For those of you unfamiliar with what we are talking about here, anchor text is essentially the visible text shown on a web page link.
For example, a web page link to the Boost Your Website home page might be written as:
The visible text in the above link is Boost Your Website
And here is how it would look when working; Boost Your Website.
You might be wondering what is so special about this anchor text, and why we are talking about it here. What you might be surprised to learn is that the text you use is very significant when it comes to search engine optimisation!
What you need to know about anchor text
Many popular search engines such as Google use a number of different factors to determine the ‘weight’ of a website link in their search engine results pages, and as search engines evolve over time the results they show up for any given search will be increasingly relevant to the search terms.
Content is king as far as search engines are concerned; if your website is rich with engaging, well-structured content then you will find that your efforts will not go unrewarded with search engines. However, fill your pages up with spammy text and links to irrelevant external content and you won’t even get a look in.
Now you might not think it, but the text you write in your internal and external web links is extremely important when it comes to a search engine making an overall assessment of your website and its content.
Where and how to use anchor text
Here is an example of how anchor text can help your website rank higher;
- You run a blog where you post up articles about DIY and home improvements such as how-to guides, and links to relevant and interesting content on other websites.
- You come across a 50% off special offer on double glazing from Acme Windows & Doors, and you want to tell your readers about it so they can potentially benefit from the offer.
- When you add the link to the website offering the special offer, you use the anchor text “50% off special offer on Acme double glazing” instead of writing something like “click here”.
So you might be thinking “OK I’ve written my blog post, it already contains relevant keywords and phrases so why do I have to bother about what my link text says?”
When a search engine visits the pages on your website, it attempts to establish what relevance your link has to the target web page. If you have a link that simply says “click here”, then of course there is nothing relevant to that on the target page.
But the link using “50% off special offer on Acme double glazing” as the anchor text is going to be highly relevant.
Because the target page will be promoting their special offer and people may often search for terms like “Acme double glazing” or “Acme double glazing offers”, the link to your blog post will have a better chance of being displayed high up in the search results.