How to Successfully Optimise Your Anchor Text
Why should we use anchor text?
Anchor text – the visibly hyperlinked text on a webpage – helps to enhance the relevance of the page to which it links. Search engines give substantial weight to anchor text and therefore the words that you choose to link can make a big difference to the ranking of your site. It’s a good idea to use a keyword tool to help choose the most relevant words to use as your anchor text, to get an idea of what your target users are searching for and how often.
The Google command ‘allinanchor:keyword’ shows only the pages where your keyword is contained as anchor text. For example, searching ‘allinanchor: best restaurants London’ will return only the pages where the anchor text contains the words ‘best,’ ‘restaurants’ and ‘London’. This indicates that Google’s algorithm separately indexes anchor text, confirming that Google uses anchor text to help decide a page’s relevance.
Internal linking and on-page content
When linking to internal pages of your site, don’t fall into the trap of hyperlinking unrelated or unhelpful anchor text, for example linking to ‘here‘ or ‘click here’. Linking instead to popular keywords helps your pages to be indexed for relevant results and therefore improves your search engine performance.
External linking and off-page content
Your site can gain relevance and improve its ranking for particular keywords by making use of external websites. This can be done using anchor text links in off-page content such as blog posts, articles or infographics.
The key point to remember here is that the anchor text needs to look as natural as possible, both for the sake of your target audience and for Google’s algorithms. It’s also important to make sure that the words that you use for your anchor text are varied and that the destination URLs point to different pages of your site (as opposed to simply the homepage), building authority for each one.
Examples of beneficial anchor text
Useful and varied anchor text for a camping website would be something along the lines of the following:
“Camping equipment”, “Equipment for camping trips”, “Tents and other camping equipment”, “Cheap camping gear” and “Camping gear”.
Search engines understand synonyms and therefore using ‘camping gear’ will return the same results as using ‘camping equipment’, at the same time as building varied authority for both. Since the Penguin update, variation has become a vital part of successful anchor text optimisation.