address of the page that the anchor text is linked to. A good one indicates to the readers what lies ahead when they click it.
At the same time, it also influences how search engines crawl your content. The context of the anchored text with respect to the destination URL helps determine its relevance – one of the key metrics that Google considers in indexing and ranking a page in search results. On the other hand, the quality of anchored text also impacts page experience, which is an important SEO ranking factor.
Different Types of Anchor Text
Now that you understand what is anchor text, discussed here are various kinds of link text you can include in your content:
- URL anchors: This is not widely popular because using the URL itself as an anchor text may not be effective in most cases. It can also affect the reader’s experience as well as the search engine’s indexability. Example - https://www.aryozone.com/.
- Branded links: Here, the anchored text is your brand name, such as AryoZone.
- Website name: Often the name of the website is used as the anchor text, like com.
However, these are not widely used because of their lack of context and relevance, which can affect your SEO search results. More popularly used variations are:
- Page or article title: Here, the anchored text exactly matches the page title, i.e., What is anchor text.
- Exact keywords: The primary keyword or key phrase is used as the anchored text. This ensures better readability, context, and relevance.
- Related keywords: These are not exact matches to the primary keyword or keyphrase, but closely related to it.
- Partially matching keywords: To create a readable link text, use different variants of the primary keyword.
- Generic links: When learning what is anchor text, avoid these types of links such as “Read more” or “Click here.” The anchored text should clearly indicate what the link is all about or the content of the page it is linked to.
Importance of Anchor Text in SEO
Links are crucial to improve SEO rankings. When you add internal links or create outbound links, it helps search engines to clearly understand the site structure. Here, the anchored text gives search engines and users more context. It is a strong indicator of the page you are linking to – whether internally or outbound. In both cases, it helps users and search engines to understand what the page is all about.
If the link text is not relevant to the topic of the linked page, it may result in a bad user experience and you may lose your website visitors. And from search engines’ perspective, it may affect your organic SEO rankings because the linked page does not add value to the users.
So, when understanding what anchor text is and how it may affect your SEO search results, keep these in mind:
- An anchor text helps simplify the user experience by providing a true context of what the content in the linked page is all about. This makes it easier for the users to decide whether they would click the link and read further or not. Effective link building, with the right text, ensures a rich reading experience because it tends to provide valuable information on the linked page. In case of internal linking, an anchored text aids in easy navigability.
- For search engines, anchored text is an important metric that helps understand the context of the link and its relevance to the content in the linked page. It also helps determine the level of user experience on the page.
Thoroughly understanding what is anchor text and its importance in SEO will help deliver an improved user experience and boost your page rankings.
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