All That You Need To Know About Anchor Text Variation
During the initial days of traditional SEO, keywords were used as anchor texts to secure high search rankings for websites and take them to the top. The search engines were unable to check each page and backlink and had to rely only on anchor texts to allocate rankings for the site. Gradually, as SEO techniques evolved, search engines became smarter than ever and came up with new updates to make relevance the most critical ranking parameter for websites. They are now able to see the anchor text and the site or page to which it links. With this, they can judge the relevance of the target; the more the relevance, the more positively is the anchor text viewed by search engines and the better are its chances to reach high rankings.
Significance of Anchor Text Variation
In addition to relevance, anchor text variation is another critical factor that affects the efficacy of anchor text in securing rankings for the websites. Google’s updated algorithm lays emphasis on the diversification of anchor text to such an extent that its overuse becomes detrimental to the website’s link profile. In simpler word, constant and repetitive use of the same exact anchor text is views as a manipulative attempt by the search engines. This leads them to penalize the website and reduce its ranking, which means lesser visibility that translates into loss for the business. Therefore, it is vital that you diversify the anchor text in your content and keep the use of exact match anchor text to the minimum.
Types Of Anchor Text Keywords And Their Optimal Usage
Since search engines look for diversity in anchor text, it is advisable to look for an optimal mix in their distribution to get high ranking for your website. Here are the seven types of anchor text keywords that you can utilize to varying degrees to get the best results.
- Exact Match
As the name implies, exact match anchor texts are the keywords themselves, which may be short, medium or long-tailed. These are perhaps the most overused type of anchor text keywords, though the ideal percentage of their usage should be only 5% of the entire external backlinks of your website.
- Phrase Match
A phrase match anchor text is a combination of the target keyword and other words to form a contextual phrase. It facilitates the use of the target keywords naturally within the content, without making it appear spammy or irrelevant. Nearly 20% of your backlinks should comprise phrase match anchor text to bring optimal results.
- Brand Name
Another type of anchor text that is considered as an integral part of the mix is Brand Name anchor text. This practice requires you to anchor your brand name in the content containing a relevant keyword, commonly addresses as the Latent Semantic Index (LSI) keyword. Nearly 10% of your backlinks should be made with Brand Name anchor text to get the best SEO benefits for your website.
Branded anchor text combines your brand’s name with an appropriate contextual phrase match. Since branded anchor text is purposed for making people connect with your brand, it should be positive and memorable. An engaging copy ensures that the readers would click through and access your website via the backlink. Considering its significance with respect to selling and engaging the potential customers, this type of anchor text gets an impressive 25% of the total backlinks.
- Keyword Branded
Keyword Branded anchor text refers to the one that is formed by anchoring the brand with the target keyword. The practice has to be done naturally and subtly, without sounding stuffed within the content. The optimal usage of Keyword Branded anchor text is 15% of the total backlinks of your website.
- Page URL, Root, or Subdomain/Subdirectory
10% of the backlinks should be made with page URL, root or subdomian/subdirectory. While this type of anchor text is usually displayed in the local directory listings and your social media links, the URL links can be made with video links or author profile.
- Miscellaneous/Other Terms
In addition to the specific types of anchor text mentioned above, you can use miscellaneous ones that are made with text and keywords other than the target keywords and brand name. “Read more”, “Here”, and “on this website” are some of the most common ones that come in this category. The recommended usage of this anchor text type is 15% of the total backlinks.
The use of the right anchor text mix enables you to bring the desired variations in them. This helps you in preventing penalties levied for anchor text overuse as well as retaining the rankings for your website. At the same time, you should make sure that they appear naturally within the content and are linked only with relevant, high-quality websites.