Search engines look at anchor text to determine what a site’s about. For this reason, search engine optimization experts will tell you that anchor text’s extremely important.
What Is Anchor Text?
It’s the text on a page that makes up a link. These are the words that turn a cursor into a hand in order to invite a user to travel on the web. For example, on a social media site a person might write that “I had a great time at this five star hotel…” and “this five star hotel” would be a link featuring anchor text to take them to a specific site. And what do we call good quality anchor text? Well good quality anchor text, as SEO experts will tell you, relates heavily to the destination page, while being easy to understand and fairly short. To relate anchor text to destination pages, keywords should be used.
The Art of Using Keywords
Keywords are words that are used on your page and on your links that correspond to those entered into searches on the web. They help people to find your site and likewise help you to bring users to it.If hundreds of sites use a link to a page on your website which features the words ‘five star hotel’ then search engines are going to conclude that your page is probably about a five star hotel. If inbound links on your site also feature the keywords ‘five star hotel’ that’s going to help too. Think of links as roads between pages on your site and between sites in the net that search engines watch to see who’s popular.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that anchor text is all that search engines look at when ranking your site and determining whether you’ll appear on their results pages. Content’s very important too, and you should read about all the various ways in which off page optimisation can help you to get better results for your site.
Tricks of the Trade
Search Engine Optimization Experts are aware of things that aren’t common knowledge. For example, did you know that search engines look at text preceding and following anchor text, as well as the link itself? With this insider knowledge in mind, you might find opportunities to promote your site using words outside the anchor text. Think about a ‘secluded five star hotel’, for example, or a ‘central five star hotel’.
A huge part of promoting your site in terms of SEO is creating plenty of good quality inbound links. Remember to feature your chosen keywords and to have plenty of them. There are useful ways of including them, such as to create a site map for visitors to use when navigating your site. Users should always be able to link back to a homepage using a keyword rich link. Anchor text lets you improve your search engine ranking internally and externally.
When thinking about improving the ranking of your site, you’ll have thought about which pages should focus on which topics, and you’ll have made informed choices about the keywords you’ll use to benefit your site in terms of hits and ranking. You’ll have chosen titles and headers that make the best use of keywords, without exceeding sensible limits.
Sites have exploited anchor text to such an extent in the past that search engines like Google are rightly suspicious in modern times. Search engines want evidence that your site is actually about something related to your anchor text before they direct users to it via results pages. It’s easy to include keywords in your anchor text to mislead, and users and search engines alike have little tolerance for such methods nowadays.
Anchor text that misleads users not only has a negative impact on a site when it comes to SEO, simply put, it puts off users.Users following misleading or irrelevant links will get confused or annoyed and more often than not decide that they’re wasting their time.So, what are the main points to consider when thinking about SEO compliant anchor text? Here’s a checklist.
•Is it short? (Under 100 characters is best)
•Is it easy to understand?
•Does it relate directly to the destination page?
•Does it utilise direct keywords effectively?
If your anchor text complies with the points on our checklist then the chances are that your site’s on its way to achieving good SEO results. It’s making your site user-friendly too.