What is Anchor Text? A Basic Guide

anchor text

What is Anchor Text?

The anchor text is the clickable text that we see within the content of the website and once we click on it we will be directed to another page.

Dissecting the Anchor Text

That’s how a sample anchor text will look like in the source code of a website:

For example: <a href=”http://www.nudgedigital.co.uk”>UK digital marketing agency</a>

However, as users, we can see only the clickable part of the text: UK digital marketing agency.

If we want to ‘dissect’ the elements that constitute the anchor text structure:

  • <a> and </a> = beginning and end of link tag.
  • http://www.nudgedigital.co.uk = link referral location.
  • UK digital marketing agency = anchor text.

Importance of anchor text for SEO

One of the most important relevancy factors for SEO purposes is anchor text. Within the website page, elements like the meta title, the heading tags, the surrounding text and the anchor text are factors that are perceived as relevancy signals.

It should contain keywords that are related to our targeted search terms. In other words, our text should be keyword-rich if we want to increase our chances of improving our keyword rankings.

For example let’s say that you have a digital marketing agency located in Kent and one of the most important services you offer is ’’Link Building’’. How would you create these anchor texts?

On the homepage (the most important page of your site), within your organic text (circa 450 words) you can start using internal links (or text links) to describe your various SEO services. One of which is link building (this is the part you are creating your anchor text, or you can create another alternative like ‘’off-site optimisation services’’ or ‘’link building services’’).

See? We have already 3 alternative anchor texts within the homepage, describing our link building services! However make sure that you use one type of anchor text (e.g. link building) in each page. If we want this anchor text to have some link values, we need this anchor text to point to the respective link building services. This is how the relevancy factor can be determined.

What not to do when you want to link one page to another?

When you are working on your internal link building strategy try to avoid two things:

  • Do not use zero anchor texts, such as ‘Click Here’
  • Do not use the same anchor text too many times as it will be perceived by search engines as a signal of manipulation for this key phrase. Google encourages diversified anchor texts that can describe the same thing.  If you only use the anchor text ‘’ link building’’ in your site then it can be perceived by search engines as a signal of manipulation. Ideally you need to use diverse anchor text, as previously mentioned, using similar anchor text like ‘’off-site optimisation’’ or ‘’ link building services’’.

Types of anchor text and what’s best for SEO

Types of anchor text

Some of the most common types of anchor text:

  • Zero anchor text : It carries no significant link value and thus it is highly recommended to avoid phrases like ‘’Click Here’’.
  • ‘’Naked’’ URLs : The ‘’naked’’ URLs at the same time are the anchor text themselves (please refer to the screenshot below):

types of anchor text

  • Exact Match Anchor Text:  The exact match anchor text (e.g. UK SEO services) contains a geographical area and a key word. Do bear in mind that heavy usage of exact match anchor text might be perceived as unnatural link building effort.
  • Partial match anchor text (recommended) : Instead of using a targeted anchor text (including the country/city), you can just include the key phrase such as web application development. From the surrounding text, search engine spiders will  ‘’understand’’ that we are talking about a web application development company in the UK.
  • Hybrid anchor text (recommended) : Within the framework of anchor text diversity you can also include a combination of anchor texts that directly relates your brand with your non- branded terms.

External linking

For external linking, it’s really important to review and assess the importance of the current anchor text from your current link partners. So once you are done with the evaluation of the quality of your current backlinks from your existing link partners, you can request for another anchor text that will be pointing either to the homepage of your site or it will be pointing to the internal pages of your site (deep linking).

In all cases you need to make sure that the link request , concerning the anchor text, should be directly related to the destination page (either it’s the homepage of your site or the inner pages of your site).

In a nutshell, when you ask for text from your link partners, ensure that:

  • You have used diversified link texts that will be pointing to your homepage and not only one type of anchor text.
  • Your anchor texts are not passing link juice only to your homepage, but also to your inner pages (deep linking) so that these pages receive link juice as well.

In case you have a blog in your site, blogging is still a viable and effective way of making your pages more relevant to search engines. So make sure that you use diversified types of anchor text (that will be pointing to the pages of your site):

  • Partial match.
  • Hybrid.

So, what do you think about the importance of anchor text and do you give the attention it deserves (onsite and offsite)?