Backlinks are an important and integral part of SEO. They aim at getting more website visitors (Targeted Visitors) from the search engine. Good BackLinks doesn’t always mean more number of BackLinks or good page rank; it has more value than quantity and PageRank. It covers a broader area for good SEO. One of the most relevant terms for SEO and BackLinks is Anchor-Text. All these Meta tags, Heading Tags, and anchor texts are food on the same plate of SEO.
Today we are going to discuss all about anchor text link building. How it has changed with Google’s updates and how does it affects SEO and Do’s and Don’ts of Anchor Text Link Building. So, let’s begin from the absolute basics!
What is Anchor Text?
While on any website or web page, you see a differently colored may be underlined sometimes text/word/phrase on which when you hover the mouse a link appears and when you click on that text a new link opens and you are redirected to it. That, friends, is anchor text.
Why is Anchor Text so important?
As long as the backlinks are important to a website, anchor text’s importance is crucial. Google announces its importance globally in 2012 when it launched its update penguin. It became one of the easiest ways to know the relevancy of any website. And, not only relevancy, Google also sees on the basis of backlinks that which website has done over-optimization and which is to be penalized. This has increased Anchor text’s importance even more.
The anchor text must have keywords that are associated with the targeted search words. For example: Let’s say you run a company offering Search Engine Optimization services. On your home page that should have around 450 words of content, you can put words in the content that are actually your services such as keyword research, link building, and Page Rank, etc. You then internally link your website’s pages on these pages so that when any visitor clicks on these phrases, he jumps to that page you hyper-linked on that text.
Types of Anchor Texts and how to Use them
1 Zero Anchor Text: Phrases such as “Click Here”, “See This Link”, “check this website”, “Go here” and “Click Now!” are zero anchor texts and have no significant value. Such phrases should be avoided and should never be considered as anchor texts.
2 Naked URLs: These are not any words or phrases but actual link pasted in the text. Putting up direct naked links can affect your face value and it interrupts the reader while reading any text.
3 Exact Match Anchor Text: The exact match anchor text is something like “India SEO Services”. This phrase contains the actual keyword and a location. Over-using such anchor texts could lead to bad SEO practices and Google will consider this as unnatural link building practice.
4 Partial Match Anchor Text: Instead of inserting the location in the keyword, you can use phrases such as “best SEO Services”, “Top SEO services”. Google will pick up the location from the surrounding text and it won’t be considered as bad or unnatural practice. Partial Match Anchor text is highly recommended.
5 Diversified Anchor Text: You can use the terms related to your main keyword and use that in your text. For example, if your main keyword is SEO services, then its surrounding keywords should be like Search Engine Optimization”, “website SEO services SEO Company, “website search engine optimization”, and “What is SEO” etc. This practice is also recommended. This is also called hybrid anchors or LSI (Latent Semantic Anchors) anchors. Add the diversification in your anchor texts.
6 Branded Anchor Texts: Now, this is very important because people confuse their brand name online with the name in the URL. Branded Anchor texts are just the phrase or the word that is your brand name.
For example: If you are running a shoe company and your company’s name is “Johny’s shoes”, you can put an anchor text on Johny’s shoes. It’s completely safe, but if you have the domain of exact match, then using it is risky. So, while choosing the branded anchor text, pick you company’s name and not the URL. But, if your company’s name and the URL are the same, then pick anything related to your brand name, but not in URL.
7 No Text Anchors: Yes, this practice is followed by many brands. They simply do not use any such words at all. They build noText anchors via pictures on their website, which takes us directly to the Image Anchors. Google uses ALT tag in an image as the anchor text. If you leave the ALT tag section empty, you will get the noTEXT anchor.
8 Related Search Options: You can use related search options as your anchor texts. Where to find related search options? Whenever you search anything on Google, Google gives you suggestions; those are the related search options. Also, the blue-colored text in the bottom of your search results is also useful. If you want more results, you can use Google’s keyword planner and find the terms related to your main keyword.
How should you put anchor text?
1 Write the sentences in a way so that your anchor text matches perfectly with what you are trying to convey to your reader. Maintain the relevancy. Keep it tighter and focused on your anchor text without compromising the reader’s experience. This is why website content writing is very important.
2 You have to try and test what percentage of anchor texts and which ones are working best for you. For some, it is the branded anchor text that works best, for some it the generic anchor text. So, experiment it for some time, keep an eye on every statistic and after the test, give preference to the words that gave you best results.
Here’s who you should start
For Link 1: Use Exact Match Anchor
For Link 2: Partial Match
For Link 3: Choose Any Anchor text type out of the above 8
For link 4: Partial Match
For Link 5: Choose Any Anchor text type out of the above 8 (leave the one you chose for the link 3)
For Link 6: Partial Match
For Link 7: Choose Any Anchor text type out of the above 8 (leave the one you chose for the link 3 and 5)
For Link 8: Partial Match
For Link 9: Choose Any Anchor text type out of the above 8 (leave the one you chose for the link 3 and 5 and 7)
For link 10: Exact Match Anchor
This is just a sample, you can try this or not, it’s up to you. The point of trying this is seeing what difference it makes in traffic and ranking. Keep experimenting until you reach the point where you get your best result. There’s no perfect formula. But, no matter what you do, just don’t compromise on relevancy, naturalness, and diversification. Relevancy, naturalness, and diversification keep you away from Google’s penalty circle. These can double up your ranking and traffic count, but if all your practices didn’t look natural to Google, there’s no diversification and Google didn’t find relevancy in your website and inter-linking, then you are headed toward the wrong path.
I’m Simran an SEO consultant and marketing manager for SEO Professionals India. I’ve more than 5 years of experience as an SEO expert and have worked for many big brands. You can find more about us through our twitter handle @seoprofessionalz
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