Anchor Text

Anchor Texts in SEO: Everything You Need to Know

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    What is an anchor text?

    Anchor text is the clickable, visible text in a hyperlink. It’s a critical element in search engine optimization (SEO) as it provides context about the linked page’s content. Initially, search engines heavily relied on anchor text to understand and rank web pages. However, the evolution of search algorithms has refined the role and evaluation of anchor text in SEO.

    In the image below, the screenshot shows an example of how anchor texts look. The text in blue colour is an anchor text.

    Anchor text example
    An example of an anchor text

    An anchor text is placed in an anchor element <a>. Below is an example of what an anchor text looks like in an anchor element:

    <a href=””>anchor text</a>


    Types of anchor texts in SEO

    • Exact Match Anchor Text: Contains the exact keyword or phrase that the linked page targets. It’s direct and straightforward but should be used judiciously to avoid over-optimization.
    • Partial Match Anchor Text: Includes a variation or a part of the target keyword. It offers flexibility and a natural flow of content.
    • Branded Anchor Text: Uses the brand name as the anchor. It’s beneficial for brand recognition and trust-building.
    • Naked URL Anchor Text: Directly uses the URL as the anchor. While it’s not rich in keywords, it’s transparent and straightforward.
    • Generic Anchor Text: Common phrases like “click here” or “read more”. They are user-friendly, but they provide little SEO value.
    • Image Anchor Text: When images are used as links, their alt text becomes the anchor text, combining visual elements with textual context.
    • LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) Anchor Text: Incorporates semantically related keywords, enriching the content’s context and relevance.


    What are the characteristics of a good anchor text?

    The attributes of a good anchor text are as follows:


    A descriptive anchor text provides context about the page it is linking to.

    Example of a descriptive anchor text:

    If you need <a href=””>more information about anchor texts</a>, make sure to follow us.

    Example of a non-descriptive anchor text:

    If you need <a href=””>more information</a> about anchor texts, make sure to follow us.


    You do not want to make your anchor text as long as a sentence. Make sure it is short and sweet while at the same time conveying the context.

    Example of a concise anchor text:

    Learning about <a href=””>anchor text best practices</a> is as important as brushing your teeth. Otherwise, your article will stink.

    Example of a non-concise (extra long) anchor text:

    Learning about <a href=””>anchor text best practices is as important as brushing your teeth. Otherwise, your article will stink. </a>


    An anchor text should be relevant to the page it is on as well as the page it is linking to. Essentially, it should be a gateway to the other side, giving users a good idea of what the other page is about.

    Example of a relevant anchor text:

    If you want to master the art of <a href=””>writing good and relevant anchor texts</a>, you should read my guide.

    Example of a non-relevant anchor text:

    If you want to master the art of writing good and relevant anchor texts, you should <a href=””>read my guide</a>.


    How do you write good anchor texts?

    Writing good anchor texts is not difficult. Anchor texts should be descriptive, concise, and relevant to the page they are linking to.

    Keeping these points in mind, you may ask yourself a few questions to make sure you are writing good anchor texts.

    Here are the questions you should ask yourself while creating anchor texts:

    • Am I setting the right expectation for my reader when the reader clicks on the anchor text? Or will they be landing on a page that is not relevant to the anchor text?
    • Am I writing the anchor text naturally? Or am I thinking about SEO while doing it? Finding the right balance between keeping the anchor text natural and relevant is the key.
    • Am I cramming too many keywords in the anchor text to optimize it for SEO?

    Answer these questions in your head while working on anchor texts, and you are good to go.


    The importance of good anchor texts in SEO

    • Enhances User Experience: Good anchor text clearly indicates what the linked content is about, setting accurate expectations for the user. This transparency enhances the user’s browsing experience, making navigation intuitive and efficient.
    • Boosts SEO Performance: Search engines use anchor text to understand the context and content of the linked page. Descriptive and relevant anchor text can significantly improve a page’s visibility and ranking in search engine results, driving more organic traffic to the site.
    • Strengthens Link Context: Anchor text provides context for both users and search engines. It helps search engines understand the relevancy and subject matter of the linked content, which is crucial for indexing and determining the quality of the link.
    • Improves Website Credibility: Well-crafted anchor text that leads to quality and relevant content can enhance the credibility of a website. Users are more likely to trust and rely on a website that consistently provides clear, concise, and contextually relevant anchor texts.
    • Reduces Bounce Rate: When users click on an anchor text and find content that matches their expectations, they are more likely to spend more time on the site, reducing the bounce rate. A lower bounce rate is often interpreted by search engines as a sign of a site’s quality and relevance, potentially improving its ranking.
    • Facilitates Smooth Site Navigation: Good anchor text acts as signposts, guiding users through a website’s content and making it easier for them to find the information they seek. This seamless navigation can enhance user satisfaction and encourage them to explore the site further.
    • Contributes to a Site’s Link Profile: The diversity and quality of anchor text within a site contribute to its overall link profile, a factor that search engines consider when evaluating a site’s authority and trustworthiness. A natural and varied anchor text profile is indicative of a healthy, well-structured website.


    Tips about anchor texts from my observations as an SEO professional

    Tip 1: I have seen websites linking to other posts or pages using texts like “Learn More” or “Click Here”. These anchor texts should be avoided at all costs, as they provide no context or relevancy.

    Tip 2: The sentence that contains the anchor text should also be a relevant sentence. What this means is that the text that is before and after the anchor text should be relevant to the anchor text. The anchor text should not look out of place or be forced into a sentence.


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    Ankit Chauhan is an SEO Consultant and Researcher. Having more than 5 years of extensive experience in SEO, Ankit loves to share his SEO expertise with the community through his blog. Ankit Chauhan is a big-time SEO nerd with an obsession for search engines and how they work. Ankit loves to read Google patents about search engines and conduct SEO experiments in his free time.