Natalie Gould

The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Anchor Text

"chainYes, to Anchor Text and Here Is Why

Anchor text is essentially the text found in an active hyperlink embedded into online content. It serves as a useful tool to help direct readers deeper into the site, and to create internal or external links. Anchor text is a valuable SEO tool that should not be overlooked.

In general, the trend in anchor text is going the same way as many other things—the more natural, the better. Before writing anchor text, use the following as your guide to produce the most natural results:

Do—Use Partial Match Anchor Text

An example of this would be “website application developer” or “trail running shoes.” You can think of these like long-tail keywords. The text that is before or after these anchor texts should fill in any blanks that a search engine would need, such as location or other details about the business.

Do—Use Hybrid Anchor Text

A hybrid anchor text combines part or all of your brand with some non-branded words as well. This could be done in one or two separate links in the same area on a page. The benefit of this approach is that it reinforces your brand while simultaneously giving additional context to the reader and to web crawlers.

Don’t—Use Exact Match Anchor Text

Exact match anchor text titles are akin to standard keywords that all too frequently sound unnatural. Crawlers will pick up on this and you could be dinged for forced link building.

Don’t—Use Naked URLs

A naked URL is just a plain and simple URL. It may or may include the http:// or www. But either way, it is not very readable and breaks up visitors’ experiences, potentially hurting your SEO efforts.

Don’t—Use Zero Anchor Text

Phrases such as “click here” have no meaning in and of themselves and tell readers nothing about what they will see by clicking. The context of good anchor text should give a preview of what is to come.

In general, if you keep in mind the purpose of any anchor text, your job of writing anchor text becomes more natural and much easier.

Following these tips and including a healthy variety of text verbiage are the ways to make these elements work for you. Your site visitors and your site’s SEO can all benefit when you implement logical, informative and helpful anchor text.

Natalie Gould

Natalie Gould is VP of Content Mgmt at Advice Interactive and active blogger. Always curious, live for food and laughter.

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