Anchor text is a great way of attracting the users as well as the search engine. It has the potential of making your digital marketing campaign successful, but if not used wisely it can also harm your organic search engine traffic. Therefore SEO-friendly anchor text should be relevant and succinct to the target page.
Different Types of Anchor Text
Anchor text is a clickable text underlined and hyperlinked on the page. It is created using the HTML code <a href=”http://example.com”>Anchor Text</a>. It comprises the visible characters and words that hyperlinks display when linking to another document or location on the web. For example, in the sentence “A revolutionary laser liposuction device from Cynosure, it is an effective alternative to remove unwanted fat and contour the body – all with minimal downtime,” “laser liposuction” is the anchor text.
The following are the different types of anchor text.
- Naked URL anchors: This type of anchors just uses the URL to link back to a site.
- Exact match anchors: This is the most important type of anchor text and has the exact words or phrases as the keyword they want to target. This type of anchor text has the potential to increase ranking. If your target keyword is “laser liposuction,” your anchor text is also “laser liposuction.”
- Partial match or phrase match anchors: This type of anchor text contains partial presence of keywords or in other words, the anchor text contains the key word/phrase — “A revolutionary laser liposuction device from Cynosure, it is an effective alternative to remove unwanted fat and contour the body – all with minimal downtime.“
- Brand +keyword anchors: Branded anchors use brand names in the anchor text. An effective method for building a strong anchor profile, this comprises a combination of your brand name and your keyword. “Laser liposuction at Park Avenue Smart Lipo.”
- Generic anchors: It uses unspecific, generic phrases and do not contain any targeted keywords. For instance, in “Click here to learn more,” “Click here” is the generic anchor text. Other generic anchor text examples include – “Read more,” “More info,” “this page,” and so on.
- LSI anchors: LSI signifies Latent Semantic Indexing and this type of anchor text uses words or phrases that are variations of your target keywords. If your target keyword is “laser liposuction,” the LSI keywords could include “laser liposuction does it work,” “laser liposuction before and after,” “laser liposuction reviews,” “laser liposuction prices” and so on.
- Author anchor: Author anchor uses the author’s name as the anchor text.
- Title tag: This type of anchor uses page titles as the anchor text, and these will be a partial match.
- Image links: Alt text may be counted as the anchor.
Why Is Anchor Text Important?
Anchor text is an essential element that helps search engines to determine the subject matter of the linked- to- document. For example, if a particular website back links with the anchor then the search engines will be able to recognize and understand the context of the target page. It also helps the search engine to analyse the content of the source page and the title tags and keywords of the target page to determine the relevancy of the content. This helps the search engine to provide relevant results to the users while searching queries. For instance, if we link to a page from this article with the anchor text “Smartlipo liposuction,” it would signify to Google that the linked site is a good match for that query.
Google Penalizes Manipulative Anchors
As Google became more advanced, they developed new metrics and parameters to determine ranking and Google Penguin update is one such measure that changed the SEO world. Prior to the Penguin Update, website owners used a lot of keyword-rich anchor text and used exact anchors for all back links. But this was considered as a tactic to cheat the search engine and rank well. With the Penguin Update all low quality, artificial or spammy link building and excessively used keyword rich anchor text were targeted. It would be a mistake to over-optimize your anchor text because it would invite penalties.
Anchor Text Usage — Best Practices for Healthcare Marketing
Various studies show that out of many ranking factors, anchor text is still one of the important factors that influences ranking. Professional healthcare digital marketing services would follow best practices to make your website search engine- friendly and user- friendly, and also give you better ranking. Here are some of the strategies they may employ:
- Ensure that the different types of anchors are distributed wisely. For this, thorough research has to be done to understand the anchor text distribution of the most successful websites in the medical industry. This would give a clear idea regarding how to distribute the various types of anchor text.
- Make sure that the anchor texts used are relevant. The more relevant your content is to your target keyword, the better will be your rank. Suppose your targeted keyword is “chin liposuction,” writing an article or blog specifically about chin liposuction is the best strategy. If your target keyword is “chin liposuction in Manhattan” you must write about how to find the best chin liposuction surgeons in Manhattan rather than a general article about chin liposuction.
- Do not link to spammy sites just to earn some link backs. Link only to authoritative, clean websites that are relevant to your niche. Choose to link to sites with Doman Authority (DA) above 30 and Page Authority (PA) over 35.
- Try to avoid internal linking with keyword-rich anchor text. Internal linking is necessary, but avoid doing so with anchor text stuffed with keywords. When using anchors for internal linking, ensure that the anchor is spread across a sentence. E.g. in place of “cosmetic surgery benefits,” you can use “learn about the benefits of cosmetic surgery.”
- Write relevant guest posts. You can build a strong link profile with good guest posts. Ideally, choose domains with 30+ domain authority (DA) and use LSI anchors and partial match anchors for these posts.
- Keep track of the anchor texts you have used. Be organized and ensure that you are not over-optimizing your page with keyword stuffed anchor text.
Keyword prevalence in anchor text is surely a ranking factor even now, and a few keyword-rich links should surely help you rank well on Google. Ideally, use 1% or less exact match anchor text and 30% phrase match anchor text in this post Penguin era. Studies show that branded anchors and naked URL anchors are safe and effective. Avoid building low quality links and focus on those that are editorially earned.