A significant aspect of SEO is your linking, especially when you are internally linking to your other existing pages and posts and building backlinks.
But often, many developers or writers only use generic anchor texts that rarely compel readers to click the links. This situation is especially problematic for links that are supposed to finally funnel users to conversion.
If you want your readers to effectively click on your post or page links, they have to anchor on a text that is descriptive.
In this section of the KAMG SEO content hub, we will teach you the simple art of creating descriptive anchor texts for your links.
But before we dive in, there are a few terms we need to define.
What is a Link?
A hyperlink, also simply known as a link, is a reference to data that the user can follow by clicking or tapping. It directs a user from a web page to another entire page or to a specific element within that page.
For example, the below image shows a link in blue text. Clicking it on the webpage where this sample was taken from will take the user to a separate contact or booking form.
When you click or tap a link, you move to a new location on the internet, whether it is a page or section on your site or elsewhere. And that location is called a URL.
To create a link, a URL is embedded or integrated into anchor text (or image, usually in the form of buttons). When a link is created, the anchor text generally becomes underlined and blue.
For example, this entire statement that’s blue and underlined is a link that leads to a happy place.
What is a URL?
Technically speaking, the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is a web resource reference that specifies its location on a computer network and a mechanism for retrieving it.
Your website’s address is a URL, just like https://example.com. And the addresses of the pages within your website are also URLs.
What is an Anchor Text?
This is the text that is linked from. It is the text that is used to create links and more importantly, it is what readers and search engines use to have an idea of what the link is about.
Anchor texts are an important part of a site’s backlinking strategy, and as such, they play an important role in SEO.
Google’s algorithm carefully examines your anchor choices to determine whether you’re engaging in any bad linking practices.
Google’s algorithms are complex and ever-evolving. And they can distinguish between a number of different types of anchor text.
Types of Anchor Texts
The image below shows the types of anchor texts according to HubSpot.
This anchor text uses exact keywords that the source you’re linking to is targeting.
- Cat training
- Workout shorts
- Olive oil
One approach is to have a relevant domain link to your cat training webpage by using the same keyword, cat training.
However, use them sparingly. Otherwise, you risk activating Google’s spam filter and being penalised.
Phrase Match Anchor Text
The phrase match anchor text includes a specific phrase for which your website is attempting to rank.
Returning to the cat training example, those who are new to training cats may be looking for introductory guides. As a result, they might look for cat training for beginners which would be an appropriate anchor text to use.
Partial Match Anchor Text
This works like the phrase match anchor text but you use a variation of the keyword instead of using the exact phrasing.
“Cat training for beginners” = “beginner’s guide to training cats”
Branded Anchor Text
It is also common to use website names and branded anchor texts. For instance, we can use “KAMG Email Marketing Content Hub” as a link label to get you to check out our email marketing content hub.
Generic Anchor Text
This is the most recognisable one. Generic anchor texts are commonly used for CTA buttons and ads.
- Buy Now
- Click Here
- Subscribe Today
Take note that these generic texts are only good for CTA buttons and ads. But for links within an article or even a landing or product page, you want to make your link texts descriptive even in your CTA buttons.
This type uses the URL as the anchor text, just like this: kasandz.com.
Image Anchor or No Text
You can use an image as an anchor so that when you click on it, the user will open the URL embedded in it or linked to it.
But remember that when you use an image as an anchor, you need to accompany it with descriptive text. Doing so, you ensure that Google and other search engines can understand what the image is about.
How to Create a Link
Creating a link is significantly simple. And no matter what text software you are using, the process is highly similar.
- Type in or find your anchor text (or image).
- Highlight or select it.
- Find this button and click it. In Google Docs, you can find it on the menu or when you right-click (for an image, you can simply right-click on the image to find linking options).
- Enter the URL on the space that appears and says URL.
- Click apply, okay or whatever confirmation button appears or simply press enter.
And you have a link.
But you want to make it effective in terms of convincing people to click.
How to Write Excellent Descriptive Texts for Your Links
Here’s an example of a generic link text.
Of course, you can understand by the context that clicking the word here will direct you to a video that will teach you how to train a cat to sit.
But if you think about it, here doesn’t have complete meaning. And at the very least, the word here is not very convincing.
More importantly, when Google and other search engines crawl the page, they primarily connect the link with the anchor text. And with the anchor text here, it’s not very helpful.
A better option would be “watch a video about how to train a cat to sit.”
In the latter example, the reader gets descriptive instruction that can motivate them to click on the link.
And it’s good for SEO. Part of most search engines’ concerns is that your links do not mislead your visitors.
Clear and concise text that truly complements the content of where the link leads goes a long way toward confirming the relevance of your links, as well as your consideration for clarity and transparency.
Tips for writing your anchor text.
Simply becoming acquainted with the various types of anchor text will not ensure higher SERP rankings. To get you started, here are a few best practices for your anchor text optimisation.
- Ensure that your anchor text is quickly recognisable.
Many platforms provide a variety of webpage customisation options. Some of these incorporate the anchor into the surrounding text.
Make sure that the anchor is clearly marked and clickable.
- Don’t dissatisfy or mislead readers.
When linking to other websites, always keep your promise and provide the content you talk about in the anchor text.
- Retain the natural flow of your copy.
While most people attempt to approach this task strategically, focusing on exact and phrase matches, natural language does not always work in this manner.
So use descriptive anchor text that flows naturally with your writing.
- Ensure to maintain relevant links.
If you provide time-sensitive content, keep in mind to review and update your links on a regular basis.
- Create your links with search intent in mind.
Make sure to consider the reader’s search intentions and see to it that they correspond to the context of your content.
- Avoid keyword stuffing.
Google penalizes over-optimized anchor texts and low-quality hyperlinks. So avoid using the same keyword on anchor texts repeatedly.
- Diversify your anchor text profile.
A natural link profile is diverse. Excessive link label manipulation will result in your website being penalised.
- Keep your link texts as brief as possible.
Although Google considers both the anchor and the surrounding text, avoid anchoring large chunks of text.
- Clean up URLs when using naked anchors.
Long winding URL strings can be an eyesore for most readers. Keep your anchor text short and simple.
- Maintain an inventory of your links and anchors.
A library of all your links and labels is useful not only during the optimisation process but also when performing site audits.
You can use a tool or platform like Link Whisper to organise your internal links.
Be Smart and Practical With Your Link Texts
Your link texts can make a significant impact on your on-page SEO efforts so you have to ensure that you’re doing them right.
And of course, not all links will require highly descriptive anchors. Simply ensure that you are using text that feels natural to your content and format.
Properly labelled links help you organise your content and web pages. And it gives readers an easier time following your content while allowing search engines to understand your pages better.