Improving the positioning of a website page on search engines is impossible if you don’t choose the right anchor text: here’s how to learn to identify and distribute them in the texts.
For natural link building, it is necessary to know how to find the right anchor text, but also to understand what their distribution must be within a text to be optimized.
But what exactly is an anchor text? Quite simply, it is a phrase or a keyword to which a hyperlink is attached. The best positioning can be obtained thanks to links studied with the utmost attention: this means that it is essential to integrate the anchor texts in the contexts in which they are positioned. If you work with this approach, the inclusion of anchors in the content will be considered natural by Google.
The value of the anchor text for SEO optimization
The SEO activity that is related to link building campaigns requires the utmost attention to all details, even more so since Google began to refine its algorithms: the search engine, in fact, carefully checks that the content that is produced is of quality and that the links placed within it are relevant.
Proper management of anchor text, it follows, is essential in SEO terms. For example, if you write content on diabetes, you can link an article on the importance of prevention at the table, using a descriptive anchor text: this is a valuable anchor text, which allows you to deepen the topic covered in the article and which is well integrated into it.
Because anchor text and SEO optimization are closely related
But what are the strategies that can be put into practice for effective optimization? The importance of the anchor text for the SEO is determined by the fact that they are used by Google to identify the topic of which the linked web page speaks, as is clearly explained in the official guide of the search engine.
It must be said, however, that over time there has been an improper use of these tools, at least until Big G released the Penguin update in 2012: from that moment on, SEO experts have been forced to rethink the way to use anchor text, avoiding creating links of low value, with exact anchor text, to force the search engine to position a page for a certain keyword.
But what can be done to make the insertion of anchor texts more effective? The first recommendation that comes directly from Google is to use descriptive texts: the text, in essence, should provide a basic idea about what users will be able to discover when they click on the link. The excessively generic anchors, on the other hand, should be avoided: we refer to those without keywords or which in any case have no relation to the page to which the link refers.
Optimize anchor texts in an SEO perspective
As we have seen, Google considers anchor texts to be of fundamental importance: for this reason, it is essential that they are natural and that they are not manipulated. To this end, some precautions should be kept in mind.
The distribution of anchor text
It is advisable to pay the utmost attention to the distribution of the different types of anchors, as using them wisely allows us to create a back-link profile as naturally as possible. There is no universal law regarding the percentage of distribution, as the values change according to multiple variables: for example, the link profile of competitor sites and the reference niche. It can be said that, in principle, it is appropriate to distribute the anchors in this way:
- 15% of naked links
- 5% of exact match anchor text
- 10% of navigational anchor text
- 10% sentence anchor text
- 60% branded anchor text
Let’s understand, now, in the anchor text scenario, what is a naked link, what is a navigational anchor, what is the phrase anchor text, and so on.
The link naked is nothing but the anchor text as a URL, that anchor that reflects the address of the site you want to link and is reported as such in the text.
The navigational anchor text, on the other hand, is those that present an explicit invitation but are devoid of keywords: the classic case is that of “click here for more information about it”.
Then there is the branded anchor text, which takes the name of the site, and the phrase anchor text, so-called because they are connected to an entire proposition. Finally, the exact match anchor text is the one that matches the keyword.
Anchor texts and user experience
The user experience, for the choice of anchor texts, is also very important: the simpler a text, the better the user experience of those who surf the site will be. For this reason, too, it is appropriate to avoid meaningless terms for anchor text. The latter must always consist of descriptive words that allow the reader to know what he will find if he clicks on that anchor text.
Anchor text should not suggest artificial actions: those of greater value are capable of favoring an in-depth analysis of the content and, at the same time, are well integrated into the context of the article, resulting in consistency with it.
In other words, anchor texts are of greater importance if:
- Appropriately describe the landing web page
- Present a text capable of persuading the reader to click on the link
The right length of anchor text
The textual anchors should not be applied to lengthy sentences, except in rare cases: should, instead, use a small number of words. The best anchor texts are the short ones, that is, made up of no more than 4 or 5 words, even if they are descriptive: it is of little use to link content along two lines.
Formatting of anchor texts
Another precaution that should be adopted is the one that plans to format the links so that they are relevant in terms of content: in other words, the anchors must be highlighted with respect to the rest of the text from a graphic point of view. There are two options that can be considered in this sense: you can choose to use the underlining or, alternatively, to set a different color. In any case, it must be made clear that there is a link below that you can click and which leads to another page.
The relevance of the anchor texts to the context
A further aspect on which we must focus, then, is that of relevance. When the relevance to the landing page is limited, it is better to resort to no-follow or brand-type keys. As you know, the relevance of an anchor text in a text is the decisive aspect in terms of Search Engine positioning. In fact, Google’s algorithm doesn’t just scan the anchor text, it also understands the relevance of the context. The Search Console is a valuable tool that you can use to get the data you need. Finally, it should be remembered that the links in the footer are of little use.
Anchor text SEO Optimization Onsite
Furthermore, it should not be forgotten that anchor text must also be used for internal links, in order to improve SEO onsite: in short, never underestimate the internal link building. Whenever you have a resource available on the site itself that can be linked to content, it is worth doing it!
Anchor text and back-link profile
On the web, there are tools that allow you to analyze the backlink profile of a website. The analysis of this parameter is fundamental to realizing a targeted and effective link-building campaign. If, for example, you notice that a certain key has an excessively high percentage of links, it is necessary to try to reduce its distribution. The options on the table are different: for example, synonyms can be used, or less specific anchors can be used.
Furthermore, from the backlink profile, it is possible to understand how many nofollow links and how many follow links are received in percentage. In fact, it is not very natural for a backlink profile to be completely “follow”. Better not to risk penalties from Google due to this aspect: the advice is to also resort to nofollow links that, in a certain sense, make the backlink profile imperfect and, as such, more natural. As paradoxical as it may seem, in other words, it is quite risky to have a link profile that is too “clean”.