The question is whether you should click or not.
Without hyperlinks, the Internet would not exist. Despite (or perhaps because of) their importance in our regular Internet browsing, we rarely give them any thought. When we notice a link, we make an instinctive choice about whether or not to click it. That’s perhaps why many website owners aren’t aware of how much potential is concealed within each link: they haven’t yet changed their perspective and recognised links as significant SEO assets.
So, what motivates us to click on links? There are two main aspects to consider:
- The surrounding context of links. This half is dictated by your ability to write in a way that makes readers want to know more.
- The anchor texts of the links appear to be trustworthy. Certain sorts of anchor phrases are simply more effective at generating clicks. This half is supported by SEO science that has been observed and validated.
Basically, optimising the links going to your site (and inside your site) will improve user traffic while also increasing the authority and rankings of your site. Does that appeal to you? Let’s have a look at how it’s done.
1. Different kinds of anchor texts
Anchor texts, or words within a hyperlink, are well-known. If you leave it unclicked, it will be blue; if you click it, it will be purple; if you click it, it will be other colours, depending on the page. This is something I like. The various forms of anchor texts are a little less well-known, and this is where we enter SEO area.
- Exact match: these anchor texts are a great replacement for the keywords you’re trying to rank for. If your top keyword is online SEO tools, an exact match anchor text would be online SEO tools as well.
- Partial match: these anchor texts use the ranking keywords in a haphazard manner and do not perfectly match them. Take, for example, SEO tools available online.
Phrase match: These anchor texts have a combination of ranking keywords in them. Take, for example, SEO tools and techniques.
- Generic: these anchor texts can be literally anything else and are often non-descriptive. Here are some examples: click here, download, and so on.
- Brand: These anchor texts are the name of a brand.
- Image: Technically, these aren’t texts at all. They’re merely graphics that, when clicked, take you to an other page.
- Naked URL: these anchor texts only contain the URL address of the target website.
- Combinations of all.
2. Why are all of these different sorts important?
Anchor messages, on the other hand, do more than just tell consumers what they’re clicking on. Users aren’t the only ones who read those texts; search engines do too. And, just as certain people prefer certain anchors over others, search engines such as Google, Bing, and others consider anchor text when determining the trustworthiness of a link.
This brings us to the crux of the issue: search engines treat anchor texts similarly to keywords that linked pages used to try to rank.
Because keywords are at the heart of SEO, the anchor texts of your backlinks are given equal weight.
So, using solely anchor texts with keywords in your backlinks is the obvious approach, right?
Wrong! You’ll end yourself in Google Penaltyville if you continue down that path. There are too many of them.
3. What does a natural anchor text profile look like?
Some webmasters are extremely concerned about anchor text distribution, attempting to divide their anchor texts into precise proportions. For example, brand anchors account for 40% of all anchor texts, exact match anchors for 20%, and so on.
Taking it that far is completely pointless.
Trying to make your anchor text profile look natural is the polar opposite of what you want it to be. At most, an approach like this will be as effective as simply letting nature run its course. In the worst-case scenario, Google will detect foul activity and penalise you.
So here’s the first piece of advice for optimising your anchor texts: don’t micromanage them. There are plenty of other suggestions we can make.
- Optimize the anchors you have control over. No, it does not contradict the preceding statement. It makes perfect sense to choose the anchor text for a backlink if you are actively involved in its creation.
- Don’t jam too many keywords into your anchors. Remember the SEO joke about the SEO expert who strolled into a bar, grill, pub, or restaurant and asked for a bartender, cocktails, and liquor? It’s difficult to picture someone clicking on a link with an oddly phrased sentence.
- Make sure your anchors accurately describe the pages that are linked. Do not, on the other hand, enable the opposite to occur. A page can appear in searches for the wrong keywords if it has too many unsuitable anchor texts connecting to it. It’s called Google bombing, and it’s hilarious until it happens to you.
- The best example of partial match anchors is the page title anchor text. Nothing better describes a linked page than its title, and it’s one of the most logical methods to link to it.
- Tip for image anchors: Google considers the ALT text of a picture to be anchor text.
- A link’s natural and organic nature is indicated via a generic anchor text. Even if the anchors don’t help your rankings, Google accepts such connections.
Simply put, the best anchor text is one that is relevant to the page to which it links. This is, without a doubt, the gold standard. You can’t go wrong with an anchor that explains what the user will find.
When you’re primarily concerned with your content, user experience, and online reputation, anchor texts in backlinks may appear insignificant. However, the problematic thing about SEO factors is that they all have an impact on your results, no matter how little they are. Anchor texts are one of the most straightforward to control; don’t let them become the weakest link in your SEO chain!