Best Practices for Anchor Text Optimization in 2018
Performing SEO of a website requires you brainstorm the pros and cons of each link you make, either it is to or from a website. The use of anchor text on your website or guest blog gives you the opportunity to earn signals for better search engine rankings.
But, if the text is not anchored with recommended practice, it will revert back with a penalty. Before moving on to discussing the best practicing of optimizing the anchor text, let’s have a recap of what it is.
What is Anchor Text?
A word, phrase, or a combination of text is called an anchor text when it is made clickable for the users. Simply, it is that part of the text that is linked to another source on the internet that can be a file, website, blog, a downloadable document, or any product or service page where you want the users or readers to land.
Here’s how anchor text looks in HTML:
The core purpose of using anchor text in a sales copy, blog, or any form of content is facilitating the user to visit relevant pages and additional resources. It creates an ease for the readers in reviewing supporting links has made it an SEO ranking factor.
The search engines are now evaluating the nature of connecting a write-up with another source to make sure the readers are not betrayed. So, the relevance of anchor text is made significant for ranking higher in search engine results.
Different Types of Anchor Text to Know
You can only follow the best practices of optimizing anchor texts if you are aware of the different types. Following are some of the commonly used forms that are compulsory for you to know.
Branded Anchor text – When a text of a hyperlink exhibits a brand name and directs to the root domain. Famous brands pursue a web address as that of their brand name. Online ventures can also start doing this just like WordPress Plugins by Supsystic.
Naked Address – The hyperlink that does not contain text and displays the exact website URL is called a naked address like https://supsystic.com.
Website name –When the “https://” part is removed from the URL and the website name is anchored. It is simply showing a clickable website name to the readers, e.g. supsystic.com
Page or post title – The title of a web page or blog-post is anchored against its URL. For example, a post with URL (https://supsystic.com/blog/top-ways-to-boost-your-wordpress-website-speed/) is anchored as Top Ways To Boost Your WordPress Website Speed.
Exact-Match Anchor – It has to power to make or break your virtual reputation. It includes anchoring the exact keyword to a landing page. E.g. WordPress Plugins
Partial-Match Keyword – When you compromise on adding a part of keyword to anchor text, you get a partially-matched anchor type. E.g. Download Plugins for WordPress
Generic –It includes the usage of generic terms for navigating people to a supporting web page. You can use words like ‘Click Here’, ‘Read More’, ‘Visit Here’, etc.
LSI anchors – Using a variation of your primary keywords in anchor text rather than the core business search term. Top WordPress Addons, Download How to develop WP Plugins etc.
Best Practices to Optimize Anchor Text in 2018
The search engines are now valuing the quality of every anchor text you use either for elevating the SEO rankings or increasing the traffic. Following best practices can help you build an authority; else a spam link can earn you a severe penalty. Play fair in anchor text optimization because it is better to remain in competition with slight up and down rather than uprooting the entire website from the SERPs.
1. Make it look natural
Optimizing the textual or visual content of a website is all about improving the user experience. Consider creating ease for the end users in reading and understanding a text link that is directing to another source.
By being natural, we mean that the textual link has to deliver value to the end user, and it shall lead to the destination when a common user expects to land. It is helpful in directing users to high-quality pages where they can find relevant and useful information.
2. Use an Adequate Proportion of Anchor Text
There is no defined proportion of using different types of anchor texts on your website. It relies on the nature of your business, the kind of content you produce, and the people you intend to reach with targeted keywords.
The websites that aim to serve the locals of a town or city are often free to even use the various types of anchor text. But, the websites that are targeting masses like on a national or international level are recommended to use up to 50% branded anchor text that is accompanied by a 10-15% ratio for other types.
One of the recommended methods is to refrain from stuffing the keywords more than necessary. Abide by the rules laid down by Google or other search engines for creating backlinks.
3. Pursue Relevancy in adding a link to the text
The end goal of Google and other search engines is to show relevant results against a keyword or phrase to its users. The search engines are working hard to empower web crawlers in understanding the meaning and context of the content on a website.
Google is testing DeepMind since 2015 that is an advanced technology for judging website content for its relevancy. They are improving the technology day by day to make it understand the language and context of the content just like the way humans can do.
In short, Google algorithm is capable of evaluating the content you have published on a page or blog, and the way anchor text is linked to a relevant source. If the link is genuinely connecting readers with a relevant post or page then it’s all fine, else it is going to damage the search ranking and can earn you spam score as well. So, stay relevant.
4. Use Anchor text at Prominent Places
The use of anchor text is critical when you are seeking users’ attention. The marketers often attach a link to text without evaluating its visibility to the end readers. It may be fine for getting a backlink for elevating SEO score, but not for converting them into leads, subscribers, or buyers.
The purpose of anchor text is not limited to attracting link juice towards a website, but to grab qualified leads as well. The readers of authority blogs and websites actively click anchor text to find more useful content, products, or services.
Determine the prominent places of your website with your industry-specific norms and standards or get to know about the user with tools. Some of the notable tools like Clicktale, Hotjar, and Mouseflow can help you find about common user behavior. Usually, the most prominent places for anchor text are above the fold like heading, subheading, or the first two to three paragraphs.
Write or display the important information and anchor text above the fold as the screen readers are indifferent. They do not tend to read the entire story just like the way people read novels. They take a glance and only scroll down the page if they find something interesting in above the fold.
5. Avoid connecting to spam sites
The point of giving away or getting a link from spam website may seem to be obvious to most of the marketers, but it is as simple to understand and follow.
The anchor text is a way to cite a source of information of giveaway credit to the content you use, but linking it to a low-quality website may harm your SERP rankings.
Citing high-quality websites within a context of your website or blog is a recommended practice. But, the niche relevance and spam score have to be taken into consideration before adding a citation.
With the release of Google’s Hummingbird update back in 2013, the co-citation has become a part of defining the SERP ranking of your website. The way it can benefit your rankings in achieving reciprocal links, a link to a spammy website may ruin all the effort too.
The best practices of anchor text optimization do not remain the same for long. The moment an anchor text is permissible may not be allowed in the upcoming Google Penguin updates. But, above all, a key to success lies in keeping the anchor text cloud natural. Do not give search engines the impression that you are manipulating the links just to have all the value.
Asad Ali is an internet marketing expert for almost having more than 7 years of experience in eCommerce industry. He is currently working at GO-Gulf – a Dubai based custom eCommerce web development company where he is working on multiple eCommerce SEO projects, conversion optimization and user experience.