From an SEO perspective anchor text plays a very critical role in drawing web traffic. Before understanding how does that happen and what are the types of anchor text I should work with, it is essential to first understand what anchor text is and why SEO consultants consider it so crucial.
Anchor text can be best described as the words that one can use to link one page to another web page on the internet. The linking can be done from one website to another website (external) or on internal web pages (the pages residing on your own website). Secondly, why anchor text is important? This is because they act as an indicator for search engines to determine what the linking page is all about.
One point to remember here is that till early last year, search engines used to give a lot of weightage to anchor text and accordingly rank websites. After the launch of Penguin, Google has now reduced this weighted and in fact has started to penalize a lot of websites if they had a lot of keywords embedded within the anchor text.
Here is a list of anchor text that you can work with if you need to really enhance the visibility of the web pages running on your website on the internet:
Anchor Text Distribution for Proper Anchor Text Diversity (Image credit:- Kylemarvin)
Exact Match Anchor Text
The very first kind and an all time favorite of most SEO experts is the exact match anchor text. This type of anchor text can be distinguished from the others as it has the exact targeted keywords within its text for which you are trying to gain more visibility on search engines.
Zero Match Anchor Text
The next type of anchor text is the zero one. This type as the name indicates is when you have a link text in which you have not mentioned or indicated any of the keywords you are trying to target. Examples are like “learn more” or “click here”.
Partial Match Anchor Text
Partial match as the name refers to is when you have a link text that includes the keywords along with other words. Say for example if your key phrase was ‘the best hotel in NYC’ then your partial anchor text could be “Learn more about the best hotel in NYC”
Branded Anchor Text
Finally, we come to the branded anchor text type, in this case you have a name of a brand or website in the anchor text description. For example “abc.com”
Experts are of the opinion that a right mix of the above types of anchor text along with 10% of exact match should do the trick. However that may not always work out. The best approach is to first determine how many exact ones you can actually use. In order to know that try to understand what your competitors are up to and this can be found out if you run your keywords through a link analysis tool such as ahrefs. You also have the liberty to use ‘Open Site Explorer’ to do the same analysis as well. Ensure that you do an extensive analysis and then on the basis of your key findings be a better judge of which anchor text to use and when and the frequency that it needs to be placed on the web page.
Mattan Danino is the Founder & Director of Business Development for WebitMD. He is an online marketing expert and social media coach. Among his victorious ventures WebitMD is became renowned for SEO Los Angeles and also catering to various other verticals of online marketing.