Anchor text refers to the visible, clickable word or phrase that serves the purpose of linking one page to another. In other words, it is the visible part of a hyperlink. It may be used within external and internal links and in guest posts or outreach articles as well. It is essential that you focus on anchor text diversity to leverage its benefits properly; but before delving deeper into this context, let us help you with a good understanding of anchor text first.
All About Anchor Text
Anchor text has a key role to play in determining the search engine results pages (SERP) rankings. Search engines can see the anchor text as well as the site or page that it is linked with and takes it as a parameter of target relevance. Their relevance ensures that the search engines will view the anchor text positively, which in turn increases the chances of securing high ranking for your page and site.
For instance, if you are looking to create an anchor text with the phrase “Midi Dresses” and link it to a page, search engines will check whether the text is being linked to a page or website which is relevant for a search query on “Midi Dresses”. As simple as that!
Anchor Text Overuse: How can it cause harm?
Now that you know enough about anchor text, you will probably be able to implement this knowledge by using your web copy to create web links that are relevant. Well, not yet! The first thing that you need to bear in mind is that overuse of anchor text can do more harm than good to your website’s link profile.
To begin with, you should avoid making use of the same anchor text constantly because it can cause search engines to view this as a manipulative activity. Consequently, you may be penalized and the site’s ranking may fall.
This penalty emerged as the result of an update in Google’s algorithm way back in 2003. It was introduced as an attempt to override a bad practice called Google Bombing. It refers to the practice of creating a large number of links for a specific anchor text to such an extent that they lead up to only that page as the top result.
Diversity in anchor text, therefore, becomes a necessity and the use of exact match anchor text should be minimized to avoid search engines taking it as a manipulative attempt.
Anchor Text For Branding
Another aspect of anchor text that you need to understand is their ability to boost your brand. Search engines gives precedence to websites that have a strong brand image. You can create one by making use of branded keywords in relevant outreach pieces that are posted on the niche websites. This makes your brand name visible to a larger audience which generates interest and boost searches as well. And this transforms your brand name itself into your strongest keyword.
Furthermore, branding your anchor text enables you to create a compelling narrative for your business. It empowers you to be the author of your own story, rather than have a third party narrate it to your potential customers. So the power to make your brand bigger lies with you and only you!
Types of Anchor Text
In all, there are 7 types of anchor text keywords that you can utilize to varied degrees to get the best benefits from this strategy.
Exact Match- 5% of the links
Exact match, as the name suggests, is simply the keyword you are using, whether short, medium or long-tailed. For example, if you want to rank for “Midi Dresses”, the exact match anchor text will be “Midi Dresses” only. This is the type that is often overused, though only 5% of the external backlinks should ideally be exact match.
Phase Match- 20% of the links
Phrase match anchor text includes the target keywords in addition to other words to form a related phrase. For the target keywords “Midi Dresses”, you could create phrase match anchor text options such as “If you are looking for fashionable Midi Dresses” or “Buy the latest Midi Dresses”. This type of anchor text makes a great way to utilize the target keywords, without putting yourself at the risk of appearing spammy or unnatural. Studies indicate that 20% of the backlinks should have phrase match anchor text for an optimal impact.
Brand Name- 10% of the links
Brand name anchor text refers to anchoring your company name itself, as in “The Midi Dress Company”. When you anchor the brand name in a sentence that contains a relevant keyword (usually referred to as latest semantic index (LSI) keyword), you indicate relevance. Brand name anchor text not only propels your brand’s reputation but offers SEO benefits as well. Ideally, 10% of the backlinks should be with brand name anchor text.
Branded- 25% of the links
Branded anchor text is combines the brand name with a relevant phrase match. For instance, “The Midi Dress Company offers fashionable midi dresses at best prices” is a branded anchor text. The benefit of using these is that they enable the audience to connect with your brand and remember it. Therefore, you should focus on creating positive and memorable branded anchor text that compels the readers to click. It is recommended to make 25% of the incoming links with branded keywords.
Keywords Branded- 15% of the links
Another variant of anchor text is Keyword Branded anchor text, which means that you the brand and keyword are anchored. So The Midi Dress Company that targets “Midi Dresses” would anchor “Buy midi dresses from The Midi Dress Company”. Keyword branded anchor text should be used naturally within the content. The optimal proportion of their usage is in15% of the backlinks.
Other Terms- 15% of the links
This category includes the text and keywords other that the targeted keywords or the brand name. An example for The Midi Dress Company would be “dress shop” or “gorgeous dresses”. Phrases like “read more” and “on this website” (though these should be kept to the minimum) may also be used. Up to 15% of the entire backlinks should use this variant of anchor text.
Page URL, Root, or Subdomain/Subdirectory- 10% of the links
You can also use your page URL, root domain or subdomain/subdirectory in the anchor text. These are usually displayed in the social media links and local directory listings. The URL links can be added to your author profile or video links. About 10% of the incoming links should utilize this type of anchor text.
Though these percentages are a guide for building backlinks, they are not absolute values. What really matters is that the keywords and anchor text should go in a natural flow within the content and at the same time, appear a relevant, high-quality site. However, using these volumes and ratios as standards will help you build a diverse backlink profile and elevate your site’s ranking.
Now that the concept of anchor text diversity has been well-explained, you can consider updating your existing blogs and implementing the strategy in the new ones as well.