While writing web copy or blog posts, you will find many chances to link to other pages. A simple yet effective to share any additional information with your readers is to guide them to another section on your website or even citing the source of a statistic. At present, many people quickly recognize a link when they see one, which is in blue and underlined or at times plausibly contrasting than the rest of the text on the page. These visible indications tell the readers that additional information can be accessed via that link. Whereas web crawlers watch links differently. As they parse the HTML instead of seeing the actual user-facing side of a web page, they’ll see a code that tells the crawler a few things such as: See below the step-by-step guide-How to Create Anchor Text That’s Meaningful To Your Readers.
Way to Creating Anchor Text That’s Meaningful To Your Readers
Firstly, the letter “a” denotes that this is a link, and “/a” tells you that it is the end of the linked area. The “href” always starts the target page, and the URL in the quotation marks states what that page is. And finally, the written work between the “a” and “/a” tags are all anchor text or the linked area.
To illustrate, the result from this example would somewhat look like this: Anchor text
Creating a link is something people may not give a lot of thought to, however, the target pages and anchor text chosen by you impact your SEO efforts. In the same way, the anchor text in the backlinks that point to your site will be a significant element for your visibility, which means tactical anchor text selection is imperative for link building, too.
THE PENGUIN UPDATE, AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR ANCHOR TEXT
Google constantly updates its algorithm to make the search experience useful and user-friendly to a greater extent. It works on changing its algorithm every year, though not all will make a huge difference to how your site will rank or what you may need for optimizing your web pages.
But now and then, Google makes a major update that interchange the process SEO pros operate forever.
Too dramatic? Well not if you ask all the sites that took a thrash after the first redo of the penguin update in 2012.
With penguin, google took an up-close watch at anchor text and links. Before 2012, it was a usual practice to use keyword-rich anchor text. Some suspicious web users used a technique called “Google Bombing” to falsely inflate certain results.
To make it straight, Google penalized “too-optimized” anchor text links or excessive copied keyword links. During 24 hours of the update going live, a few brands’ rankings plunged.
Google declared that the update affected just the 3.1 percent of queries in English, but clearly, the affected had a major ground to make up to.
Ahrefs suggests that the exact match anchor text should be used delicately: between 1 and 5 percent even though it is ok to use.
Penguin has updated itself many times since the start of 2012. At the beginning of 2016, penguin 4.0 started penalizing pages with anchor text issues in real-time rather than progressively, described by Neil Patel. Google however will penalize only the page and not the entire site, which is a piece of good news, yet it will still impact your visibility overall.
Options for choosing anchor text
You have several options to choose from a set of hyperlinks, so proper consideration should be made while placing an anchor text naturally within a sentence.
You must have come across some of the common types of anchor text which may include:
EXACT MATCH: By this, you target a given page when you link the keyword.
PARTIAL MATCH: This is when you include the keyword with an extra word around it.
LSI KEYWORDS: LSI i.e. Latent Semantic Indexing keywords are not an exact match but a phrase or words that mean similar to your target keywords.
GENERIC: A link, a word, or a phrase that doesn’t say anything about it but indicates that there is a link such as “Click here” and “Read more”.
BRANDED: Linking a Brand name of the targeted page:
SITE NAME: This is when you link a domain name to a page, it may include any subdomains or paths: Brafton.com or Brafton.com/brafton-blog.
NAKED URL: When the anchor text is nothing but the URL.
IMAGE: linking an image will give Google the access to use the text in the image’s alt attribute as an anchor text.
The main purpose of a link is to provide your users with value and clear guidance. All the options above will take your users to the targeted page but all might not be equally useful. Having a clear picture of how each style of anchor text affects the way readers and search engines view your page will make sure you build an anchor profile that benefits your site.
HOW TO CHOOSE ANCHOR TEXT FOR SEO
While you know that SEO shows search engines that your site is useful and error-free, these rudimentary principles apply to choosing anchor text, too.
