One of the factors on your report was the amount of links containing anchor text. If you don’t have a lot of these links, you may be wondering what anchor text is, and what makes it so important.
Let’s take a closer look at anchor text, and why it matters from both a user perspective and for SEO. We’ll also discuss some ways that you can acquire anchor text-rich links, which can help you improve your rankings and website authority.
What is anchor text?
Take a look at this link: click here!
In the case of the link above, “click here” is the anchor text. Anchor text is the text that makes up a link – basically, the text that is usually underlined and colored blue, on most websites, to signify that there’s a link in the middle of the content you’re reading.
Why is it called anchor text? Great question! In HTML (the code used to create webpages), a link has two “anchors” at each end, signified with an <a> symbol. That’s why the text between them is called “anchor text.”
Why is anchor text important to website visitors?
Anchor text in links tells visitors browsing through websites, pages, and pieces of content what links are, and what the destination pages (should) contain.
Anchor text like “click here” doesn’t really tell a visitor what that link leads to. It could lead to anything! But anchor text like “click here to read an article about the importance of anchor text” is highly specific, and tells you exactly what to expect when you click.
How does anchor text impact SEO?
As you may already know, the number of high quality links you have pointing to your website can have a big impact on its appearance in search engines. But the mere presence of these links on other websites isn’t all that impacts your ranking in search. Anchor text can affect it, too.
Anchor text doesn’t just give website visitors context – it gives search engines context, too. Basically, if someone links to your website using specific anchor text, they are voting for your website to rank for that anchor text.
Let’s say you were going to add a link to our website from yours. There are a couple ways you might do this:
- A cool tool I found
- A free website grader
- Grade My Website
All four of these ways are basically casting a vote with Google (and other search engines), saying “this website should rank for this text.”
What do you think would happen if a hundred websites linked to us with the text “A free website grader”? That’s right: we’d probably rank #1 for that phrase!
Anchor text and link building
However, you should be cautious when trying to build links to your website that all have strong anchor text related to the keywords you want to rank for, or even for the name of your business. As search engines involve and their algorithms become more advanced, they’re able to pick up on unnatural behavior more easily.
If you acquire a lot of links, and they all contain the same anchor text, your site may start to look suspicious. Also, if those links didn’t come from very high quality websites, this could result in some penalties being applied to your site that actually hurt your ranking instead of helping it.
Google wants to see natural links with natural anchor text. When people link webpages naturally, they tend to do a mixture of the four examples we listed above. So when you are acquiring links, you should also aim for a healthy mixture – otherwise, you may run into problems.
We hope this page has helped you get a better idea of what anchor text and why it is important for both users and SEO! Have any more questions about anchor text, search engine optimization, or the report you received from us? Feel free to reach out to us at any time!