Anchor text is the clickable and visible text in a hyperlink.
Anchor text variation is the practice of twisting and optimizing your anchors in order to tell what your pages are about. In short, anchor text allows users to have a better user experience by finding information faster.
The world of SEO is a truly competitive environment that is filled with hardcore players that would do anything to rank. There are so many marketers and entrepreneurs who have tried and who are still trying to manipulate search results by linking from multiple similar anchor texts.
Fortunately for us and unfortunately for who’s trying to cheat, Google and the rest of the search engines are much smarter today, thus black-hat and grey-hat techniques are barely bringing any fruits.
Anchor text variation is one of the most effective and easy-to-implement techniques that will help you improve your Google rankings while staying out of trouble by diversifying your text links.
In today’s post, I’m going to showcase several ways that should help you figure out how to use anchors effectively throughout your SEO content.
1. Anchor Text Optimization
There Are 6 Types Of Anchor Texts:
- Branded –
any link that contains your brand name
- Exact match –
a keyword that’s specifically inserted because you want to rank for it
- Partial match –
a variation of the exact match
- Phrase match –
a sentence which contains your exact match
- Generic –
general text anchors like “Click here” / “Buy now”
- Naked URL –
No anchor text, but the raw URL
- Now –
there are many possible ways to use anchor text in your SEO content
Here Are A Few Effective Guidelines That You Should Consider:
. Keep it Relevant.
If you want powerful backlinks, keep your anchor texts as specific and relevant as possible.
. Keep it Short.
Anchor texts are supposed to be short. You want to be both accurate and natural. Google prefers short anchors because they’re simple and on point.
. Avoid Keyword-Dense Anchor Texts.
Overoptimization is the root of devaluation and leads to a decrease in rankings.
. Avoid Spammy Anchor Texts.
A spammy anchor text is an anchor that has absolutely no connection to the page that it is linking to. Always avoid such anchors!
Use Exact Matches, Keyword Variations, and Branded Anchor Text on your Best Performing Pages
When it comes to defining what type of anchor variation to use at a particular moment, you need to consider the destination of your link (homepage, blog post, or landing page).
Using a professional SEO checker tool can significantly simplify your work.
One general rule would be the higher the page ranks the higher more keyword-dense anchors. Generally, these are the webpages that have a higher impact on your brand, so they’ll often receive more backlinks and recognition.
Exact-match anchors benefit from better PageRank web pages also, because most of these pages are generally receiving more trust and credibility.
If your page performs very well and Google notices an over-optimized anchor, you’re likely to avoid penalization. Either way, ensure that you mix up everything by adding keyword variations, partial matches, and generic links.
When you write blog posts, make sure that you focus on the quality of your content and the value it provides and don’t obsess about keyword optimization. Anchor texts should fall naturally and smoothly.
3. Mix in Long-Tail Keywords With Your Exact Match Anchor Texts
Here’s a simple way to get your exact-match type keywords across the suspicion of Google’s crawlers:
By mixing long-tail keywords with your exact match anchor texts, you’re creating a healthy balance that will help you improve your rankings. For example, if you want to rank for “social media tools”, you should diversify by adding a few long-tail key phrases:
- best social media tools
- user-friendly social media tools
- cheap social media tools
- social media tools for beginners
The key is to diversify: use your long-tail keywords throughout more pages. The more pages link with the same anchor text to your main landing page the faster that page will rank.
Therefore, this simple yet truly effective strategy allows you to go for many exact keywords without the risk of getting flagged.
4. Using LSI Keywords
Natural language processing has become a trendy topic for a few years already. Google’s offering webmasters a great bonus, and that is the power to understand their content without them having to constantly worry about that. Instead, high-quality content development is encouraged.
The smarter Google gets the easier it will be to detect keyword-stuffing and other “shortcuts” that are currently being used. Search engine robots can easily look at our anchor text variations and contextualize the language that surrounds them.
That only means that we have more options to choose more keywords without having to focus on too many SEO technicalities.
The best way to avoid keyword overoptimization and keyword stuffing is to take advantage of LSI keywords. An LSI keyword is a word that is closely related (conceptually) to your primary keyword. You can perceive it as a synonym, but not only.
LSI keywords are not exact-match keywords, so typing without counting won’t get you penalized. Whenever you’ve used too many of your exact keywords, go ahead and spice it up by adding as many synonyms and related terms. Overall, this is an excellent strategy to diversify both your SEO strategy and language!
Anchor text diversification is not the simplest process, yet it is far from being complicated. However, as you may have figured out, learning to anchor text in word or, simply put, learning to how to link text in the best fashion is surely a fundamental skill for both you and your digital marketing team.
Since the SEO environment is changing at a very rapid pace, anchor texts (like many other elements) will shift their role in time as more prominent algorithms and updates will be launched. Until then, ensure that your SEO game is in check by taking into consideration all of today’s anchor tag examples, tips, and tricks.