What is an anchor link?

Have you come in contact with a clickable text while reading on the web, which when clicked upon will take you to another page on the website or to a different website entirely?

I am sure you have come across one. Anchor links is a sort of link that when clicked upon, it will refer you to another place.

It can refer you to another point on the same page or to another page on the same website, or even to a different website entirely.

Why are anchor links important?

Anchor links can be used for several reasons, but the sole aim of this article is to talk about links used while writing a content, to refer to other resources on another website to further validate the points you are trying to make, thereby educating your readers the more.

Most times, these links lead to a website that is an authority in the topic being talked about. 

Anchor links are essential ingredients for SEO if done the right way. When you link to other pages of your blog, it helps search engines crawlers to discover these pages and then index them.

When a website with high Domain Authority links to your blog, it rubs off its credibility on your blog, hence boosting your rank up the Search Engine Result Pages.   

Components of Anchor Links

This is what a typical anchor link looks like. It is written using HTML tag and attribute as seen below: 

source:moz

<a – This is the opening tag for anchor links that can be interpreted by the browser.

href – It is an attribute of HTML that specifies the destination of the anchor link. It can be called the ‘Target Link’ as seen above.

From the image above, “http://www.tinydancinghorse.com” is the destination of the link

Anchor Text- It is the clickable text of a hyperlink that is displayed by the browser and visible to the user. The anchor text for the link above is “Tiny dancing horse”.

This is the most important part of the anchor link that must be optimized for search engines and users by providing relevant contextual information about the content being linked to.

Types of Anchor Texts

  1. Exact-Match: When the anchor text contains keywords that summarizes what the content being linked to is all about. An example is ‘Backlinks’ linking to a page about ‘Backlinks’.
  2. Partial-Match: It is an anchor text that is not an exact match to the keyword used on the page being linked to but that is closely related to it. For instance, ‘Building Quality Backlinks’ linking to a page about ‘Backlinks’.
  3. Images: Some images are linked, maybe to give credit to the author, in this type of link, the alt attribute of the image will be used as the anchor text.
  4. Branded: This is mostly used by top brands by using the brand name as the anchor text. For instance, ‘Coca-Cola’ linking to an article on ‘Coca-Cola’.
  5. Generic: This type of anchor links contain generic terms and the common ones are ‘Read more’, ‘Click here’.

SEO: The Best Way to Write Anchor Texts

Please, do note that you have little or no say on how the links linking your blogs are setup.

But, these tips will help you write anchor texts in a way that will be beneficial to your blog in terms of search engines rankings. And one way of doing this is by linking to other pages of your own blog.

  • Concise: The anchor text should not be verbose, but it should include all the necessary information. While trying to write the anchor texts, you must think of the words that will make the reader click on the link.

Usually, the anchor texts are keywords and I suggest that the anchor text contains 2-7 words to make clicking easy. If the anchor text contains just a word, the reader may find it difficult to click on it because of the short length coupled with the text font’s size. 

Another thing is that, one word anchor texts may not be clearly visible to the reader and it may not contain enough information about what the content being linked to really contain.

For example, an anchor text like ‘how to write email copies that sell’ will garner more clicks than the one that contains just ‘email copies’. You may want to write something like “…….how to write ‘email copies’ that sell” (only ‘email copies’ is the anchor text).

But, sometimes, the readers just scan through your content without actually reading it, since only ‘email copies’ will be highlighted as the link, it may not draw attention because it’s not providing enough details.

Hence why, the anchor text itself must make sense to increase click rate.

  • Relevancy of Link: Yes, anchor text is very important for SEO, but Page Relevancy is IMPORTANTER (pun intended). It is a two-way thing.  If the page you are linking to is not relevant to the page you are linking from, it’s a no no for search engines.
    In like manner, if the page you are linking from (that is, your blog) is not relevant to the page you are linking to, sorry, you can get in trouble with search engine bots. This kind of practice can be recorded as a spam.

    For instance, a link from a sport blog to a Christian blog cannot help much with your SEO because search engines consider page relevancy as one of the metrics for ranking.

    Fine, it may not hurt your blog in anyway but it won’t help it either. But there’s a high chance it is seen as black-hat link building which can get you penalized by the search engine.

    If you are linking to a page, at least, make sure it is quite related to the niche of your blog.

  • Density of Keywords in the Anchor Text: Some SEOs may mis-advise you to stuff your anchor text with keywords. Bad news for you, Google will get you if other search engines don’t.

Yes, it’s advisable you include keywords in your anchor texts but like it is commonly said, ‘too much of everything is not good’.

Google frowns at keyword stuffing and will be swift to penalize you if you are caught. To be on the safer side, be moderate with everything so as not to get on the bad side of these Search engines.

Because, if you do, only you have everything to lose.

CONCLUSION

As stated at the beginning of this article, you don’t really have any influence on how sites that link to your own write their anchor text. But, make sure you do the one you have control over very well.

Once you can fully optimize your links for search engines, it will definitely boost your ranking on search engines.

Do you have any question or want to add something else? Let’s discuss in the comment section.

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