To make your site and links more fruitful your anchor text ought to include:
- Distinctly and briefly explaining what the target page is,
- And leading to the germane content.
Also, to show that you are not spamming your visitors, your anchor text must not be:
- Overly generic.
- Deviating from the target page, or the content at hand.
- Too keyword-dense.
HOW TO CHOOSE HELPFUL ANCHOR TEXT FOR YOUR READERS
Eventually, your objective is not choosing an anchor text to please Google. As your content should be first and foremost designed to help your viewers, and so should your anchor text links.
Selecting words that show your readers what they will find when they follow the link will make your anchor text as friendly as possible. This is an example from Stevie Snow’s article about the content marketing process:
The ideas of your content arise from your strategy and, of course, must align with the results you desire. For example, the creation of a product demo boosts brand awareness whereas writing how-to-blog answers the knotty questions your targeted audience constantly searches. Facing some writer’s block, you can find some remarkable content ideation tools that may help you escape from the dark place.
When you follow that link, you’ll see Mike O’Neill’s article about- content ideation tools.
These content ideations are pertinent to Stevie’s topic, of creating a content marketing process.
There is never a hard and fast rule as to how many words to use in your anchor text, but it should short and concise if possible. A sentence-long link is too much to take in and won’t even show a clear link destination. Whereas a single-word link can be overlooked and may not be enticing to click.
BEST PRACTICES FOR USING DIFFERENT TYPES OF ANCHOR TEXT
A varied approach to your anchor profile will fetch you a myriad of readers and can be a healthy SEO practice as well. Here’s how:
EXACT MATCH ANCHOR TEXT
Generally, keeping the exact match anchor text to a minimum is required. But, including at least one or two exact matches can help search engines in identifying the subject of your page.
PARTIAL MATCH ANCHOR TEXT
It looks less junkie than the exact match since you change the language and it looks a little more natural. Using a word or phrase to complement the keyword may be the best course of action in case you don’t want to come across as manipulative.
LSI ANCHOR TEXT
There is a bunch of perks for using LSI anchor text. A couple of which are: bringing a variety to your text so that you do not repeat your target keyword so often. Secondly, capturing the attention of your audience to similar keywords regarding what they might be searching instead of your target keyword.
You can normally use LSI anchor text often than match exact, though it’s best to keep it on the lower end of the scale. You should use this technique ranging from 5 to 20 at a time.
GENERIC ANCHOR TEXT
This again should be used sparingly. But, then again, at times it makes sense to use it more often. Readers will know
BRANDED ANCHOR TEXT
One thing every anchor text has in common is branded anchor text. It is helpful to bring people to your landing pages from one of your blog posts or guest posts on other sites. Creating backlinks benefits you in the long run. Branded anchor text including your name helps you establish a greater call to action for your business.
NAKED URL ANCHOR TEXT
It is another style used by many industry professionals. But there are some negative points to the naked URL technique. First, while reading the content you might come across a plain old URL, which can sometimes be an irky experience. Secondly, your reader may not think of you as a well-versed webmaster as you should be. So make sure to looks as natural as possible along with choosing a shorter URL.
IMAGE ANCHOR TEXT
Image anchor will automatically lessen your content into one single image. But some people may warn you against using images as your anchor text when you don’t have any textual connection with that image as it makes it hard for readers to understand what the anchor text is supposed to be.
CREATING AN ANCHOR TEXT STRATEGY THAT WILL WORK BEST FOR YOU
How to Create Anchor Text That’s Meaningful To Your Readers: Anchor text selection is not rocket science. Some occasions call for one style of anchor text while some require a different style. The crux of creating an anchor text is to keep your content simple yet valuable and natural to the eyes of the reader. Keep tracking your pages so that you can find patterns in your anchor text and improve it each passing day.
Conclusion: anchor text isn’t the most critical aspect of SEO, but it does not ignore the fact that good, readable, and valuable content will buy you your desired audience. With the correct plan of action, you can make sure your anchor text is as helpful and reachable to your visitors as it is to any search engine such as Google.