4 Anchor Text Best Practices
What is an Anchor Text?
Anchor Text is the visible and clickable text that links to another page. An anchor text gives users relevant descriptive information on what the content that is linked to is about.
An anchor text is clickable and usually underlined that directs people to another page, such as this anchor text that links to Mktdojo homepage.
This is how an anchor text looks like in HTML:
<a href=http://www.mktdojo.com/> Example Text </a>
4 Anchor Text Best Practices plus BONUS:
Fully Optimized First Anchor Text: If you have more than one anchor text linking to a same page, fully optimized the first anchor text. It plays the more important role for SEO than the other anchor texts.
SEOmoz professionals conducted experiments on anchor text authorities and the experiments have shown that if two links within the same page are targeting the same URL, Google will only consider the first anchor text in its algorithm.
(image from SEOmoz)
Anchor Text Length: In the past, people will probably tell you to keep your anchor text short and sweet or just use the keyword as the anchor text. However, as the way people search for topics changes and the use of long tail keyword rises, just linking to a keyword is not enough.
Your anchor text should be long enough so that readers will know what the linked page is about but short enough to digest. For example “Google recently announced the Panda 10.9 update via their blog, this is their 20th update since the first Panda Update back in 2011.” In this example, the anchor text is “first Panda Update back in 2011,” readers and search engines will know exactly what the linked page is about. Long yet short.
If you find your anchor text is getting lengthy, stop and take a look at the page you are linking to. Consider the core of that page and what you want your reader to know about that page. Try to keep your anchor text within the 6-8 words or 55-60 characters limit.
Internal and External Link: You want to mix this up within your website. You want to internal link so that you can let people learn about your other informative articles and keep visitors on site longer. You also want to link to other useful sites so that you won’t appear to be only advertising your own articles to readers.
Tip: Don’t over use anchor text and have a lot of links within “one” article. It will make your readers feel over loaded with information and hard to digest.
Use Variations: Instead of using the same keyword to link to pages internally or externally, try switching it up and add some variation to your anchor text. Don’t over optimize on a keyword or else it will come back and haunt you. Furthermore, by using different variations, it makes your links more natural.
Here are a few variations you can use:
Use the fully URL (Ex: Check out www.Hostgator.com, www.SiteGround.com for cheap Webhosts)
Use long-tail keywords
Use Brand or Company Name (Ex: If your brand name or website is Tommy’s Spicy Pizza, you can use “Tommy’s Spicy Pizza’s Special Mac & Cheese” as the anchor text. Include brand name in the anchor text)
Random Words (Ex: Click Here or Check Out. Throw these in once in a while to make things look different)
Don’t Over-Optimize: Yes, anchor text still plays a major role in ranking your website but please~~~ don’t over optimize this even you have full control over it. If you keyword stuff your anchor text or constantly using the same keyword as the anchor text and suddenly Google push out a new update on anchor text ,it will hit you HARD. Once your ranking gets hit, it will take a long time to get back up. Months or maybe years. Don’t take this risk. There are many ways to optimize your anchor text and still looks natural.