Now then, I mentioned anchor text previously when I spoke about internal linking, but I’d like to go into a little more detail about it now. The fact is, anchor text is considered to be a very strong factor in determining search engine rankings, so I’d definitely suggest including it in your SEO strategy…
It’s basically a brief description of a web page that you’re linking to, and takes the form of hyperlinked words on a web page (the words you click on that make up a link).
The anchor text will typically be the writing in blue, which when clicked on, will take the reader through to a page relevant to that term…
It’s normally used to give visitors useful information about the content of the page being linked to, so that they know where they’re going and why (if they choose to click on it). If you use anchor text to link to related websites with a good reputation and a high level of authority in your niche, then this will reflect well on your own web page.
After all, if you give the reader good quality content by linking to a relevant site, then the search engines will reward you, as their ultimate goal is to provide relevance and value for their users. However, the main way in which you can benefit from anchor text is to have relevant links coming in to your website…
Let me explain…
Imagine that you have a blog all about copywriting, like me! You’d naturally want this blog to appear as high as possible in the search results for terms like “copywriter”, “freelance copywriter“, “SEO copywriter“, “copywriting blog“, etc, wouldn’t you? Well, the use of anchor text can help you achieve this. Firstly, you could start off by publishing a simple article online that uses anchor text to point readers towards your blog, like this for example:
“If you’re interested in this technique, take a look at my copywriting blog as this will speed up the process for you…”
Here the word “copywriting” is hyperlinked to the hidden URL (the relevant web page on your blog). The word you see within the hyperlink, “copywriting” is the anchor text itself.
And why would you want to do this? Well, the reason you’d want to do this is so that you can associate your blog with the term “copywriting”, for the benefit of the search engines. You could then set up more web pages and articles that use anchor text to link to your copywriting blog, subsequently increasing that search term’s association to your blog.
Now then, the more links pointing to your blog that include this anchor text, the more relevant your blog becomes for that search term, and the higher up the search results it climbs. And in order to speed up this process and boost your blog’s search engine ranking even further, you could then get other people to link to your blog, using those keywords as anchor text…
The best way of doing this would be to encourage several other related websites with considerable authority and a generally high search engine ranking to follow suit and link the term to your blog as well.
Of course, in order for good quality and well positioned sites to link to your blog or web page, it would need to have lots of quality and original content that would compel them to do so (and I’ll be talking about the importance of content in relation to SEO in a future blog post).
So, now do you see how you can use anchor text as part of your SEO strategy?!
Now, before we move on, I’d just like to clarify how anchor text should be used, because many people often get confused and use it incorrectly…
To begin with, the appropriate keywords within a sentence should be turned into the anchor text (a clickable link). So, if your web page includes anchor text that points to an article about SEO, it should be written like this:
“…which has a superb article about Search Engine Optimisation techniques that will help you to fire your website to the top of Google.”
And not like this:
“… which has a superb article about Search Engine Optimisation techniques that will help you to fire your website to the top of Google. To find out more, click here.
This first method of linking is far more beneficial for users, webmasters and search engines alike. The reason for this is that if you use “click here” as the anchor text, you’re telling the search engines that the page is about the subject “click here”.
Naturally, you wouldn’t want to rank highly for the term “click here”, or anything else that’s not relevant to your web page, as this won’t help your page climb the search engine rankings. So always make sure that your anchor text is relevant to the page you’re linking to. That way, both your readers and the search engines will know what the page is all about, which will ultimately help your rankings.
Nick Cobb – SEO Copywriter